A Federal High Court in Benin, Edo State, on Tuesday, ruled against jurisdiction claims by Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in the money laundering case instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The other defendants are Lucky Imasuen, former Deputy Governor of the state; Dan Orbih, former PDP chairman in Edo; Tony Aziegbemi and Efe Erimuoghae.
They were all alleged to have, sometime in March 2015 in Benin, taken possession of N700 million without any contract award.
Their alleged offences is contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3).
The defendants had pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them
Charles Edosomwan, counsel to the Ize-Iyamu, challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter on the grounds that the charges were based on election matter.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) argued that the appropriate court to try electoral matter was the Magistrate or High Court.
Justice M. G. Umar ruled that the matter before the court was money laundering which the Federal High Court has exclusive jurisdiction over.
The judge berated the defendants for filing the motion which he said was intended to waste the time of the court.
Justice Umar dismissed their application and adjourned the case until May 18, 2021.