A Federal High Court judge sitting in Lagos has disqualified himself from handling the one-point-four- billion naira money laundering charge preferred against the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Paul Usoro.
At the resumption proceedings today, Justice Chuka Obiozor claimed personal reasons for his decision and thereafter returned the case file back to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for reassignment to another judge.
The NBA President was scheduled to be re-arraigned before Justice Obiozor today after the case was re-assigned to the judge in January. Obiozor becomes the second judge to disqualify himself from the trial Justice Muslim Hassan disqualified himself from the case last year.
The NBA President is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on 10 counts bordering on fraud. He was alleged to have conspired with some others to convert the sum of N1.4 billion, property of Akwa Ibom State Government, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity. The offence was allegedly committed in May 2016. Mr Usoro has, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.