With the request to transfer a N700 million money laundering suit filed again of the All Progressive Congress (APC) governorship candidate Pastor Osazie Ize-Iyamu from Benin jurisdiction to Abuja, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council for the Edo Governorship Election on on Thursday, July 16, expressed their rejection of the move saying that it violates the courts circular of the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu was sued for allegedly laudering N700 million meant to prosecute the 2015 general election. Also sued along with him are: the former Edo State PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih; incumbent Chairman of the state PDP, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi; former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Lucky Imasuen, and one Efe Anthony.
This is coming ahead of the September 19 gubernatorial polls were Pastor Ize-yamu is challenging the incumbent governor and other candidates to the seat of power in the state. It will be recalled that while the charges in the suit were validated by the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Garba, the defendants’ counsel had earlier filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit.
On Wednesday, July 15, the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ahmed Imoovba, pleaded with the court for an extension of time to file a reply to the objection and reports has it that the counsel was granted. He was expected to reply in 7 days.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Thursday, July 16, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP National Campaign Council, Raymond Dokpesi, expressed shock over the sudden demand by the candidate of the APC to transfer the case from Benin jurisdiction to Abuja.
Speaking to reporters Mr. Dokpesi gave reasons for the rejection of the request of case transfer. He said “The request by the APC violates the circular of the chief judge of the Federal High Court dated August 6, 2018 and June 24, 2020, which cautioned against entertaining matters of the cause of action arose from outside judicial divisions.
“On this particular matter, our party could have sued in Abuja jurisdiction, but for the policy direction of the chief judge of hearing matters only within jurisdictions.
In view of the above, Dokpesi said the petition of the APC therefore, contradicts the policy directive of the chief judge of the Federal High Court and as such the PDP expects the court to ignore the request.
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