1 February 2013

Nigeria: Ibori - Supreme Court Strikes Out EFCC's Appeal

Abuja — The Supreme Court, yesterday, struck out an appeal against convicted former Delta State governor, James Ibori by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The anti-graft agency had gone before the apex court, challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna State, which had maintained that Ibori should be tried in Asaba, Delta State over the 107-count money laundering charge EFCC earlier preferred against him.

The appellate court had insisted that it was legally wrong for EFCC to try Ibori in Kaduna State over a crime he allegedly committed while in power as the governor of Delta State.

It will be recalled that Justice Mohammed Shuaibu of the Federal High Court in Kaduna, had assumed jurisdiction to try Ibori, despite contention by the defence counsel that he ought to be tried in Delta State.

Dissatisfied with the decision of the high court, Ibori, through his lawyer, Mr. Joseph Daudu, SAN, appealed to the Court of Appeal, where he eventually won.

Determined to try the matter outside Delta State, EFCC appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled, yesterday, that the matter was an academic exercise.

The presiding judge, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, noted that the assignment of cases was purely an administrative matter.

The apex court further held that matters bordering on exercised discretion by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in assignment of cases cannot be appealed against.

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