A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi on Monday, December 7, 2020, have adjourned the ruling on the no-case submission filed by Abdullahi Babalele, the son-in-law of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is standing trial on offence bordering on money laundering and conspiracy to the tune of $140,000.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke adjourned the ruling till December 21 after Babalele’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, and the prosecution’s counsel, Usman Buhari, adopted their respective final addresses.
Babalele was re-arraigned on Thursday, October 8, 2019 on a two-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of $140,000.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Abdullahi Babalele, on or about the 20th day of February, 2019 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, procured Basir Mohammed to make a cash payment of the sum of $140,000 without going through a financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by the law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(C) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge preferred against him, thereby prompting his trial.
The prosecution, called two witnesses and closed its case on November 25, 2020, several documents were tendered and admitted in evidence by the court in the course of the trial.
At the resumed sitting today, counsel to the defendant, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, urged the court to uphold the defendant’s no-case submission dated November 27, 2020 urging the court to hold that the defendant “has no case to answer at all to be called upon to enter any defence in the case.”
Ozekhome, in the application, also argued that the prosecution had not lent any credible evidence in support of the counts in the charge preferred against his client.
He, therefore, prayed the court to hold that “no prima facie case has been established in any way or manner against the defendant” and also urged the court to discharge him as prayed.
However, the prosecution counsel, Usman Buhari, in his response, urged the court to dismiss the defendant’s no-case submission.
Buhari submitted that the prosecution had been able to link the defendant to the offence and, therefore, “has a case to answer.”
Justice Aneke, after listening to both parties, adjourned till December 21, 2020 for ruling on the defendant’s no-case submission.