Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu
By Mark Erabor
The All Progressive Congress (APC), candidate in the Edo state governorship election scheduled to hold on September 19th Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu appeared in court on Tuesday for a case brought against him and four others by the Economic And Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
The Federal High Court in Benin has adjourned till October 15th the N700 million money laundering suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the accused.
The four other defendants in the suit are former Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Dan Orbih, state PDP chairman Tony Aziegbemi, former Deputy Governor Lucky Imasuen, and Efe Anthony.
The court had on Thursday, June 18, validated the corruption charges against the defendants.
The case had earlier suffered setback on Monday, July 7 following the inability of the 1st defendant (Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu) to appear in court because of his ill health.
However, as early as 9:30am on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has taken his seat at the court waiting for the presiding judge to arrive.
The defendants Counsel had earlier filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit.
But on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, the EFCC Prosecution Counsel, Ahmed Imoovba, pleaded with the court by way of motion to seek an extension of time to file their reply to the objection.
The presiding judge, Justice Umar Garba having listened careful to the various counsels, he asked them to file whatever the have to file within seven days as the court will soon embark on vacation.
Justice Umar however adjourned the case to October 15, 2020 for further hearings.
Earlier, tthe EFCC, an anti-graft agency in Suit No. FHC/BE21C/ 2016 had filed an eight-count charge against the accused person on alleged illegal receipt of public funds to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general election.
The EFCC further 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 a corresponding contract award.