N500m Fraud: Tokunbo Modupe, Ondo PDP Chair Challenge Court’s Jurisdiction

•Urge Judge To Withdraw

The Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, Mr. Clement Faboyede and Modupe Adetokunbo, the Director General of PDP Campaign Organization in Ondo State, during the 2015 General Election, yesterday, asked Justice Saliu Saidu of a Federal High Court, Lagos, to withdraw from hearing an alleged N500 million fraud suit filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The two accused persons told the court that their calling for the withdrawal of Justice Saidu from hearing the matter was based on court’s jurisdiction.

Both Faboyede and Adetokunbo in a motion filed through their lawyer, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), are seeking for an order of the court dismissing or striking out the charge due to lack of jurisdiction.

They claimed that none of the ingredients or acts alleged against them in the proof of evidence took place in Lagos but in Akure, Ondo state.

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Lawyer to the EFCC, Ekene Iheanachor, confirmed being served with the application, but told the court that he needed time to respond to it.

Following the agreement of the parties, the matter was adjourned till November 26, for hearing of application challenging the court’s jurisdiction.

In an affidavit attached to the motion deposed to by Faboyede, it was averred that all the defence witnesses were scattered across the 18 local government areas of Ondo State and that it would be difficult to bring them to Lagos to testify in the matter.

Some of the witnesses were said to be civil servants who are residents of Ondo state.

It would be recalled that both Faboyede and Adetokunbo were first arraigned before the court on June 26, on charges bordering on conspiracy, accepting cash payment of over N500 million without going through financial institution, by the EFCC.

The EFCC in a charge marked, FHC/ L/201C/2018, had alleged that the accused persons and others at large on or about March 27, 2015, conspired amongst themselves to accept cash payment of N500 million from one, Owolanke Micheal, without going through any financial institution.

Faboyede, was particularly as being the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to had on March 27, 2015, made cash payment of N500 million to the Ondo State PDP’s Election Committee, without going through financial institution contrary to Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011(as amended by Act 1 of 2012) and punishable under Section 16(2)of the same Act.

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