Court Halts Trial of Former Head of Service, Oyo-Ita; Slams EFCC Over Abuse of Court Process

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has stayed indefinitely, further proceedings in the trial of former Head of Service (HOS) of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita and eight others on an 18-count money laundering charge.

The judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo at the ruling on Wednesday, described the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) act of obtaining an ex-parte order for freezing of bank accounts of the defendants in the matter before another court, as an abuse of court process.

Justice Taiwo said the conduct of the anti-corruption agency was reprehensible and condemnable, noting that it was a contemptuous move that must not be allowed in the interest of justice.

The judge has therefore ordered a stay of proceedings in the trial until the EFCC and its lawyer “do the needful” by withdrawing the application before the other court.

The EFCC had filed an ex-parte motion before justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo for the freezing of the bank accounts of the defendants an alleged N570 million money laundering charge preferred against the former Head of Service and others, while the matter is ongoing before Justice Taiwo.

Oyo-Ita is facing an 18-count charge of official corruption and money laundering to the tune of N570 million, which involves obtaining estacodes and duty travel allowances, (DTA), for journeys either not undertaken or non-existent.

Facing the same fate as she is: Frontline Ace Global Services Limited; Asanaya Projects Limited; Garba Umar and his companies: Slopes International Limited and Gooddeal Investments Limited.

Others are Ubong Okon Effiok and his companies, U&U Global Services Limited and Prince Mega Logistics Limited.

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