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Published On: Fri, Jan 17th, 2020

N3.6bn Fraud: Judge’s Absence Stalls Trial Of Ex NDDC Boss, Tuoyo Omatsuli


LAGOS JANUARY 17TH (URHOBOTODAY)-A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday further adjourned the trial of a former Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Tuoyo Omatsuli, and others charged with N3.6 billion fraud
Omatsuli is charged alongside Don Parker Properties Ltd., Francis Momoh and Building Associates Ltd., as second, third and fourth defendants, respectively.

They were arraigned on a 45-count bordering on corruption, gratification, fraud and money laundering.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail of N100 million each with two sureties each in like sum.
The trial has since commenced in the suit with the prosecution calling 10 witnesses already.
The suit which was scheduled for the continuation of trial on Friday was stalled following the absence of the trial judge, Justice Saliu Saidu, who was said to be away for a conference.
The case has now been fixed for Jan. 31 for the continuation of trial.
According to the charge sheet, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences between August 2014 and September 2015.
The first defendant was said to have procured the third and fourth defendant (Momoh and Building Associates) to use the N3.6 billion paid by Starline Consultancy Services into an account operated by the fourth accused.
The prosecution said that they ought to have known that the said sums formed part of the proceeds of their unlawful activities which included corruption and gratification.
It said the offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15(1), 15(2), 15(3) and 18 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended by Act No 1 of 2012.

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