A Federal High sitting in Ikoyi has heard legal arguments on the no- case submission filed by the son-in-law of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who is standing trial on money laundering and conspiracy charges.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke adjourned proceedings on Monday, after Abdullahi Babalele’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and the prosecution’s counsel, Usman Buhari adopted their respective final addresses.
The defendant was re-arraigned on October 8, 2019 on a two-count charge bordering on laundering $140,000.00, which he pleaded not guilty to.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Abdullahi Babalele, on or about the 20th day of February, 2019 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, procured Basir Mohammed to make a cash payment of the sum of $140,000.00 (One Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars) without going through a financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by the Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(C) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”
The prosecution called two witnesses and closed it case on November 25, 2020, with several documents tendered and admitted in evidence by the court.
Counsel to the defendant then filed a No-Case submission urging the court to uphold that the defendant “has no case to answer at all, to be called upon to enter any defence in the case.
According to the Senior advocate of Nigeria, the prosecution had not lent any credible evidence in support of the counts in the charge preferred against his client.
He, therefore, prayed the court to discharge Mr Babalele as prayed.
But, the prosecution counsel urged the court to dismiss the defendant’s no-case submission.
Mr Buhari submitted that the prosecution had been able to link the defendant to the offence and, that he therefore, “has a case to answer.”
Justice Aneke, after hearing both parties, adjourned till December 21, 2020 for his ruling.