Court fixes June 30 to rule on ex-Gov.'s no case submission

At the resumed hearing counsel to the defendant, Mr Awa Kalu (SAN), told the court that he had no case to answer and as such he had filed a no-case-submission.

Ikedi Ohakim

Ohakim was to open his defence on Monday, on a three- count charge of money laundering he allegedly committed while serving as governor between 2007 and 2011.

The charges hinged on the property he acquired but failed to declare in his assets declaration form.

At the resumed hearing counsel to the defendant, Mr Awa Kalu (SAN), told the court that he had no case to answer and as such he had filed a no-case-submission.

Kalu also told the court of Ohakim's willingness to withdraw the initial confessional statement he made as regards ownership of the property he acquired.

"When he was arrested, he was drilled for eight hours, these are some of the things that led to the alleged confession.

``There is nothing to show that his house where his documents were kept was not burnt and his documents were not destroyed.

"It will be injurious to ask the defendant to enter the witness box to explain the transaction that has no witnesses."

The counsel, therefore, prayed the court to ask the defendant to go home as he had no case to answer.

The prosecution counsel, Festus Keyamo, however, objected to the plea saying he had filed an application to that effect.

"On the issue of withdrawing the statements, those statements were made under caution. It cuts the grass under the feet off the defendant.

"If he was not free to make the statement, he would have said so, but he signed the statement that he made it free and without compulsion."

Kayamo added that Ohakim made efforts to conceal the origin of the property acquired by money laundering, by not being not straightforward in his statements.

"A man cannot forget how he acquired his house. I ask the court to take judicial notice of the fact that a man does not forget how he acquires his house. It shows effort to conceal the origin of the house.

"We want the court to invite the accused person to explain how he acquired the house. He should be made to enter his defence."

Justice Adeniyi Ademola reserved June 30 for ruling.

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