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GABRIEL DAUDU v. FEDERAL REPULIC OF NIGERIA

(2018) LPELR-43637(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 26th day of January, 2018

SC.172/2017


Before Their Lordships

MARY UKAEGO PETER-ODILI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

KUMAI BAYANG AKA'AHS Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

AMINA ADAMU AUGIE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

PAUL ADAMU GALINJE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

SIDI DAUDA BAGE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

GABRIEL DAUDU - Appellant(s)

AND

FEDERAL REPULIC OF NIGERIA - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on the Offence of Money Laundering.

FACTS:
This is an appeal against the judgment of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal delivered on the 1st day of March 2017, Coram: A. D. Yahaya, Tani Hassan, M. Mustapha JJCA.

On 30 October, 2014 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) preferred a 208 counts charge against the accused/appellant before the Federal High Court, Lokoja in Charge No. FHC/LKJ4C/2011 presided over by I. E. Ekwo J. He pleaded not guilty to each of the counts. Hon. Albert Soje (then Majority Leader) of the Kogi State House of Assembly was also arraigned with the accused/appellant on a two count charge but at the end of the trial he was acquitted and discharged.

The appellant was however convicted on 75 counts while he was acquitted and discharged on the remaining 133 counts. The appellant appealed against this decision to the Court of Appeal, Abuja in his Notice of Appeal dated 17 May, 2016 containing 11 grounds of appeal. A preliminary objection attacking grounds 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 was raised and argued in the respondent's brief which was filed on 14 November, 2016. The Court of Appeal upheld the objection and struck out grounds 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10 of the Notice of Appeal as well as issues 1, 2 and 4. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

The appellant being dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal, appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
The Supreme Court determined the appeal based on the following issues for determination:

1. Whether the Court of Appeal was correct in law when it affirmed the decision of the Federal High Court placing the onus of proving his innocence in the 75 counts of money laundering on the appellant? (Issue No 3) (Grounds 6 and 7 of the Notice of appeal).
2. Whether the Court of Appeal was correct in law when it affirmed the decision of the Federal High Court that the prosecution had established all the ingredients of the offence of money laundering against the appellant? (Issue No 4)(Grounds 1 and 8 of the Notice of Appeal).
DECISION/HELD:
In the final analysis, the Supreme Court found no merit in the appeal and it was accordingly dismissed.




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