…As Court Reserves Ruling For Bail Application
The Rivers State Government has taken over the alleged money laundering case of Hon. Chinyere Igwe, member representing Port Harcourt Federal Constituency 2 from the Police.
The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Tuesday also reserved judgement in the bail application on the money laundering case against Mr. Igwe, a member of the House of Representative for PHALGA constituency 2.
Hon. Igwe is alleged to have on the 24th day of February, 2023 seen in possession of the sum of four hundred and ninety-eight thousand US Dollars without reporting to the Central Bank of Nigeria
When the matter was called, Principal prosecuting counsel from the Attorney General office of Rivers State applied to take over the prosecution from the police, which was not opposed by the defendant counsel but insisted to move the motion for the bail application.
The bail application was moved, the Presiding Judge, Justice Stephen Day-Lop Pam ruled that the principal prosecutor from the ministry of Justice takes over the case and reserved judgement on the bail application.
Justice Stephen also adjourned to the 4th of May 2023 for the substantive case to commence and ordered that the defendant be remanded in Police custody.
Speaking to journalists outside the court, Chidi Ekeh, principal prosecuting counsel said “we applied to take over the prosecution of the matter from the Police which application has been granted and so have done that .The defense instituted a motion moving the bail application and the court agreed with them that the matter was ordinarily adjourned to today for bail application.
“So we adopted our processes and the court has reserved ruling on that application . Meanwhile the substantive matter will come up in May precisely 4th of May for hearing .
“The suspect has be asked to remain in custody of the Nigerian Police”.
While counsel to the defendant, Reuben Wanoghor said “It was interesting we had filed our motion for the bail of the defendant and the motion was adjourned to today for hearing.
“However the state came in to say they have been granted a fiat by the Attorney General of the Federation to take over the prosecution of the case as so they were allowed to come in so we went ahead to take the motion for bail.
“So that application for bail has been reserved for ruling .The substantive case is adjourned to 4th May. The ruling on the issue of bail is at the discretion of the court it is for the court to decide whether to give a bench ruling or a well considered ruling .
“The court took the option of delivery a well considered ruling which of course you cannot do while sitting down there .I am not disappointed that the matter was adjourned”.