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Courts squeezes Reps Member over N320m money laundering, says he has a case to answer

By Joe Udo

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja and presided over by Justice F. Giwa Ogunbanjo, on Monday, 22 Jan. 2024, told a member of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Nicholas Mutu that he has a case to answer in an alleged N320 million money laundering case brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

CONVERSEER learned that Mutu, alongside Airworld Technologies Ltd and Oyien Homes, was dragged before the court by the EFCC on an amended 13-count charge bordering on money laundering and gratification to the tune of N320m between August 2014 and August 2016.

Mutu was arraigned before the court while he was serving as the Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

The prosecution, at the last adjourned date, closed its case after presenting four witnesses, while the defence made a no-case submission.

Justice Ogunbanjo while ruling on the no-case submission on Monday, 22 Jan. 2024, told the defendant to enter his defence, ruling that the prosecution had presented sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case against Mutu.

READ ALSO | Former HoS, Winifred Oyo-Ita used her companies to launder money – EFCC

The EFCC counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, in his objection to the ‘no-case submission’ by the defence, argued that the money paid to the defendants by Starline Consultancy, a contractor to NDDC, was gratification.

Iheanacho further told the court that Mutu used his official position, as the Chairman of the House Committee on NDDC, to influence the payment of money paid by the NDDC contractors, using Airworld Technologies Ltd.

After ruling that Mutu had a case to answer, Justice Ogunbanjo adjourned the case till 21 and 22 Feb. 2024.

Mutu is representing Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency in Delta State. He is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

He is the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives. He was elected in 1999 and by 2027, he will be 28 years in the Green Chambers.

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Joe Udo
Joe Udo
Joe Udo is a creative writer and a Blogger with several years of experience.

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