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Alleged $6bn Fraud: Ex-Minister Agunloye Loses Bid To Stop Prosecution

Posted by Samuel on Thu 16th May, 2024 - tori.ng

Agunloye is facing prosecution by the EFCC on a seven-count charge bordering on alleged $6 billion fraud involving the Mambilla Power Project.

Olu Agunloye

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Apo has dismissed a preliminary objection brought by former Minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye, challenging the authority of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute him.

This was made known in a post by the EFCC on its official X handle on Thursday.

Agunloye is facing prosecution by the EFCC on a seven-count charge bordering on alleged $6 billion fraud involving the Mambilla Power Project.

Agunloye had through his counsel, Adeola Adedipe (SAN) filed a motion challenging the powers of the EFCC to investigate and prosecute him as well as that of the jurisdiction of the court to try him.

In response, prosecution counsel Abba Muhammed filed a counter affidavit, dismissing Agunloye’s motion as incompetent and offensive to the provisions of Section 115(2) of the Evidence Act.

In a ruling on Wednesday, Justice Jude Onwuegbuzie struck out Agunloye’s motion for lack of merit and held that sections 6 and 7 of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004, gave the Commission investigative and prosecutorial powers to cause investigation into any act of economic and financial crimes.

Regarding the legitimacy of the prosecution fiat the Commission obtained from the Office of the Auditor-General rather than that of the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, the judge held that any other state, authority or person was eligible to institute criminal prosecution in the absence of the AGF.

“Even if the charge has no seal of the Attorney-General of the Federation, that does not stop the potency of the charge, as the Attorney-General may decide on any member of his department he wishes to delegate his powers to carry out his duties by law,”
he said.

He adjourned the matter till May 30, 2024, for continuation of trial.



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