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Alams weeps in court, pleads not guilty to fraud charges• Court dismisses his objection

Posted by By Adesina Aiyekoti on 2005/12/27 | Views: 980 |

Alams weeps in court, pleads not guilty to fraud charges• Court dismisses his objection


Unlike his first two appearances, former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alameiyesigha, Friday wept profusely in the dock, as he answered to a 41-count criminal charge of money laundering.

Unlike his first two appearances, former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alameiyesigha, Friday wept profusely in the dock, as he answered to a 41-count criminal charge of money laundering.

The accused, standing before the trial judge, Justice Muhammad Shuaib of the Federal High Court, Lagos for almost one hour, however, pleaded not guilty to each of the charges read to him by the Court Registrar.

Prior to this, Justice Shuaib, had dismissed the preliminary applications brought by the former Bayelsa Chief Executive and the seven other companies charged, contesting the jurisdiction of the court and the legality of the charges.

Throwing out the requests of Alamieyeseigha and his co-accused to stay proceedings on the case, Justice Shuaib held that the one-time chief executive of Bayelsa State had not made out a case for the court to rule in his favour.

Turning down the arguments convassed by the three defence counsel, Professor Alfred Kasumu (SAN) Chief Mike Ozekhome and Barrister Mike Okoye, the presiding judge declared that by provision of Section 33 (1) of the Federal High Court Rules, the prosecution needed not obtain leave of court before preferring charges against the accused persons.

Reviewing the submissions of counsel to the companies, that their clients had not been properly served with the charges, Justice Shuaib observed in his ruling that the essence of service of a charge or information was to give an accused the opportunity to appear for the trial.

He ruled that the defence has established nothing and that their claims were not based on any fact.
Seven other companies facing trial along with Alamieyeseigha include Solomon and Peters Ltd., Santolina Investment Corporation, Pesol Nigeria Ltd, Kpedefa Nigeria Ltd, Jetty Properties LTD and Herbage Global Services Ltd.

The prosecution had alleged among others that the former governor and a company, Solomon & Peters Ltd between October 1999 and December 2003, converted Ł241 million pounds (N60.7 billion) from Lagos to London to buy the properties at a Flat 202 Jubilee Heights, Shoot Uphill London WW 23 VQ.
Alameiyeseigha was also alleged to have converted the sum of N10.5 billion to buy the property known as Chelsea Hotel Abuja.

After the plea had been taken, lead-prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs urged the court to remand the accused in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
One of the defence lawyers, Mike Okoye also prevailed on the judge to make a pronouncement allowing the accused to have access to members of his family and his attorneys.

Meanwhile, trial had been tentatively fixed for January 24, 2006.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.