Crime

Court discharges wife of Jonathan’s cousin, Stella Aziboala of criminal charges

Mrs Stella Aziboala, wife to a cousin of former President Goodluck Jonathan, was thursday discharged of all the nine-count charge levelled against her by the federal government.

Her husband, Robert Aziboala was however not as lucky as the Federal High Court, Abuja trying them over corruption allegations ordered that he open his defence in two of the 9 count charge.

Trial judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, in discharging Stella, in respect of counts 2 and 3, held that, “Just because Mr. Azibola is a spouse of the 2nd defendant, is not enough to charge her. criminal liability is personal; it is not vicarious”.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in 2016, preferred a seven-count charge against Aziboala, his wife, Stella and their company, One Plus Holding Ltd, over an allegation that they received $40m contract from the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki.

The prosecution closed its case, after calling 10 witnesses who testified against the defendants.

But the defendants, responding through their counsel Chris Uche, SAN filed a no-case-submission, insisting that the federal government had failed to establish a prima-facie case that would warrant them to enter defence.

Justice Dimgba, ruling on the no-case-submission, yesterday, held that Aziboala (1st defendant) and his company, One Plus Holding Ltd (3rd defendant) have explanation to make in respect of counts two and three and subsequently ordered them to respond to the charges.

In count two and three, Robert Aziboala and his company, One Plus Holding Limited were accused of being in possession and conversion of the sum of $40m received from Dasuki into personal use.

It was claimed that the $40m released from the office of the former NSA to Aziboala and One Plus Holding Ltd was meant for the procurement of tactical communication kits.

“By the exhibits, the sum of $40m was sent to the 3rd defendant purportedly for the supply of tactical communication kits for Special Forces on the instruction of former NSA, Dasuki.

“But there was no evidence that any such thing was supplied even though there were some suggestions in exhibits that the sum was for some other security assignments.

The matter has been adjourned till June 4, for Robert to open his defence.

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