Cubana Chief Priest is officially free as court ends his naira abuse case

The defendant was said to have tampered with the funds in the denomination of ₦500, while dancing at the social event.

Cubana Chief Priest's Naira abuse charge struck out after settlement terms [Daily Post Nigeria]

Justice Kehinde Ogundare struck out the charge following the adoption of terms of settlement between parties to the suit.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on April 17, arraigned Okechukwu on a three-count charge of allegedly spraying and tampering with the naira notes during a social event at Eko Hotel in Lagos. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail for ₦10 million.

At the last adjourned date on May 2, the defence counsel, Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN), informed the court that the parties were exploring settlement and had applied that the matter be settled under the provisions of section 14(2) of the EFCC Act.

Following the position, he applied for a withdrawal of a preliminary objection filed by the defence, and since there was no objection from the prosecution, the court granted the same. The court, consequently, adjourned the case until June 5, for a report of settlement.

On June 5, the case could not go on following the absence of the defence counsel who had reportedly written to the court praying for an adjournment. The court had adjourned the case until June 25, for a report of settlement. When the case was called on Tuesday, Bilikisu Buhari appeared for the prosecution, while Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN), appeared for the defence.

Bilikisu informed the court that the prosecution had filed the terms of settlement dated June 24 and adopted the same. In response, the defence counsel said he agreed with what the prosecutor said and equally adopted the same.

He thanked the court for its indulgence adding that part of the obligations contained in the said terms had been performed. He urged the court to make the consequential orders of dismissing the case.

In a short ruling, the court held, “Upon the agreement of the prosecution and defence pursuant to the EFCC Establishment Act, the agreement having been presented to the court, this charge is hereby struck out as the defendant is hereby cautioned.”

Meanwhile, a copy of the terms of settlement which was obtained by newsmen in court provided as follows, “The agreement applies only to the findings relating to the contravention of the law contained in the pending charge preferred against the defendant.

“The defendant shall enter into a bond with the EFCC to be of good behaviour and never indulge in any economic and financial crime or related offences.

“The defendant shall engage in rigorous and intensive sensitisation and/or campaign against the abuse of coins and notes issued under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act as legal tender.

“The defendant shall bi-monthly post on his various social media handles a minimum of two video clips of his sensitisation/campaign against abuse of naira and sundry offences.

“The defendant shall pay to the consolidated revenue fund of Federation such sum not below the sum of ₦10 million only upon the execution of this agreement,” he added.

In the charge, the defendant was said to have tampered with the funds in the denomination of ₦500, while dancing at the social event in Eko Hotel. The offence contravenes the provisions of section 21(1) of the CBN Act of 2007.

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