Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the federal high Court in Lagos, has dismissed the preliminary objection of Akwa Ibom state governor, Emmanuel Udom, seeking to stop the money laundering trial of the president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro.
Governor Udom had argued through his counsel, Charles Mekwunye, that the 1.4 billion naira charge against Mr Usoro has no basis in law.
His name was mentioned in some counts in the charge sheet, as having allegedly ordered the payment of billions of naira from the Akwa Ibom state account to the accused, which Mr Usoro insists were professional fees.
But, Justice Aikawa ruled that the mere mention of Governor Udom’s name in the said counts doesn’t make him a party or defendant in the case.
According to the judge, Governor Udom is crying wolf where there is none in saying he would be denied fair hearing during the trial, as he can’t be tried in view of his constitutional immunity.
The judge also disagreed with the governor’s argument that the EFCC cannot investigate money belonging to a state government.
The Case continues on July 3.