Court of Appeal upturns conviction of companies allegedly linked to Jonathan
The Court of Appeal has set aside the conviction of four companies linked to Dr. Waripamo Dudafa, associate of former President Goodluck Jonathan, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to
The EFCC had accused the companies of being in possession of funds it said belonged to the wife of the former president, Patience Jonathan.
The EFCC had arrested and charged Dr. Dudafa and Amajuoyi Briggs, who was secretary to all the companies, Demola Bolodeoku, a bank official, and the companies to court on a 15-count charge.
Counsel to the companies, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, made the judgment known in a statement issued to pressmen, adding that it was delivered during a Zoom session.
Ozekhome had earlier challenged the pleas of guilt at the trial in the Federal High Court but the plea was refused.
“In a well-considered case, the Court of Appeal set aside the conviction of Transocean Property & Investment Company Ltd, Seagate Property Development & Investment Company Ltd, Pluto Property & Investment Company Ltd, and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited made by Hon. Justice Babs Kuewumi on 2nd day of November 2016.
“The convictions of the four companies were held to be nullity having being done in gross disregard of the statutory and constitutional provisions,” the Senior Advocate of Nigeria said.
The ruling by the Court of Appeal stated that the conviction of the four companies violated the constitutional provision of fair hearing as the guilt of the appellant was yet to be determined before the conviction was made.
The lead judgment was read by Hon. Justice C. N. Uwa, while Justice Tunde Awotoye Abundaga agreed with the lead judgment.
Present at the virtual court sitting were Ige Asemudara, Ejieke Onuoha, and Azubuike Solomon Akpe appearing for the appellants, while Rotimi Oyedepo and A.O. Mohammed appeared for the respondents.
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