Court remands Jonathan’s cousin in prison over graft

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja 

A Federal High Court sitting in, the nation’s capital, Abuja has remanded one Robert Azibaola to Kuje Prison. 

The accused is believed to be a cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan. 

Presiding judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba gave the order on Tuesday shortly after Azibaola, his wife, Stella and their firms, One Plus Holdings Nigeria Limited were arraigned on a seven-count charge of money laundering. 

According to the charge sheet, they were accused of unlawfully receiving about $40million from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki. 

When the charges were read to them, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them by an official of the court.

The couple stood quietly in the dock while the female court official read the charge to them. At a point, the judge instructed that chairs be provided for them to sit. 

They later sat close to each other for the other part of the proceedings that lasted about three hours. 

The judge took arguments from parties on the bail applications filed for Azibaola and his wife and adjourned to today for ruling, but ordered that pending the ruling, the husband be remanded in prison, while he allowed the wife to remain on the administrative bail earlier granted her by the complainant, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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