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Naira Abuse: Court Strikes Out Cubana Chief Priest’s Charge After Out-Of-Court Settlement With EFCC

Justice Kehinde Ogundare of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Tuesday, June 25, struck out the charge of naira abuse filed against popular bartender, Pascal Okechukwu, commonly known as Cubana Chief Priest, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The judge also directed Okechukwu to forfeit the sum of N10million to the Nigerian government as part of an out-of-court deal the defendant agreed with the EFCC in lieu of the charge.

This was contained in the terms of settlement agreement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which was adopted before the trial judge, Justice Kehinde Ogundare on Tuesday.

At the proceedings, Counsel for the EFCC, Bilkisu Buhari-Bala, informed the court that parties in the charge entered into the out-of-court settlement and same was duly signed by both parties.

The defendant’s counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chikaosolu Ojukwu commended the reasonable action of the anti-graft agency in having the matter resolved. He said the defendant was equally remorseful and promises to turn over a new leaf going forward.

Ojukwu also said that the consequences of the settlement was for the court to dismiss the charge.

Justice Ogundare in his short ruling adopted the terms of settlement and consequently struck out the charge.

The terms of settlement agreement pursuant to Section 14 (2) of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004, read:

“The agreement applies only to the findings relating to contraventions of the law contained tn the pending charge preferred against the defendant.

“The defendant thall enter into a bond with the EFCC to be of good behaviour and never indulge in any Economic and Financial Crime or related offences.

“The Defendant shall engage in rigorous and intensive sensitisation and/or campaign against the abuse of coins and notes issued under the CBN Act as legal tender.

“The defendant shall bi-monthly post on his various social media handles a minimum of two video clips of his sensitisation/campaign against abuse of naira and sundry offences.

“The Defendant shall pay to the consolidated revenue fund of Federation such sum not below the sum of Ten million naira (N10,000,000) only upon the execution af this agreement.”

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