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Thursday, 3 November 2016

Mrs Jonathan’s $15m: Court Convicts 4 Firms, Reserves Sentences

Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday convicted four companies allegedly used by Waripamo-owei Emmanuel Dudafa, a former Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan to siphon 15 million US dollars.

Delivering judgment after reviewing of the charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC prosecuting the case, Justice Babs Keuwunmi pronounced all the four companies guilty as charged. 

Justice Kuewumi however declined to pronounce sentence on them, saying that their sentence will be determined at the conclusion of trial of other accused persons in the matter. 
He said; “In view of the facts stated by the prosecutor, and based on the evidence tendered and based on the agreement of the companies’ directors. The prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. 
“The companies are found guilty in count 2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9. In order not to prejudice the case of first, second and third defendants, sentencing them is hereby reserved pending the end of the trial of the first, second and third defendants,” he held.
The companies convicted are: Pluto Property and Investment Development Company Limited, Seagate Property and Investment Development Company Limited, Transoceanic Property and Investment Development Company Limited, and Avalon Property and Investment Development Company Limited. 
The purported companies’ directors, who pleaded guilty on behalf of the companies and agreed with facts reviewed by the prosecutor are: Friday Davis: Agbo Baro; Kola Fredrick; and Taiwo Ebenezer and China John. The four companies were charged alongside a former Special Assistant to President Jonathan, Waripamo-owei Dudafa, a lawyer, Amajuoyi Azubike Briggs, and Adedamola Bolodeoku, a senior Staff of Skye Bank Plc, on alleged $15.591, 700 million USD, which the former Nigeria’s first lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, is laying claiming to. 

However, lawyers representing other accused persons, Gboyega Oyewole, Ige Asemudara and Joseph Okobieme, urged the court to allow their clients to go through the documents sought to be tendered by the prosecutor, saying that they were all charged on the offence of conspiracy, which is the count one of the charge. 

The lawyers stated that admitting of the documents, will have negative impact on their clients. 

Upon the submission made by the lawyers, the prosecutor pleaded with the court to espunge the name of Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku from count one. Consequently, the court admitted the documents sought to be tendered by the prosecutor. 

Upon the admissibility of the documents, the prosecutor urged the court to pronounce the four companies as guilty as charged by the anti-graft agency. 

The matter has been adjourned till December 16, for continuation of trial of the three other accused persons

Source; Vanguard 

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