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Published On: Fri, Mar 30th, 2018

$40m scam: Court acquits Jonathan’s cousin’s wife

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By Vivian Okejeme Abuja

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court Abuja, has discharged and acquitted Mrs Stella, wife of Robert Aziboala, a cousin to former President Good luck Jonathan, of all the 9 count charges leveled against her by the Federal Government.
Delevering ruling that discharged Stella, in respect of counts 2 and 3, justice Dimgba said “Just because Mr. Azibola is a spouse of the 2nd defendant, is not enough to charge her. Criminal liability is personal; it is not vicarious”.
The trial judge, however, ordered Robert Aziboala and his company, One Plus Holding Ltd to defend the allegation of being in possession and converting the sum of $40million Dollars received from Office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki to personal use.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC had in 2016, preferred a 7-count charge against Aziboala, his wife, Stella and their company, One Plus Holding Ltd, over an allegation that they received $40million contract from the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki.
Counsel to the defendants, Chris Uche, SAN filed a no-case-submission, after prosecution closed it case.
He insisted that the federal government had failed to establish a prima-facie case that would warrant them to enter defence.
Delivering ruling on the no-case-submission, Justice Dimgba held that Aziboala (1st defendant) and his company, One Plus Holding Ltd (3rd defendant) have explanation to make in respect of counts 2 and 3.
It was claimed that the $40m Dollars released from the Office of the former NSA to Aziboala and One Plus Holding Ltd was meant for the procurement of tactical communication kits.
“By the exhibits, the sum of $40 million was sent to the 3rd defendant purportedly for the supply of tactical communication kits for Special Forces on the instruction of former NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki.
“But there was no evidence that any such thing was supplied even though there were some suggestions in exhibits that the sum was for some other security assignments.
“In the absence of any evidence for the supply of the tactical communication kits, the consideration for the transfer of the $40 million needs to be established.
“I do not therefore believe that the no-case-submission should succeed in relation to these counts.
“However, appraising the evidence adduced in respect of count two and three, I am of the view that the evidence can only support a prima facie case against the 1st and 3rd defendants.
“On the whole, there is sufficient prima-facie case made out by the prosecution against the 1st and 3rd defendants.
The no-case-submission in respect of these two counts is refused, the court held.
Meanwhile, the court absolved Robert and his company of any wrongdoing in 7 counts, which are counts 1,4,5,6,7,8, and 9.
“I uphold the no case submission in counts one, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine, and hereby discharge and acquit all the defendants in relation to these counts” the court ordered.
“However, I dismiss the no-case- submission of the 1st and 3rd defendants in relation to count 2 and 3, and hereby direct the 1st and 3rd defendants to open their defence”.
“The 2nd defendant, Mrs. Azibola Roberts is hereby discharged and acquitted of all the nine counts in the charge,” Dimgba concluded.
Robert is to open defence on June 4 and 5.

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