Alleged $40m fraud: Jonathan’s cousin, Azibaola, knows fate May 27 Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 28, 2021


Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed May 27, 2019 to rule on the $40 million fraud case brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against Robert Azibaola, cousin to former president, Goodluck Jonathan.

Azibaola and his company, One Plus Holdings, are facing a two-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption. They are alleged to have received $40 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, during the tenure of Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) without any contract agreement.

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The EFCC had on June 7, 2016 charged Azibaola, his wife, Stella, and the company to court on an amended nine-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption. They had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, which subsequently resulted in the commencement of their trial.

After the EFCC through its counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, closed the case of the prosecution on January 23, 2017, calling 10 witnesses and tendering several documents, the defence filed a “no-case” submission, on March 19, 2018.

Ruling on the application, Justice Dimgba sustained two of the nine counts, and held that there was no prima facie case established against Stella.

Subsequently, Azibaola and One Plus were ordered to open their defence on the remaining two counts, as Stella’s name was struck off the charge sheet.

He thereafter took to the dock to testify in his defence, and denied diverting money to his personal use.

On February 6, 2019 his defence team led by Chris Uche, SAN, closed its defence, after calling two witnesses, including Azibaola, and presented several documents.

At the resumed sitting, both parties adopted their final written addresses, before Justice Dimgba adjourned to May 27, 2019 for “judgement”.

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Tony Orilade
Tony Orilade
Tony Orilade, a Nigerian journalist, is Acting Head, Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja, Nigeria. This is an official statement from him. The headline might have been slightly modified.

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