*Matter continues in court today
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday amended the charges filed against former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, Robert Azibaola and his wife Stella.
Mr. and Mrs. Azibaola had prior to Thursday’s hearing been facing trial for the alleged diversion of $40 million on a seven-count charge.
Following Thursday’s changes, however, the duo will now be tried on a nine-count for the same offence.
The counsel to EFCC, Silvanus Tahir, told the court that the amended charges were dated 19th April and filed on the 20th April. Shortly after the charges were amended, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the fresh charge and the commission presented its witnesses.
The case was later adjourned till Friday (today).
The defendants have been accused by the commission of allegedly diverting the said sum through their company, OnePlus holdings.
A witness earlier presented by the EFCC said the $400 million was allegedly paid through an account belonging to the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, from monies earmarked for pipeline security contracts.
The witness, Ibrahim Mahe, a former permanent secretary, special services operations, at the office of the NSA, had in a testimony before the court in July 2016 said that OnePlus Holdings Limited was paid $40 million from $600 million special security fund sourced from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
EFCC operatives recently raided the a facility being developed by Robert Azibaola, in Otakeme, Bayelsa State.