Abuja - The Court of Appeal in Benin City has ruled that former Governor of Edo State, Lucky Igbinedion, must return to the Federal High Court.
The panel of three justices led by Justice Helen Ogunwunmiju reached the unanimous decision.
The EFCC approached the Court of Appeal sequel to the judgment of Justice Adamu Hobon, then of the Federal High Court, Benin City who dismissed the fresh charge of money laundering filed against the former governor on the ground that Igbinedion entered a plea bargain with the EFCC and was convicted, that the fresh charge brought against him amounts to double jeopardy.
The appellate court in upholding the appeal of the EFCC ruled that there was no agreement between Igbinedion and the EFCC that he would not face trial on fresh allegations and revelations and therefore ruled that Igbinedion returns to the High Court to face trial for money laundering and misappropriation of funds.
The EFCC had in February 2011 charged the former governor and six others before a Federal High Court sitting in Benin, on a 66-count charge.
Others charged along with the former governor are his brother, Michael Igbinedion, Patrick Eboigbodin, and four companies -Gava Corporation Limited, Romrig Nigeria Limited, PMI Securities Company Limited and PML (Nigeria) Limited.
The charge borders on money laundering, illegal transfer of public fund to private account and abuse of office when Igbinedion was governor of Edo State between 1997 and 2007.
- CAJ News