By Mark Erabor
BENIN-CITY/Nigeria: The Federal High Court sitting in Benin, presided over by Justice Muhammed Umar Garba, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, adjourned the N700m fraud case leveled against the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu over his ill health and the chairman People’s Democratic Party PDP to 14 July, 2020.
Isagie Ize-Iyamu, Tony Aziegbemi, and three others were to appear, Tuesday, July 07, 2020, before Justice M.G. Umar of the Federal High Court over charges bordering on a N700 million money laundering case filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Court had in its last sitting in Benin City, on Thursday, June 18, 2020 validated the corruption charges against the defendants, adjourning the case to July 07, 2020 for further hearing.
The three other defendants in the suit include former Edo Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Dan Orbih; former Deputy Governor, Lucky Imasuen, and Efe Anthony.
The anti-graft agency in Suit No. FHC/BE21C/ 2016 had filed eight count charges against the accused persons bordering on alleged illegal receipt of public funds to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general election.
The EFCC had earlier accused the defendants of conspiring among themselves to commit the offence in March, 2015, alleging that they took possession and control of the funds without any contract award.
At the hearing of the case today, Counsel to the 1st defendant (Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu), Charles Edosomwan, SAN, told the Judge that his client, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu could not make it to the court as he was currently indisposed.
He prayed the judge to allow him present the certificate of his ill health as certified by his medical doctor to the court.
The presiding judge, Justice Garba, having listened to the Counsel to the 1st defendant, however adjourned the case to July 14, 2020 for hearing.
It would be recalled that the five accused had allegedly committed the crime prior to the 2015 presidential election when they were all in the PDP.