Prof Maurice Iwu
The scheduled N1.23bn fraud trial of a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Maurice Iwu, was stalled on Monday as the trial judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, did not sit.
Iwu is facing three counts bordering on fraud and money laundering before the Federal High Court in Lagos State.
He was first arraigned on August 8 before Justice Chuka Obiozor, who granted bail in the sum of N1bn.
Following the transfer of the case to Justice Oweibo, Iwu was re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on October 24.
The ex-INEC helmsman had pleaded not guilty and Justice Oweibo adjourned till Monday for a trial to commence.
In the absence of the judge on Monday, the case was further adjourned till February 27, 2020.
In the charges against him, the EFCC alleged that between December 2014 and March 27, 2015, Iwu “aided the concealment of N1.23bn in the account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited with number 1018603119, domiciled in the United Bank for Africa.”
It said he “ought to have reasonably known that the N1.23bn formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: fraud.”
The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the ex-INEC chairman acted contrary to sections 18(a) and 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering ((Prohibition) Act 2011 and was liable to be punished under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
But Iwu pleaded not guilty.