A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday discharged Abdullahi Babalele, a son-in-law of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, over alleged laundering of $140,000.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke threw out the case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the grounds of territorial jurisdiction.
According to Daily Trust, the judge held that the charge against the defendant ought not to have been filed in Lagos when the alleged offence was said to have been committed in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The judge relied on the Supreme Court’s decision in a case between the EFCC and Mohammed Dele Belgore on territorial jurisdiction.
Babalele was arraigned in 2018 and then re-arraigned on October 8, 2019.
The EFCC accused Babalele of giving former President Olusegun Obasanjo $140,000 on the instruction of Abubakar, who was vying for the office of president in 2019.
He pleaded not guilty on each occasion.
The trial commenced and the prosecution called two witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence, before closing its case against the defendant on November 25, 2020.
At the last hearing on December 7, Babalele’s counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, filed a no-case submission praying the court to dismiss the charge.