Court discharges $140,000 fraud charge against Atiku’s son-in-law
A son-in-law to Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President, Abdullahi Babalele has been discharged of a two-count charge of money laundering $140,000 by a federal high court sitting in Lagos on Monday.
WITHIN NIGERIA learnt that Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke threw out the charge file by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the ground of wrong venue.
According to the judge, the charge against the defendant ought not to have been filed in Lagos when the alleged offence was said to have been committed in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The Justice, Aneke rested his ruling on the Supreme Court’s decision in a case between the EFCC and Mohammed Dele Belgore on territorial jurisdiction.
It was also learnt that Babalele was arraigned in 2018 and then re-arraigned on October 8, 2019.
According to the EFCC, Babalele allegedly gave former President Olusegun Obasanjo $140,000 on the instruction of Abubakar who was vying for the office of president in 2019.
He pleaded not guilty on each occasion.
Trial commenced and the prosecution called two witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence, before closing its case against the defendant on November 25, 2020.
At the last hearing on December 7, Babalele’s counsel Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, filed a no-case submission praying the court to dismiss the charge.
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