Alleged N700m Fraud: Court to decide Edo APC Guber candidate, Ize-Iyamu's fate today

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming 19 Edo election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, will know his fate today when he appears at the Federal High Court, Benin City.

Standard News reports that Ize-Iaymu is being arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an eight-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N700 million reportedly deployed to prosecute the 2015 general elections.

The former Secretary to the Edo Government is standing trial alongside four others before Justice J. M. Umar, who is the presiding judge.

The other four defendants are Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governor of Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih, PDP chairman in Edo State; Tony Aziegbemi, and Efe Erimuoghae.

The anti-graft agency, in the suit marked FHC/BE21C/ 2016, said the gubernatorial candidate and the other accused allegedly collected the public funds for the polls, contrary to the provisions of the EFCC Act and the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu and other defendants were first arraigned before Justice P. I. Ajoku on an eight-count charge bordering on money laundering on May 24, 2018.

The defendants were alleged to have some time, in March 2015, in Benin City directly taken possession of the sum of Seven Hundred Million ( N700, 000,000) without any contract award which sum was allegedly part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: fraud and corruption.

One of the counts read: That you Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Lucky Imasuen, Tony Azigbemi, Chief Dan Orbih, Efe Erimuoghae Anthony and Chief Anthony Anenih (now at large) sometime March 2015 in Benin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did directly take possession and control of the sum of 700,000,000.00 (seven hundred million naira) only without any contract award which sum you reasonably ought to have known 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 by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3)of the same Act.

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