A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has declared that there is no valid charge before it in relation to fraud trial of former governor of Enugu State, Mr Chimaroke Nnamani by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The former governor was to be re-arraigned before the court on allegations of laundering N4.5 billion, an offense said to have been committed during his tenure as Governor of Enugu State between 1999 and 2007.

The move to re-arraign the former Governor is coming 10 years after he was first arraigned alongside one of his aides, Sunday Anyaogu and six companies.

But the former governor had challenged the re-arraignment on the ground that the court lacked the competence to try him and determine the offences against him, especially as a plea bargain agreement has been reached between him, the other defendants and the EFCC.

Former governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani

When the matter came up today, Counsel to the former governor, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa informed the court of an application he had filed disclosing the result of the plea agreement, which according to him, led to the institution and determination of the charges against the defendants before Justice Mohammed Yinusa of the same court back in July 2015.

The lawyer said that in view of the plea bargain agreement entered into by parties, there is no longer any valid charge pending before the court as Presiding Justice Chuka Obiozor cannot sit on an appeal in a case ruled on by a court of similar level.  

In his response, Kelvin Uzozie, EFCC prosecutor said that after looking at the affidavits filed by the defendant, he is of the view that the entire proceedings should be expunged to enable the prosecution file fresh charges against the defendant.

In a short ruling, Justice Chuka Obiozor held that in view of the plea bargain judgement delivered by Federal High Court on July 7, 2015, there is no valid charge against Nnamani before the court.

He therefore expunged the entire proceedings.

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