EFCC likely to drop case against Cubana Chief Priest, enters out of court settlement

Cubana Chief Priest.

By Advocatenewsng.com

WITH the endorsement of a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos on Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been permitted, if it wishes, to enter into out of court settlement with Pascal Okechukwu, popularly known as Cubana Chief Priest, in the charge of alleged naira abuse brought against him by the anti-graft agency.

The Chief Priest was arraigned on April 17, 2024 on a three-count charge of allegedly spraying and tampering with 500 naira notes during a social event at Eko Hotel, Lagos where he was said to joyously dance to scintillating and thought provoking lyrics.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N10 million and later released to his lawyer, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mr. Chikaosoro Ojukwu.

The offence according to EFCC contravenes the Provisions of Section 21(1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act of 2007.

The sitting judge, Justice Kehinde Ogundare then adjourned the case to May 2, 2024 for hearing of the preliminary objections by counsel to the Chief Priest, Mr. Ojukwu, and the commencement of trial. 

When the case was called on Thursday, the defence counsel, Mr. Ojukwu  informed the court that parties are exploring opportunities for settlement and have applied that the matter be settled pursuant to the Provisions of Section 14(2) of the EFCC Act. 

He told the court that if the Prosecution confirms the position as true, then there will be need to apply for a withdrawal of the defence preliminary objections to  allow for amicable reconciliation. 

With the nod of Prosecution, Mr. Ojukwu, having signaled the move for settlement, proceeded to withdraw the two preliminary objections he filed to stop the court from trying his client.

According to him the reason for withdrawing the two applications was to enable the parties to explore all the options of opportunities for an amicable settlement.

As expected, the EFCC counsel, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari did not oppose the withdrawal of the preliminary objections, therefore the court did not waste any time in striking out the objections and thereafter endorsed the parties to go ahead and settle out of court.

Justice Ogundare however asked the parties to return to court on June 5, 2024 to report the progress made so far on the settlement option.

WORDS ON MARBLE: “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier than he/she came. Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile”.


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