Money laundering: Jonathan’s ex-aide loses bid to nullify guilty plea

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A former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo Dudafa, on Friday lost his bid to nullify the guilty plea by four companies linked to Jonathan’s wife, Patience.

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Justice Babs Kuewumi dismissed the application because it was unmeritorious.

The companies, on September 15, pleaded guilty to laundering $15,591,700 (about N5 billion) when they were arraigned.

They are – Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited (represented by Friday Davis), Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited (represented by Agbor Baro), Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited (represented by Dioghowori Frederick) and Avalon Global Property Development Limited (represented by Taiwo Ebenezer).

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Mrs. Jonathan claimed the monies in the companies’ accounts were hers.

The companies, along with a lawyer Amajuoyi Briggs and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku, were arraigned before Justice Babs Kuewumi.

Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku, however, pleaded not guilty to a 17-count charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Dudafa and Briggs, through their lawyers, later urged the court to set aside the guilty plea entered on the firms’ behalf by their representatives.

They urged the court to replace the guilty plea and with a “not-guilty” plea for the companies.

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They also contended that the court lacks the jurisdiction to accept the companies’ guilty plea.

The defendants said those who pleaded guilty for the companies did not exhibit any letter authorising them to do so by the firms’ board.

They argued that the prosecution failed to comply with Section 477(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 which specifies that such a representative must have authorisation.

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