The N1.2 billion fraud trial of a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu, was on Monday stalled because Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos was not available.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Prof. Iwu is facing a three-count charge of fraud and money laundering brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He was first arraigned on August 8 before Justice Chuka Obiozor, also of the Federal High Court in Lagos, who granted him bail in the sum of N1 billion.
The former INEC chairman pleaded not guilty before the judge
Following the transfer of the case to Mr Oweibo, the Mr Iwu was re-arraigned by the anti-graft commission on October 24.
He also pleaded not guilty.
Mr Oweibo adjourned until November 29 for the commencement of trial.
Due to the absence of the judge on Monday, the case was again adjourned until February 27, 2020.
According to Rotimi Oyedepo, the lead counsel to EFCC, Mr Iwu, committed the alleged offences from December 2014 to March 27, 2015.
“The defendant aided the concealment of N1.23 billion in the account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Ltd. with number 1018603119, domiciled in the United Bank for Africa.
“He ought to have reasonably known that the N1.23 billion formed part of the proceeds of fraud,” Mr Oyedepo said.
NAN reports that the alleged offences contravene Sections 15(2) and 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, and is punishable under Section 15(3) of the Act.