Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, March 28, discharged and acquitted a former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Kabiru Turaki, of money laundering charges.
The judge in a ruling on the no-case submission filed by the defense said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had failed to link Turaki and his co-defendants with the offenses contained in the 16-count charge.
He said that the prosecution could not establish a prima facie case against them. Justice Ekwo said that the defendants dislodged all the evidence of the prosecution witnesses called in the matter during cross-examination, describing the 12 witnesses relied on by EFCC as “tainted witnesses.”
The judge said that it was established during cross-examination that Turaki was not a signatory to the account of the ministry and did not authorize any payment or make any transfer of funds.
He averred with the argument that held the former minister was not a member of the Ministerial Tender Board and that there was no inflow of funds from the account of the ministry to Turaki’s company.
The EFCC had, in the 16-count charge, accused the ex-minister and others of unlawful and criminal misappropriation of N715 million.