By Osas Okonubo
Benin_______The Federal High Court sitting in Benin, the capital city of Edo state has ruled that it has jurisdiction to entertain the money laundering charge brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the Peoples Democratic Candidate (PDP) governorship candidate in the 2016 governorship election in the state, and four others.
Ize-Iyamu and the other defendants; a former deputy governor of Edo State, Lucky Imasuen, former PDP chairman, Chief Dan Orbih; Tony Aziegbemi and Efe Erimuoghae were allegedly said to have involved sometime in March 2015 in Benin City directly taken possession of the sum of ₦700,000,000 without any contract awarded to them, which sum was allegedly part of proceeds of an unlawful act.
Meanwhile, the accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them by EFCC.
However, the counsel to the first defendant, Charles Edosomwan, SAN, had challenged the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the matter arguing that the appropriate Court to try the matter was the Magistrate or High Court of the state.
Justice Mohammed Garba Umar in his ruling however said the matter before the Court was money laundering which the Federal High Court has exclusive right over and therefore dismissed their application. The case was adjourned to 18th May, 2021 for further hearing.