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Absence Of Counsel Stall’s Cubana’s Trial Over Naira Abuse 

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The trial of a Lagos based socialite and Celebrity barman, Okechukwu Pascal, popularly called Cubana Chief Priest was stalled today due to the absence of defense counsel.
When the case was called today, the trial judge, Justice Kehinde Ogundare was informed that counsel to Cubana, Mr Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN) has written the court of his inability to be in court,  consequently the case was adjourned till the 25th of June 2024.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,  is prosecuting Okechukwu Pascal for alleged naira abuse.
At the last adjourned date, Cubana Chief Priest’s counsel, Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN), informed Justice Kehinde Ogundare of the Federal High Court, Lagos of the defendant’s intention to toe the path of plea bargain subject to Section 14 of the EFCC Establishment Act and opted for out of court settlement.
Ojukwu said, “We have looked at the charge and pursuant to Section 14 of the EFCC Act which encourages plea bargain agreements.
Also, EFCC counsel, Bilkisu Buhari confirmed the position.
Ojukwu then prayed the court to give a short date for parties to return and update the court on the deal.
He also withdrew the earlier preliminary objection he filed challenging the jurisdiction of court to entertain the charge.
“In the interest of justice, we’re urging the court to strike out the motion since the prosecution has not responded to it,” he added.
Granting his prayer, Justice Ogundare struck out the preliminary objection.
The judge also adjourned the case till today,  June 5, for report of the plea bargain agreement.
The EFCC, had on 17th of April, arraigned the embattled socialite on a three-count charge bordering on abuse of the Naira
The EFCC alleged that Okechukwu Pasca on February 13, 2024, at Eko Hotel, within the jurisdiction of the court, while dancing during a social event, tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 (Five Hundred Naira) notes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying same for two hours, and thereby committed an offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007.
In count 2, it was alleged “that you, Okechukwu Pasca,l sometime in 2020, in Lagos during a social event, tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 (Five Hundred Naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying same for two hours, and you thereby committed an offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007.”
In Count 3, it was alleged: “that you, Okechukwu Pasca,l sometime in January 2024, in Lagos during a social event, tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 (Five Hundred Naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying same and you thereby committed an offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007.

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