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Naira abuse: Court adjourns Cubana chief priest’s trial to June 25

A FEDERAL High Court sitting in Lagos State has again adjourned a case against a celebrity bartender and socialite, Pascal Okechukwu, also known as Cubana Chief Priest, for alleged abuse of the naira.

Okechukwu was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on April 17, on a three-count charge of allegedly spraying and tampering with the naira notes during a social event at Eko Hotel in Lagos.

He was also alleged to have sprayed the naira on February 13, 2024, at the hotel.

He was accused of tampering with funds in the denomination of N500 notes issued by the CBN by spraying the same for two hours.

After pleading not guilty, the judge, Kehinde Ogundare, the presiding judge, granted him ₦10 million bail with two sureties in like sum who must be gainfully employed with the federal or state government and not less than grade level 16.

The sureties are to have landed property, and the court must verify the lands’ documents.

His arraignment followed his initial detainment on Tuesday, April 16, by the anti-graft commission for the same offence.

The case against him was filed on April 4 by Rotimi Oyedepo, a senior advocate, and seven other lawyers representing the EFCC chairman.

On May 2, Chikaosolu Ojukwu, a senior advocate, and the defence counsel, informed the court during a hearing, that the parties were exploring out-of-court settlement and had applied that the matter be settled pursuant to the provisions of section 14(2) of the EFCC Act.

Chikaosolu also said that if the EFCC confirmed the position as true, then there would be a need to apply for a withdrawal of the defence’s preliminary objection to allow for reconciliation.




     

     

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    The EFCC prosecutor,  Bilikisu Buhari, confirmed the position as stated by the defence counsel and told the court that the commission was still considering the application.

    Following this confirmation, the defence counsel then applied for a withdrawal of the preliminary objection, and with no objections from the prosecution, the court granted the same.

    However, on Wednesday, June 5, Punch newspaper quoted the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as saying the defence wrote a letter seeking an adjournment of the case.

    The case has now been fixed for June 25 for further hearing.

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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