BrandArena: Ex-Transcorp boss, Tom Iseghohi acquitted of laundering N15b

Monday, 18 September 2017

Ex-Transcorp boss, Tom Iseghohi acquitted of laundering N15b

Former Group Managing Director of Transcorp Plc Mr. Tom Iseghohi has been discharged and acquitted of money laundering charges bt the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

The appellate court set aside an October 20, 2014 decision of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which overruled his no-case submission. It dismissed the 32-count charge of money laundering filed against Iseghohi by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft commission had arraigned Isoghohi, Transcorp's former Company Secretary, Mohammed Buba and Deputy General Manager Mike Okoli in 2009. They were tried for fraud and money laundering in connection with the botched acquisition of the Nigeria Telecommunications (NITEL) by Transcorp.

Trial began before Justice D.U Okorowo before it was transferred to Justice Evoh Chukwu.

The first prosecution witness, Transcorp's Company Secretary Helen Iwuchukwu, said under cross-examination that she was not in a position to how the accused persons allegedly transferred N15 billion to three companies. She added that she knew nothing about a company or any contract drawn for Global Employment Solutions Incorporated (GESI) as alleged in counts three and four of the charge.

Five other witnesses testified for the prosecution, with the fourth witness, who was in charge of audit and finance, saying he did not trace any money to the accused persons.

The prosecution could not secure the attendance of former Transcorp chairman Mrs Ndi Okereke Onyuike to testify despite several adjournments. The fifth prosecution witness, Aminueem Mohammed, an EFCC operative who investigated, said the commission did not receive any petition from Transcorp or NITEL against the defendants nor did they complain about missing funds.

The defendants filed a no-case submission, urging the court to dismiss the charge because it established no prima facie case against them.

Prosecution counsel, Sylvester Ogbedu, urged the court to hold that the prosecution had sufficiently proved its case against the accused persons.

Justice Chukwu dismissed the no-case, holding that the accused persons had cases to answer, following which the defendants appealed. The Court of Appeal held that from the evidence adduced by the prosecution, there was no basis to refuse the no-case submission.

The appellate court ruled that no evidence was adduced to establish the offence of money laundering against Iseghohi.

It discharged and acquitted him of all 32 counts of laundering N15 billion.

No comments:

Post a Comment