The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that Chief Tony Anenih was not charged along side Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and four others for alleged laundering of N700m
The commission said it only charged five persons and that the name of Chief Anenih only appeared to enable it present the facts the way it is.
Counsel to the EFCC, Aso Larry, said this why adopting his written address on motion filed by the defendants that the charges against them were no longer competent since Chief Anenih is dead.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu, Mr. Lucky Imasuen, Tony Azigbemi, Efe Erimuoghae Anthony and Chief Dan Orbih were arraigned on an eight-count charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering to the tune of N700 million.
The Commission said the offence contravened section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended which is punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.
The EFCC alleged that the defendants were arraigned for receiving N700 Million prior to the 2015 general elections, from former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.
READ ALSO: The Crowning Of Shekau
Ize-Iyamu and four others are, however, challenging the competence of the charges preferred against them by the EFCC.
At the resumed hearing, Larry said the defendants were alive to face trial, noting that the argument was a ploy to delay taking of plea by the defendants.
According to him, it was not the defendants that should state the way and manner they should be charged, noting that it was not possible to amend the charges because Chief Anenih is no more.
“We have a right to fair hearing. The proof of evidence is before your Lordship. Chief Anenih is not charged. His name appearing does not affect them taking plea. Our duty is to present the fact the way it is”.
Earlier, Counsel to the defendants while adopting written addresses urged the court to dismiss the EFCC’s reply based on incompetence.
READ ALSO: Naira Marley Tackles EFCC Over Phone Content
Kingsley Obamogie, Counsel to the first defendant, urged the court to strike out the charge because the EFCC filed its reply out of time and that there was no reply from the EFCC as it was not signed.
He said it was the height of incongruity for a Counsel to affix his stamp and another Counsel will sign it.
On his part, Counsel to the 4th defendant, Ferdinand Orbih, urged the court to strike out the charge for gross incompetence.
He said the prosecution ought to have amended the charge to remove all irrelevant content as the court was not set up to deal with frivolities.
According to him, there was no dispute to the fact that Chief Anenih was dead.
READ ALSO: Breaking: Veteran Yorubas Actor Is Dead
The Presiding Judge, Justice Mohammed Umar, however, adjourned to March 26, for ruling on whether the trial will continue.