N700m fraud: CSO cautions against undue interference as Ize-Iyamu appears in court July 2

The Foundation for Good Governance and Social Change (FGGSC) has cautioned against undue interference in the N700 million money laundering case preferred by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize, Iyamu, in the September 19 Edo State governorship election.

The Executive Director of FGGSC, Comrade Austin Osakwe, in a statement, said it was pertinent to make such a submission regarding the case as it’s bound to receive extra attention, especially as Ize-Iyamu has now been selected to fly the flag of the APC in the forthcoming governorship election in the state, which puts the case, due for hearing on July 2, 2020, on the spotlight.

Recall that the EFCC in the case with suit no. FHC/BE21C/ 2016 before Justice J. M. Umar at the Federal High Court, Benin-city, filed eight-count charges against Ize-Iyamu and four other accused persons bordering on alleged illegal receipt of public funds to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of conducting the 2015 general election, contrary to the provisions of the EFCC Act and the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

The EFCC further 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 awarded.

According to the group, “We are worried that some powers behind the scene may be working to influence the trial and sabotage the court proceeding. Hence, we are putting everybody on notice, and demand that there must not be undue interference. The law must run its course.”

Noting that persons tried over similar cases have been jailed, Osakwe said: “We are aware that some persons who were tried over similar cases of money laundering stemming from the 2015 election campaign sleaze popularly known as DasukiGate have been jailed, hence the need for this call.”

The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to keep a close watch on the case, noting that the judiciary must not be unduly harassed.

“The DasukiGate, up till today, remains one of the president’s landmark achievements in the fight against corruption. We demand justice and that those found wanting before the law must be made to face the consequences of their actions,” the group added.

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