© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Court Convicts Michael Igbinedion For Money Laundering
By Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin
A federal high court sitting in Benin on Wednesday convicted Michael Igbinedion, the younger brother of former Edo State governor, Lucky Igbinedion, over a N25bn money laundering charge.
Others convicted in the 81-count charge of money laundering are Patrick Eboigbodin, a former accountant-general and four companies – Gava Corporation Limited, Romrig Nigeria Limited, PMI Securities Company Limited and PML (Nigeria) Limited.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, which brought the charges against them said the crimes were committed during the tenure of Lucky Igbinedion.
Lucky igbinedion ruled the state between 1999 and 2007.
Presiding Judge, A. M. Lima in his ruling which lasted over three hours convicted the younger Igbinedion on counts 79, 80 and 81 which bordered on illegal collection of cash payments above N500, 000.
Eboiggodin and PML (Nigeria) Limited were convicted on counts, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58 and 58 which bordered on collaboration to conceal origin of illegal funds amounting to millions of naira which was paid into their private accounts.
The judge, who said the prosecution proved the alleged collaboration beyond reasonable doubt, however, acquitted all the accused person on other charges because the prosecution failed to prove the allegations.
He noted that the prosecution’s allegation was only based on suspicion and had failed to prove the origin of funds deposited in some banks.
The court has however reserved the sentences till Thursday, April 30.