Ex-minister Agunloye To Appeal Ruling In $6b Alleged Fraud Case


Former Minister of Power and Steel, Dr. Olu Agunloye, is set to appeal the ruling of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Apo, which dismissed his preliminary objection challenging the powers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute him.

The court ruled that the commission has the power to investigate and prosecute the alleged offences.

Agunloye’s lawyers argued that the ruling departs from the decision of the Supreme Court in FRN v. Nwobike, where similar issues have been decided.

EFCC is prosecuting Agunloye over a $6 billion Mambilla hydropower contract.

The anti-graft agency alleged that it traced some suspicious payments made by Sunrise Power and Transmission Ltd to Agunloye’s accounts.

Agunloye was arraigned on a seven-count charge bordering on fraudulent award of a contract and official corruption.

In a preliminary objection dated February 6, Agunloye argued the EFCC lackd the powers to prosecute him because the offences do not border on financial crime.

He noted that the alleged offences bother on the alleged award of contract without budgetary provision, approval and cash backing; and alleged disobedience of presidential directives.

“These allegations do not constitute financial crimes, which can be lawfully investigated and prosecuted by the EFCC, pursuant to its powers under Sections 6, 7 and 46 of the EFCC (Establishment) Act and in consonance with the Supreme Court’s decision in  Nwobike v. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2022) 6  NWLR (Pt. 1826) 293,” he argued.

He added: “It will be most unjust and unfair to subject me to criminal trial or prosecution, before determining whether the investigating and prosecuting body has the requisite statutory powers to so do.”

The former minister sought an order “prohibiting the EFCC, whether by itself or any officer within its employ, from prosecuting or further prosecuting the instant charge [Charge No. FCT/ABJ/CR/617/2023] against the defendant, for lack of both investigative and prosecutorial powers…”


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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