Cubana Chief Priest Withdraws Applications, Begs for Out-of-Court Settlement

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Social media personality and businessman, Okechukwu Pascal popularly known as Cubana Chief Priest, has withdrawn the two applications he filed challenging the authority of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to prosecute him for naira abuse and mutilation based on the CBN Act of 2007.

Counsel to Cubana Chief Priest, Chikoso Ojukwu, SAN, had in the preliminary objections and applications filed before Justice K. O. Ogundara averred that the charges were miscellaneous offences, which fall under the purview of the Nigeria Police to prosecute and not the EFCC.

However, during today’s hearing, Cubana Chief Priest decided to mellow down and withdraw his applications.

Addressing the court, his lawyer, Chikoso Ojukwu, announced that the EFCC had given him the leave to inform the court about the status of the matter before his lordship.

“My Lord, the Prosecutor said we should inform the court about the status of the case.

“We are for settlement of the case based on Section 412 of the EFCC Establishment Act to compound the matter.

“If the EFCC agrees, we will withdraw our applications to allow for compounding of the applications”, he said.

EFCC Prosecutor, represented by Bilkisu Buhari, confirmed receipt of the applications to withdraw the notice of preliminary objections but noted that the Defendant’s application is still under consideration by the commission.

The Senior Advocate, representing Cubana Chief Priest, later made the following aversions:

“My Lord, we apply to withdraw notice of preliminary objections filed, one on 17th April 2024 and the other on 24th April, 2024. But the prosecution is yet to respond”, he said and urged the court to strike out the applications in the interest of justice to enable his client pursue settlement with the commission.

Bilkusu Buhari, representing the EFCC said, “We are not opposing”.

Justice K.O. Ogundare ruled that based on the applications before the court, “the preliminary objections filed by the defence dated 17.4.2024 and 24.4.2024 are hereby struck out”.

He then fixed 5th June 2024 for report on settlement.

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