The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is due to appear in court tomorrow, July 7, 2020 to stand trial for an eight-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N700 million meant to prosecute the 2015 general election, in a case preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Ize-Iyamu is being tried along with four others before Honourable Justice J. M. Umar at the Federal High Court in Benin-city.
The EFCC, in Suit No. FHC/BE21C/ 2016, said Ize-Iyamu and four others allegedly received public funds illegally to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general election, contrary to the provisions of the EFCC Act and the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
The Court had on June 18, 2020 validated the corruption charges against the defendants and adjourned the case to Thursday, July, 02, 2020, for further hearing, but the trial was stalled last Thursday due to the absence of the trial judge. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu was also reported absent in Court.
Counsel to the 3rd defendant, Pascal Ugbome, had told journalists in Benin City, that parties in the suit picked, July 07, 2020 as the date for hearing.
Speaking last Thursday, Ugbome explained: “It is a normal occurrence in court activities. It is nothing unusual and nothing unnatural for the court to adjourn the matter. The court has said that their hands are full, and so they have to reschedule the matter according to their convenience.”
Other defendants in the suit include former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Lucky Imasuen; Efe Erimuoghae Anthony and two others.