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Graft: Court remands Igbinedion in prison

 

A younger brother of former Edo State governor, Lucky Igbinedion, Mike, was on Tuesday remanded in prison custody on a 66-count charge of corruption levelled against him and others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Also ordered to remain in prison custody was the ex-governor’s former personal assistant, Patrick Oboigbodin.

The ex-governor, who was also standing trial over the same allegations alongside his brother, Oboigbodin, and four others, was, however, acquitted and set free by the Federal High Court, Benin, Edo State.

Mike, who is to remain in custody at the Oko Prison, following the refusal of the trial judge, Justice Adamu Hobon, to grant an oral application for his bail burst into tears when he realised that his lawyer, Ricky Tarfa (SAN), could not secure his bail.

Hobon, in ruling on an application brought by their lawyers, challenging the EFCC on grounds that the accused had been tried and convicted for similar offences by the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, in 2008, singled out only the first accused, Lucky Igbinedion as having been convicted for similar offences.

The accused persons further challenged the court’s jurisdiction to enter the suit.

Dismissing argument by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, for continuation of prosecution of all the accused, Justice Hobon said, “I have considered the plea of bargaining… that there was in fact plea bargaining between the EFCC and the accused and for which the first accused is now called to answer a case for which will amount to double jeopardy.

“Regrettably however, none of the second to seventh accused have shown that they have been charged earlier and in the absence of such evidence, the plea of double jeopardy cannot be available to them.

“Consequently, their application must fail and be dismissed. Each of them is therefore asked to enter their pleas while the first accused is hereby discharged and freed.”

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them.

While hearing for bail application has been fixed for June 8 and 13, hearing in the substantive case was adjourned to July 13.

Mike and Oboigbodin, were seen being hurriedly crammed into a waiting black coloured Chrysler Tuareg 300 limousine car with registration number DY03-BEN, on their way to Oko Prison.

-Punch

Short URL: http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=9042

Posted by on May 31 2011. Filed under Edo, Headlines, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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