Breaking: You have a case to answer - Court tells Jonathan’s cousin over $40m fraud

The Federal High Court in Abuja ruled on Thursday, March 29, that a cousin to former president Goodluck Jonathan, Robert Azibaola, had a case to answer in respect of two charges involving $40m which he was accused of receiving fraudulently from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in 2014. 

The Punch reports that the presiding judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, ordered Azibaola and his company, One Plus Holdings Nigeria Limited, to enter their defence in respect of the two counts. We gathered that while ruling on the no-case submission filed by the defendants, Justice Dimgba, however, struck out the name of Azibaola’s wife, Stella, from the two charges. 

The court upheld the no-case submission in relation to counts 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. In striking out the seven counts, the court ruled that there was no sufficient evidence to warrant defendants to enter their defence against the seven counts. However, the court ruled that while the EFCC had led sufficient evidence linking Azibaola and the company to counts 2 and 3, it failed to connect the wife, Stella to the two charges.

 He said: “On the strength of the evidence adduced, I see no sufficient evidence linking the 2nd defendant (Stella) to counts 2 and 3. “I therefore accordingly discharge and acquit the 2nd defendant of counts 2 and 3. 

“I hold that there is sufficient prima facie case against the 1st and the 3rd defendants. “The no case-submission on these counts fails in relation to them and I therefore accordingly direct the 1st and 3rd defendants (Azibaola and One Plus to open their defence to counts 2 and 3.” 
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