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Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla

02.02.2023 Featured Ex-AGF Ogunniyi Otunla Loses Bid to Stop Prosecution Over N24bn Fraud

Published 2nd Feb, 2023

By Opeyemi Lawal

An appeal court in Abuja has dismissed the judgment of a high court preventing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from prosecuting Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla, an ex-Accountant General of the Nigerian Federation in a N24 billion fraud case.

According to the anti-graft agency on Thursday, the court, on Monday, upheld that Otunla failed to provide evidence of the non-prosecution agreement between him and the agency after he refunded N6.4 billion of the looted funds.

READ ALSO: How Kogi House of Assembly Candidate ‘Stole N681m’ From Union Bank Accounts

In the new ruling marked CA/A/657/2021, Justice Danlemi Senchi stated that there was no written commitment except Otunla’s words and that of his lawyer.

“Otunla could not halt his prosecution by merely claiming that there was an agreement, which existence he failed to establish with any credible evidence,” the EFCC stated.

“In the instant case, there is no evidence to support the pleading of the respondent (Otunla) that he will not be prosecuted; that criminal or civil proceedings should not be instituted or initiated against him.

“There is no plea bargain or any documentary evidence relating to the President Panel for the Recovery of Funds. On the whole, the appeal is meritorious and it is allowed.”

READ ALSO: Akwa Ibom Judge Sentences Man to 110 Years in Prison for Fraud

The commission stated that the ruling not to prosecute the ex-accountant general after the N6.4 billion refund, delivered by Justice Ekwo in July 2021, had been dismissed.

“The judgment of the Federal High Court, in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/2321/2021 delivered on the 16th day of July 2021 by honourable Justice I. E. Ekwo is hereby set aside.”

Otunla served as the Accountant-General of the Federation between June 2011 and June 2015.

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Published 2nd Feb, 2023

By Opeyemi Lawal

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