Posted by By ADESINA AIYEKOTI on
Former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alameiyeseigha was Tuesday docked at a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos. A 40-count charge bordering on money laundering was slammed on him.
Former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alameiyeseigha was Tuesday docked at a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos.
A 40-count charge bordering on money laundering was slammed on him.
Though, the charges were not read to the one-time governor, among the allegations preferred against him in the charges dated December 19, 2005, was that himself and a company, Solomon & Peters Ltd between October 1999 and December 2003, converted 241 million pounds ( N60.7 billion) from Lagos to London to buy the properties at a Flt 202 Jubilee Heights, Shoot Uphill London NW23 UQ.
Seven other companies that are to be tried along with Alamieyeseigha, as per the charges filed include Solomon & Peters Ltd, Santolina Investment Corporation, Pesol Nigeria Ltd, Salomein and Associates (Nig) Ltd, Kpedefa Nigeria Ltd, Jetty Properties Ltd and Herbage Global Services Ltd.
Chief Alamieyeseigha and Herbage Global Services Ltd, were also alleged to have between January 2005 and September 2005, in the Lagos judicial division of the Federal High Court, converted the sum of N1.5 billion to buy the property known as Chelsea Hotel Abuja.
However, attempts by the prosecution led by Mr Rotimi Jacobs to read the 40 charges to the former governor, spotting a long sleeve shirt, on top of brown trousers and a pair of slippers were halted by the lead defence counsel, Professor A.B. Kasumu (SAN).
Professor Kasumu, leading Chief Mike Ozekhome and Mike Okoye had objected to the reading of the charges on the ground that his client was only served with the copies of the charge at about 8.45p.m on Monday.
“I have to read it in order to advise the accused on how to plead to the charges,” he submitted.
Kasumu further said that it was not proper to ask one out of eight accused persons to answer to a plea on a joint charge.
Adjourning the matter till Wednesday, the trial judge, Justice Muhammad Shuaib, ordered that Alamieyeseigha should be kept in the custody of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), adding that he should be given access to his lawyers.
Alamieyeseigha who looked sober, was brought to court in a tinted glass green Peugeot bus marked Lagos HD 421 AAA amidst tight security.
Sharing jokes with photo journalists struggling to take his picture, the former Chief Executive said: “Are you people not tired of my photograph? It would not sell your papers again.”
The former governor of Bayelsa State was arrested in London on September 15, and arraigned before the British court on money laundering charges, but later jumped the bail granted him and returned to Nigeria.
He was impeached December 9, by the State House of Assembly, which found him guilty on all the charges preferred against him.
Immediately, after his impeachment, he was arrested by a police team led by the newly deployed Commissioner Mr Hafiz Ringim.
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