…I’ve been vindicated, says Wali
By Bashir Bello
A Federal High Court sitting in Kano State has on Friday discharged and acquitted the former minister of foreign affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali and Director General, Jonathan Campaign Organization, NorthWest, Mansur Ahmed accused of receiving N950 million campaign fund.
The duo were arraigned alongside Senator Ibrahim Shekarau by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC before the court on 24th May, 2018 on six count charges that the trio received the monies on 25th March, 2015 from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP without transacting through a financial institution contrary to section 1(a) of Money Laundering Act 2011, punishable under section 16 (2b) of same act.
Recall that Shekarau was later discharged and acquitted by the same court after he filed and won a case of no submission at the court of appeal leaving Wali and Ahmed with a three count charges before the Federal High court.
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The Presiding judge, Justice Lewis Allagoa while delivering his judgment said the duo of Wali and Ahmed were discharged and acquitted on the ground that the EFCC failed to prove it case beyond reasonable doubt that the money were not received through the financial institution.
The court said that while the defendants have admitted to have collected the said money from a financial institution, EFCC couldn’t not prove the money laundering charge against them.
Reacting to the judgment, the prosecution counsel, Barr. Cosmus Ugu described the judgment by the judge as a well considered judgment.
Ugu said, “we will take it as delivered, we will go back and study it and see what to do hereafter.
“I do not think the EFCC has gotten it wrongly because we charge base on the provision of the law. It doesnt necessarly means that party was malicious in it prosecution, it only means that the element of the offense that ought to have been proved were not proved.
“The central issue was that whether there was transaction through a financial institution or not. Our argument was that it was not because you cannot go to Fidelity Bank and say give me the account from which this money was paid and you will get it.
“But, it is a new area of law so we would continue to work towards developing it so that subsequently when this kind of matter comes up we would have authority, we would have authorities to quickly bring to the aide of the court to say this is what the supreme has said.
“I am sure if the appeal court or supreme Court had interpreted the phrase ‘through a financial institution’ we wouldn’t have had the difficulties we had in trying to prove that it was not through a financial institution,” Ugu said.
Speaking with Journalists after the Judgment, Ambassador Aminu Wali said the court verdict has vindicated him of allegation of committing money laundering.
Wali however thanked his followers for their support and believe in him that he is not a thief and couldn’t have stolen anybody’s money as the prosecution was politically motivated.
Vanguard News NIgeria
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