A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday quashed the money laundering criminal charges brought against a former Minister of Special Duties, Kabir Tanimu Turaki, by the Federal Government.
The 16-count charges were quashed by Justice Inyang Ekwo on the ground that the trial of the defendants in the charges was not only illegal but unconstitutional.
The trial was pronounced unconstitutional following the refusal of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to give effect to a letter by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to make a case file in respect of the charges available to his office.
Justice Ekwo held that under the 1999 Constitution and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, the Chief Law Officer of the Federation, has inherent powers to review any criminal charge, take over the trial and even terminate the charges as his office may seem fit.
The judge held that EFCC goofed by ignoring and neglecting the AGF’s letter of April 4, 2020, which demanded the case file for review in order to avoid malicious prosecution.
Justice Ekwo said that any law enforcement agency that ignores or neglects the directive of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) does so at its own peril.
The judge proceeded to invoke sections 105 of ACJA and 21, 23 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2012 and 174 of the 1999 Constitution to declare the trial unlawful, illegal and null and void and struck it out.