Court dismisses N3bn money laundering suit against ex-PPMC MD’s wife, 5 others

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, dismissed the money laundering suit filed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) against Mrs. Ochuko Momoh.
Momoh is the wife of a former Managing Director of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, Haruna.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in a judgment, discharged and acquitted Momoh and five others on the 22-count charge preferred against them on the grounds that the prosecution failed to prove its case against the defendants beyond reasonable doubts.
Justice Taiwo stressed that the ICPC could not discharge its burden of proof to establish its case.
The judge also ordered the discharge of an earlier interim forfeiture order made against Mrs. Momoh and her two firms; Blaid Construction and Blaid Farms.
He held that the case of the anti-corruption agency was based on mere speculation and conjecture.
Momoh was, on March 9, 2020, arraigned before Justice Taiwo by the ICPC.
She was arraigned alongside Blessing Azuka-Ngozi, Stanbic-IBTC Bank Plc, Energopol Nigeria Limited, Blaid Construction Limited and Blaid Farms Limited on a 22-count charge but later reduced to 13 counts.
The 1st defendant in the new charge, Haruna Momoh, was said to be at large.
The ICPC, in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/278/2019, accused the former PPMC’s MD of laundering funds estimated at about N3 billion through her companies – Blaid Construction and Blaid Farms.
Azuka-Ngozi was alleged to have reneged on her promise to provide ICPC’s investigators with documents relating to the contracts Energopol Nigeria Limited allegedly executed for the PPMC, for which it was allegedly paid huge sums.
The ICPC also accused Stanbic-IBTC Bank of failing to report suspicious transactions in the accounts of Blaid Construction and Blaid Farms to the relevant authorities as required by law.
Jane Asuquo, an Assistant Chief Investigative Officer with the ICPC who was a witness in the case, had, on July 15, 2020, told the court that the ex-PPMC’s MD used his wife, Ochuko, to launder $700 million.
Asuquo said this while being led in evidence by counsel to the commission, Osuobeni Akponimisingha, before Justice Taiwo.
She said the act was perpetrated between 2012 and 2015 when Haruna was the MD.

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