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You canít try me, Alamieyeseigha tells court

Posted by By ADESINA AIYEKOTI on 2005/12/22 | Views: 1013 |

You canít try me, Alamieyeseigha tells court


Former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha Wednesday raised a preliminary objection to the criminal charges of money laundering brought against him, contesting the jurisdiction of the court.

Former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha Wednesday raised a preliminary objection to the criminal charges of money laundering brought against him, contesting the jurisdiction of the court.


Alamieyeseigha prayed the trial judge, Justice Muhammed Shuaib, to hands off the matter pending the hearing and determination of two civil suits he had filed challenging the constitutionality of his arrest, detention and impeachment by the state House of Assembly.


The former governor was Tuesday, docked at the Federal High Court, Lagos, following the filing of a 40-count charge of money laundering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


He was docked alongside seven other companies, namely Solomon & Peters Limited, Santolina Investment Corporation, Pesol Nigeria Limited, Solomein and Associates (Nigeria) Limited, Kpedefa Nigeria Limited, Jetty Properties Limited and Herbage Global Services Limited.


The former governor was alleged, among others, to have, with one of the companies (Solomon and Peters Limited) between October 1999 and December 2003, converted the sum of 241 million pounds (N60.7 billion) from Lagos to London to buy property at Flat 202, Jubilee Heights, Shoot Uphill London, NW23VICE.


Speaking through his counsel, Professor Alfred Kasumu (SAN), Alamieyeseigha said it was wrong for the Federal High Court to adjudicate on the information filed against him by the EFCC, while his matter was pending in other courts.
He was of the view that a criminal action and a civil suit relating to a particular matter could not go on simultaneously.


He said the charges brought by the EFCC were not in strict compliance with the Criminal Procedure Act and the Federal High Court Act.


On the charges levelled against the seven companies, the two counsels representing the accused companies, Chief Mike Ozekhome and Mike Okoye, told the court that the companies were not properly brought before the court.


According to the lawyers, "At this stage, the companies cannot be called upon to take their plea because they have not been served with the charges," adding that in law, the former governor cannot receive documents on behalf of the companies.


Countering the arguments canvassed by the defence, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, lead prosecuting counsel, urged the court to dismiss the submissions, saying that all the documents presented by the defence are useless that it does not require any counter affidavit as requested by the defence team."


Apparently referring to Alamieyeseigha, he said anyone alleged to be in control of the company can be served with the charges.
Ruling is expected to be delivered Friday.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.