A civil society group, Forum for Progressive Governance and Accountability, has sent its get-well-soon message to Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Edo State, after testing positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19), few days ago.
Secretary of the group, Ohunyon Festus Egbenososa, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, the state capital, said “our prayers and kind wishes became necessary to enable Ize-Iyamu recover quickly and face his N700 million fraud trial in court.”
The group “commended the structures put in place by Governor Godwin Obaseki to check the spread of the disease and urged residents in the state to take advantage of the numerous testing centres spread across the state to ascertain their status.”
Egbenososa noted: “Pastor Ize-Iyamu needs to be in court this week to fast-track his trial which has suffered adjournments due to his absence in court. His lawyers broke news of his ill-health at the last court hearing, though didn’t disclose the illness.
“But now that we know he contracted COVID-19, we are with him in prayers to get well soon so that he can clear his name and go into the election without any blemishes,” the group added.
Ize-Iyamu is billed to appear in Court on July 14, for the continuation of the hearing of the alleged N700m money laundering case preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A Federal High Court in Benin City, had on Tuesday, July 2, adjourned the matter to July 14 due to the absence of Ize-Iyamu, who was said to be indisposed.
The trial had been delayed due to Ize-Iyamu’s absence, even as the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Garba, had earlier validated the charges against him.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is the first defendant in the suit No. FHC/BE21C/ 2016 filed by the EFCC, who accused the defendants of conspiring among themselves to commit the offence in March 2015, alleging that they took possession and control of the funds without any contract award.