Alleged $6bn fraud: Court Dismisses Agunloye’s Motion Against Prosecution by EFCC

Justice Jude Onwueguzie of the Federal High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja on Monday, April 15, 2024, dismissed a motion raised by former Minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye challenging the powers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to prosecute him.

Agunloye is facing trial for an alleged fraudulent award of contract of the Mambilla project to the tune of $6billion (Six Billion United States Dollars)

At the last adjournment, the former minister, through his lawyer, Adeola Adedipe SAN filed a motion arguing that the EFCC lacked both investigative and prosecutorial powers to prosecute him on the charges preferred against him.

He also made a solemn application to the court to allow the participation of Amicus Curiae, also known as friends of the court during the hearing of the preliminary motion, suggesting notably, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA.

At Monday’s’ sitting, Justice Onwueguzie ruled that the basis for the application was not necessary as the court was not a novice and the friends of the court were not parties in the matter. He also said that the law was clear on matters to be prosecuted by the EFCC, citing Section 177 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“I have studied the issues to be considered in this matter by the defendant whether the motion ought to be charged by the EFCC. It is eminent to note that the learned counsels in this case before the court are seasoned counsels, issues of such should not arise.

The court is not a novice, neither is it confused or in doubt on matters like this, so the intervention of friends of the court is not needed. Therefore the motion is hereby dismissed”, he said.

After dismissing the motion, Justice Onwueguzie adjourned the matter to April 22, 2024 for hearing of preliminary motion.

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