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Emefiele challenges court’s jurisdiction over alleged abuse of office

The suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele on Monday challenged the jurisdiction of an Ikeja Special Offences Court to hear the alleged abuse of office and multi billion dollars fraud levelled against him.

 

Mr Olalekan Ojo, SAN, who led other counsel, appeared for Emefiele while Mr Kazeem Gbadamosi, SAN, appeared for the former CBN governor co-defendant, Henry Isioma-Omoil.

Ojo in his motion on notice dated April 24 argued that the court lacked the constitutional jurisprudence to hear the charge against Emefiele.

He said: “there is need to consider jurisdictional objection before allowing this case.

“This defendant ought not to be arraigned before this court on constitutional grounds.

“We are saying that charges against the first defendant is unconstitutional.

“I urge your lordship to toe the part of legality and constitutionality to determine this application.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel led by Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, however, urged the court to dismiss the application of the first defendant counsel, as it was a course to delay justice.

Oyedepo said that the approach was intended to take up from where the prosecution was coming from.

According to him, a collective resolution as a nation is to prevent undue delay in criminal matters.

“Your lordship, trial has commenced and witnesses have been assembled in court today to give evidence.

“The application of the first defendant is unconstitutional as this is a means to draw us backward.

“I humbly urge the court to discountenance the submission of defence on jurisdiction and allow the trial to continue,” Oyedepo said.

Justice Rahman Oshodi, rejected Emefiele’s request to discontinue hearing.

Oshodi deferred ruling on the preliminary objection to final judgment stage.

According to the judge, when the embattled former CBN governor was a arraigned on April 8, the prosecution informed the court of an accelerated hearing in which the defense did not object.

The court however, ordered the prosecution to call its next witness.

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