By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin City, South South, Nigeria
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed charges against former Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Lucky Imasuen, Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, the party governorship candidate in 2016, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and four others for allegedly laundering the sum of #700 million.
The accused persons and Chief Tony Anenih (now at large), according to the anti-graft agency in Charge No: FHC/B/51c/2018 conspired among themselves to commit the offence sometime in March, 2015.
In the charge sheet dated May 2nd, 2018 and endorsed by counsel to the EFCC, Aso Larrys Peters and three others, the commission alleged that the defendants directly took possession and control of the sum of #700 million without any contract award.
The defendants’ arraignment before Justice P.I Ajoku of a Benin Federal High Court yesterday was stalled due to the absence of two of the accused persons (Ize-Iyamu and Dan Orbih) in court.
The agency stated that the defendants reasonably ought to have known that the money form part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: fraud and corruption; and “thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act 2011 as amended”.
The charges further read: “that you Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Lucky Imasuen, tony Azigbemi, Chief Dan Orbih, Efe Erimuoghae Anthony and Chief tony Anenih (now at large) did accept cash payment of the sum of #700 million from Chika Kenneth without going through a financial institution; and thereby committed an offence contrary to section(1)(a) of the money laundering prohibition act 2011.