The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to appeal a Federal High Court decision that quashed a16-count criminal charge of corruption and money laundering to the tune of N715million brought against a former Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Kabiru Taminu Turaki (SAN) and three others.
In a ruling delivered on Monday, Justice Inynag Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, upheld the no-case submission by the defendants. The court had held that it was unnecessary to ask the defendants to enter their defence, describing the evidence presented by the prosecution (EFCC) witnesses as tainted. He also stated that the fact that the prosecution did not honour the Attorney-General of the Federation’s request for information regarding the case file vitiated the charge.
Justice Inyang Ekwo further said that the prosecution has not been able to link the former minister and his co-defendants with the offences contained in the 16-count charge.
According to the Judge, the defendants dislodged the evidence of the prosecution witnesses called in the matter during cross-examination.
He said it was established during cross-examination that Turaki is not a signatory to the account of the ministry and did not authorize any payment or make any transfer of funds.
The court held that the former Minister was not a member of the Ministerial Tenders Board and that there was no inflow of funds from the account of the Ministry to the company of the former Minister.
However, the Commission says the trial judge erred in dismissing the testimonies of all twelve prosecution witnesses and has resolved to file a notice of appeal at the appellate court, to set aside the ruling by Justice Ekwo.