A Federal High Court in Lagos will on October 7 rule on an application filed by Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, a former aide to Ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan, challenging the guilty plea entered by the four companies allegedly used in siphoning the $15m which former first lady, Patience Jonathan, claimed to be hers.
This is even as protesters stormed the court, Tuesday, denouncing what they claimed selective corruption war and Media trial of Jonathan’s wife.
The protesters said they were not against war on corruption but the manner it was being fought.
The four companies, allegedly owned by Dudafa and arraigned on September 14 had pleaded guilty to the money laundering charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The companies include, Pluto Properties and Investment Company, Seagate Property Development Company, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Ltd, and Avalon Global Property Ltd had through their representatives pleaded guilty as charged
Dudafa and the two other defendants, Amajuoyi Briggs, and Adedamola Bolodeoku, had, however, pleaded not guilty to the 15 counts charge.
At Tuesday’s proceedings, counsel to the first defendant (Dudafa), and the second defendants, Gboyega Oyewole and Tochukwu Onyiuke, informed the court of an application dated September, 22, challenging the guilty plea entered by the companies.
In the application, they argued that there was no letter from the companies authorizing the people to represent them in court.
They, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the guilty plea entered by the companies.
In his argument, EFCC prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, who admitted receiving the application urged the court to throw it out saying that it is an abuse of court processes.
According to him, it is immaterial whether the companies presented letter for the people to represent them.
After listening to the arguements of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Babs Kuewumi adjourned the case till October 7 to rule on the application.
The anti-graft Commission is alleging that the defendants conspired to retain over $15, the sum that they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of crime.
According to the EFCC, the alleged offences are contrary to and punishable under sections 15 (d), 17(a), 18(a), and 27 (3) (c) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004.
The offence is said to have also contravened the provisions of sections 1(2) (c), and 1(19) (6) of the Miscellanous offence Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation, 2004.
Meanwhile, a group of protesters under the umbrella of Association of Media Professionals Against Corruption and Instability on Tuesday morning stormed the Federal High Court, Lagos, to protest against what they described as media trial of the former first lady of Nigeria.
The protest took place at a time the court was sitting on the matter involving a former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, who is being arraigned before Justice Babs Kuawumi over another 17 counts charge preferred against him by the EFCC.
The protesters who stormed the court around 11am carried various placards with inscription like: “EFCC stop the trial or ordeal on Patience Jonathan”, “Buhari, EFCC, your style of anti-corruption war is chasing away investors”, “stop witch hunting Patience Jonathan”, among others.
Leader of the protesters, Igho Akeregha, said the group support the anti-corruption campaign of the present administration under the condition that the president will probe past leaders.
According to him, the current trial of some former aides of President Jonathan was a plan by the present government confiscate assets belonging to the former President.