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N1.4bn fraud: NBA President, Usoro to be arraigned Dec 10

A Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos has fixed a date for the arraignment of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN, over allegation of fraud.

Justice Muslim Hassan fixed December 10, 2018 for the arraignment.

Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) will be arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in charge sheet, marked FHC/418c/18 over alleged fraud of N1.4bn.

In the charge, the EFCC claimed that Usoro converted and laundered the money in connivance with the governor of his state, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State.

Emmanuel was however not listed as a defendant in the charge, as the EFCC indicated that he is “currently constitutionally immuned against criminal prosecution”.

Also mentioned in the body of the charge were one Nsikan Nkan, described as Commissioner for Finance, Akwa Ibom State; one Mfon Udomah, described as the Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State;

one Uwemedimo Nwoko, described as the Akwa Ibom State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice; and Margaret Ukpe, all of whom were said to be at large.

The EFCC claimed that Usoro in connivance with the others mentioned conspired among themselves to commit the offence sometime in 2015 “within the jurisdiction of this honourable court”.

The anti-graft agency claimed that the N1.4bn allegedly converted and laundered by the defendants belonged to the Akwa Ibom State Government.

Counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, who signed the charge sheet, said in the charge sheet the offence allegedly committed by the NBA President was contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.

He added that the SAN is liable to be punished under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

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