Cubana’s Trial For Naira Abuse Stalled

Cubana’s Trial For Naira Abuse Stalled

The ongoing trial of socialite Pascal Okechukwu, also known as Cubana Chief Priest, before the Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged abuse of the naira was stalled yesterday by the absence of his lawyer, Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN).

Justice Kehinde Ogundare was forced to adjourn the matter to June 25 after the prosecution informed him that the defence counsel had written about his inability to be in court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting the Cubana chief priest before the court on a three-count charge of spraying and tampering with the naira at a social event contrary to the Central Bank Act of 2007 provisions.

The EFCC counsel, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, told the court that the defendant committed the alleged offence on February 13, 2024, at Eko Hotel while dancing at a social event.

Buhari also told the court that the defendant tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 notes issued by the CBN by spraying the same for two hours.

The lawyer further claimed that sometime in 2020, during a social event in Lagos, the defendant tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 issued by the CBN, spraying the same for two hours.

She also alleged that in January 2024, during a social event in Lagos State, the defendant tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 issued by the CBN by spraying them.

The prosecutor maintained that the offence is contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

At the last adjourned date, Ojukwu informed Justice Ogundare that his client and the anti-graft agency were exploring a plea bargain arrangement in line with Section 14 of the EFCC Establishment Act.

In her response, Buhari confirmed an ongoing discussion between the parties but said no decision has been made.

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