Court dismisses N1.4b corruption charge against ex-NBA President Paul Usoro

After years of prosecution that nearly mar the tenure of the immediate past President of Nigerian Bar Association Paul Usoro (SAN),the Federal High Court on Friday discharged and acquitted him of the 10 count charge preferred against him.

A Federal High Court has dismissed the N1.4billion money laundering charge brought against a former President of the Nigeria Bar Association NBA,  Mr Paul Usoro (SAN) by the Federal Government. 

Justice Rilwan Aikawa in a ruling on Friday in Lagos, upheld the defendant’s no-case submission and proceeded to discharge and acquit Usoro on all the 10 counts contained in charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Aikawa held that the prosecution established none of the ingredients of the offences charged. 

The  EFCC accused the former NBA President of laundering N1.4b paid to his law firm by Akwa Ibom State Government for series of legal services rendered to the state 

At trial, the prosecution called two witnesses and tendered 24 exhibits in support of its case of money laundering and criminal breach of trust. 

When the prosecution closed its case on February 18. 2021 Usoro, through his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) opted for a no-case submission, arguing  that the prosecution failed to establish a. prima facie case against the defendant to warrant him being called upon to enter a defence.

Justice Aikawa, in his ruling on Friday, upheld the defendant’s argument that the alleged offences are not known to law in existence in Lagos and Akwa-Ibom states.

The judge proceeded to strike down all the counts as contained in the charge.In all, Justice Aikawa held that the EFCC failed to establish its case against the defendant as required by law. 

He dismissed that charge and proceeded to discharge and acquit the defendant.