FRN vs Usoro: Prosecution Closes Case, Defence to File No Case Submission

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Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Mr. Paul Usoro SAN at the close of the Prosecution case today, informed the court of his intention to file a no-case submission.

The Defence counsel stated this after the Prosecution closed its case at the conclusion of the cross examination of the PW2, Mr. Mohammed Arabu.

Earlier the PW2 had told court that the EFCC did not receive any petition against Mr. Paul Usoro SAN from anybody prior to initiating the investigation. He told the court that the EFCC relied on “self-generated” intelligence gathered while investigating an NFIU intelligence report against Mr. Ikpeazu Onyechi SAN.

On the allegation that the N1.1b paid to the Defendant by the Akwa Ibom State Government was for election matters, the PW2 confirmed that there was no statement nor evidence to support the allegation. He said the EFCC relied on the statement made by some of the lawyers who received payment for handling election matters from PUC. When confronted with the Statement of one of the lawyers who indicated that his payment was not for Akwa Ibom State election petition, PW2 insisted that the only investigation relied on was the statement by the lawyers.

It was the PW2’s evidence in chief that the invitation to the Akwa Ibom State Government to explain the payment of the N1.1bn to PUC was not honoured. During cross examination he confirmed that the AG was in a position to explain the payment. He also confirmed that the AG was at their office after the investigation had commenced. When asked why the investigation team did not ask the AG for clarification, PW2 stated that the need had not arisen.

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He told the court that the EFCC relied on the statement of PW1 to file the charges against the Defendant. He also confirmed that the Defendant was not confronted with the PW1’s statement prior to filing the charges. When informed by the Defence counsel that PW1 abandoned her statement to the EFCC and gave  different testimony in court,  PW2 responded that he was not in court when the PW1 testified and cannot speak on whatever she said.

PW2 also confirmed that the Defendant gave a breakdown of payment to lawyers as well as the balance  on the account after payment to lawyers.

The cross examination ended the case of the Prosecution. The Defence opted to file a No Case Submission.

The case was subsequently adjourned to March for the argument on the No Case Submission.

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