A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has thrown out a two-count money laundering case against Abdullahi Babalele, a son-in-law to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, who threw out the alleged $140,000 money laundering case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), based his judgment on the ground of territorial jurisdiction.
According to the presiding Judge, the charge against Abdullahi Babalele, ought not to have been filed in Lagos when the alleged offence was said to have been committed in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
He cited the Supreme Court’s judgment in a case between the EFCC and Mohammed Dele Belgore which was based on territorial jurisdiction.
Babalele was arraigned by the EFCC in 2018 and then re-arraigned on October 8, 2019, after he was accused of giving former President Olusegun Obasanjo $140,000 on the instruction of Abubakar, who was vying for the office of president in 2019.
He pleaded not guilty on each occasion.
The trial commenced and the prosecution called two witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence, before closing its case against the defendant on November 25, 2020.
At the last hearing on December 7, Babalele’s counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, filed a no-case submission praying the court to dismiss the charges against his client.