Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos this morning fixed December 18, for the arraignment of the embattled President of the Nigerian Bar Association, ( NBA ) Mr Paul Usoro (SAN), over an alleged N1.4 Billion fraud.
Mr. Usoro who was accompanied to the court, arrived the court premises before 8: 00 AM before the court business started at 9:00 AM and lasted till about 10: 30 AM.
Immediately after the court session, Mr. Usoro was invited to the EFCC office.
Usoro’s defence team was led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) while the EFCC was represented by Rotimi Oyedepo SAN.
The case could not go on as the court was informed that the NBA President has not been formally served and the case was further adjourned till Dec. 18 so as to enable the EFCC serve him.
In the charge, filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC ), the NBA President was alleged to have 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 charges were one Nsikan Nkan, described as Commissioner for Finance, Akwa Ibom State; one Mfon Udomah, described as the Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State; and the Akwa Ibom State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice; as well as Margaret Ukpe, all of whom were said to be on the run.
The EFCC alleged 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.
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.