Mr Waripamo -Owei Dudafa, a former aide to President Goodluck Jonathan and two other accused persons have asked the court to change their guilty plea on the ground that the court has no jurisdiction to take the pleas from the purported directors of the companies.
They had pleaded guilty on September 15, before justice Babs Kuewumi to conspiring together to launder money, which the EFCC claims to be theft.
The wife of the former president, Patience Jonathan, is claiming the ownership of the money which was earlier frozen by the EFCC in four Skye bank accounts linked to her but opened with the four companies account.
The four companies are : Seagate property and investment Development Company Limited, Pluto Property and Investment Development Company Limited, Avalon Property and Investment Developmet Company Limited, Transoceanic Property and Investment Development Company Limited. These companies directors had pleaded guilty when arraigned.
At the court proceedings on Tuesday, the counsel to Dudafa, Mr Gbenga Oyewole, informed the court of pending applications seeking to change the companies’ guilt pleas.
Oyewole told the court that his clients application, which was attached with four exhibits, an affidavit and a written address, was pursuant to section 274,396,474 and 478 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2011, and of inherent jurisdiction of the court.
Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, the prosecutor described the application as strange and a serious violent abuse of court process.
The prosecutor said though the companies have a right to change their pleas before ruling or judgement is delivered, he added that going by the documents from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the companies mandate forms from Skye bank, the purported directors were the ones who were signatories to the companies.
In view of this, the presiding judge, Justice Babs Kuewunmi, adjourned till October 7 to rule either to uphold the accused applications or to dismiss it.
The EFCC, in a second amended charge marked FHC /337C/16, alledged that the three accussed persons alongside the four companies, between November 13, 2013 and March 31,2015, conspired with one Sombre Omeibi, who is now at large,to retain the sum of $15.591,700, which they were supposed to know is part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.