Money laundering: SAN lauds couple’s acquittal, seeks criminal justice system review

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Louis Alozie, on Monday hailed  a court judgment acquitting a couple, Mr Rowly Isioro and his wife, Ovuomarhoni, of fraud and money laundering charges.

Alozie told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka that the judgment by Justice Mojisola Dada of a Lagos high court brought to end almost two years of trial of the couple.

He called for review of the criminal justice system to ensure that litigants would get justice in time and  defendants wouldn’t suffer undue prosecution.

Isioro, a  banker, and his wife, a businesswoman, were charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with fraud and money laundering.

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The EFCC alleged that the couple  laundered a total sum of  $1.49 million through Ovuomarhoni’s bank account in Nigeria.

The couple was charged on seven counts  in suit number ID/10729C/19.

In her judgement,  Dada dismissed all the seven counts, holding that  there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations.

The judge said that evidence before the court fell short of the quality and standard required in law to warrant conviction.

According to Dada, the entirety of the case cannot stand and, therefore, fails.

“It is hereby dismissed and the defendants acquitted of all the counts preferred against them,” she held.

Alozie told NAN that he was satisfied with the judgement but regretted that the couple was remanded for up to seven  months.

He said that the couple had undergone emotional stress and  deserved much compensation.

“Their acquitted  is a welcome development  but their detention was illegal.

“These people deserve compensation for their ordeal, they were remanded between  seven and nine months among other losses; sadly, there is no law to my knowledge that provides for remedy,” he said.

APC/IGO

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