A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Maurice Iwu, has pleaded with the Federal High Court in Lagos to assist in transferring of his N1.23 billion fraud case to Abuja.
The 70-year-old told Justice Nicolas Oweibo that he is too old to make frequent trips from his residence in Abuja to Lagos for his pending trial.
The ex-INEC chairman had been summoned to court on three counts of alleged fraud and money laundering which was filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The anti-graft commission arraigned him on August 8 before Justice Chuka Obiozor, and was granted N1 billion bail later on.
The EFCC who alleged that the ex-INEC chairman committed the offences between December 2014 and March 27, 2015, re-arraigned Prof Maurice Iwu last year October 24.
However, the defendant pleaded not guilty, and since then, the trial has not properly started and was rescheduled due to the judge’s absence.
At the commencement of Thursday’s hearing, Iwu’s lawyer, Ahamed Raji (SAN), told the court that the transfer was essential so that the defendant would not be subjected to unnecessary hardship.
He said Iwu resides in Abuja but have always travelled to Lagos for the case.
“My lord, this defendant is over 70 years of age, and he always travels down to Lagos and books a hotel whenever the case comes up. It will amount to great agony for him to continue with this trial in Lagos,” Raji said.