The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday opposed the re-assignment of the money laundering case against Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, a lawyer of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, to another judge.
Mr Giwa-Osagie and his younger brother, Erhunse, are being tried before the Federal High Court in Lagos by the EFCC for allegedly laundering the sum of $2 million.
The defendants were first arraigned on August 14 before the vacation judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, on three counts of conspiracy and money laundering.
They pleaded not guilty and were granted bail by the court.
After the court resumed from the vacation, they were re-arraigned on the same charge before Justice Chuka Obiozor.
But their lawyers, Ahmed Raji and Morrison Quakers, wrote a letter to the Chief Judge of the court asking for the consolidation of the charge with that of another defendant, Abdullahi Babalele, who is Atiku’s son-in-law.
Mr Babalele is being tried before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the same court for allegedly laundering the sum of $140, 000.
Following court resumption, Giwa-Osagie and brother were arraigned before Justice Aneke for consolidation of both cases.
EFCC’s counsel fumed at the decision to consolidate the cases, saying: “There is nothing connecting the case pending before this court and this case. It is going to be dangerous if we allow this.”
He urged the court to adjourn the matter so that it can be reassigned to the former judge.
The defence counsel countered, saying the prosecutor’s statement was “offensive and out of tune.”
Justice Aneke afterwards adjourned till January 16 for his ruling.