Nigeria: Another judge disqualifies self from NBA president’s alleged money laundering trial
London, Feb. 14, 2019 (AltAfrica)-A Federal High Court judge sitting in Lagos, Nigeria, Justice Chuka Obiozor has excused himself from handling the N1.4bn money laundering charge preferred against the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Paul Usoro.
The judge at the resumption proceedings of the case on Thursday said, “For personal reasons, I hereby disqualify myself from handling the case, I hereby return this case file back to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for reassignment to another judge”.
The NBA President had been scheduled to be re-arraigned before the judge on Thursday after the case was re-assigned to him in January following a request by the NBA President granted by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati, for a change of judge.
The NBA President is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on 10 counts charge bordering on fraud.
Usoro was alleged to have conspired with some others to convert the sum of N1.4 billion, property of Akwa Ibom State Government, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity. The offence was allegedly committed in May 2016.
Also named in the charge against him is the incumbent governor of Akwa Ibom, Mr Emmanuel Udom, who is described in the charge as being “currently constitutionally immune from prosecution”.
Others the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Finance, Nsikan Nkan; Accountant-General of Akwa Ibom State, Mfon Udomah; the Akwa Ibom State Attorney-General, Uwemedimo Nwoko, and Margaret Ukpe.
Mr Usoro has been admitted to bail in the sum of N250 million with one surety in like sum.