The Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday dismissed an application filed by a Senior Special Assistant to former president Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Warpamo Dudafa, seeking to reverse the guilty plea entered into by four companies, he allegedly used to launder $15.5 million.
The trial judge, Justice Babs Kuewumi in his ruling on the application held that since the same issues canvassed by the defendants before him are now also before the Court of Appeal he can no longer entertain the application.
The judge said, “Sections 477 and 478 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 has been made an issue before the Court of Appeal, it is improper for me to continue to sit on the issue”.
The judge subsequently dismissed the application for being an abuse of court’s process while also fixing November 2 for further hearing of the matter.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arranging Dudafa and a lawyer, Amajuoyi Azubuike Briggs before the court over allegations that they on or before November 13, 2013, conspired among themselves to indirectly retain the total sum of $15, 591, 700 USD, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceed of an unlawful act.
They were docked alongside four companies: Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company, which had already pleaded guilty to the charge through their representatives.
The companies were represented by: Friday Davies, Agbor Baro, Dioghowori Frederick and Taiwo Ebenezer respectively.
The offences according to the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, are contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.