A former Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Olasupo Shasore (SAN) on Tuesday asked the Federal High Court, Lagos to strike out a money laundering charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Shasore contended that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the charge.

The lawyer’s application stalled his trial following which Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke adjourned proceedings till April 26.

Shasore was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on October 29, 2022 on a four-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of $200,000.

The EFCC accused him of accepting, transacting and making cash payments of the sum of $200,000 without going through a financial institution, which exceeds the amount authorised by law.

He pleaded not guilty and was admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in the like sum.

At the resumed hearing of the case, EFCC counsel Abba Mohammed asked the court to allow him to call his witness to testify in the matter.

But Shasore’s lawyers led by Olawale Akoni and Chijioke Okoli, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), told the court that their client had filed an application challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the charge.

They described the application as basically “a motion to strike out the charge for want of jurisdiction.”

The application, in the alternative, is asking the court for “an order for the prosecution to avail it with all relevant documents in their possession not disclosed or absent from the proof of evidence and needed for a robust defence of the matter”.

But the prosecutor told the court that the application was served on his office last Friday, after the close of work.

He added that he was just seeing the application “this morning”.

The prosecutor also stated that the documents demanded by the defence did not have anything to do with the defendant.

He prayed the court to proceed and not let the defendant’s application stall the scheduled trial.

But Justice Aneke held that there was a need for the court to first hear the application challenging his jurisdiction on the matter before further proceedings.

He adjourned till April 26, for a hearing of the defendant’s application challenging the court’s jurisdiction.

The court also advised the prosecutor to file and serve his response to the application and to also make available all the documents requested by the defence team.

The EFCC is trying the former Attorney-General of Lagos, for allegedly inducing one Olufolakemi Adelore, into accepting cash payment of the sum of $100,000, without going through a financial institution.

Shasore was also alleged to have made a cash payment of the sum of $100,000 to Olufolakemi Adelore through Auwalu Habu and Wole Aboderin.

The charge also claimed that the former Attorney-General made a cash payment of the sum of $100,000 to one Ikechukwu Oguine without going through a financial institution, a sum the anti-graft agency said exceeded the amount permitted by law.

Adelore was at the time, Director, Legal of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, while Oguine was Secretary to the Corporation and Coordinator, Legal Services of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

According to the EFCC, their involvement concerns their alleged roles in the arbitral proceedings instituted by Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID) against the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.”

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