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Cubana Chief Priest Seeks Out-of-Court Settlement in Naira Abuse Case with EFCC

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LAGOS, Nigeria — Prominent businessman and celebrity bartender Pascal Okechukwu, popularly known as Cubana Chief Priest, is negotiating an out-of-court settlement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, regarding charges of naira abuse.

This development was revealed during a court session at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

Chikaosolu Ojukwu, Okechukwu’s lawyer, informed Justice Kehinde Ogundare that both parties are seeking to resolve the matter in line with section 14(2) of the EFCC Act.

“If the EFCC confirms the position as true, there will be a need to apply for a withdrawal of the defense’s preliminary objection to allow for reconciliation,” Ojukwu stated.

EFCC’s prosecutor, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, confirmed that the commission is considering the application for settlement. Subsequently, the defense counsel withdrew the preliminary objection, which the court accepted without any objections from the prosecution.

Justice Ogundare has adjourned the case until June 5, awaiting a report on the potential settlement.

Cubana Chief Priest was initially arraigned on April 17 for allegedly spraying and mishandling Naira notes during a social event at the Eko Hotel in Lagos.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail for N10 million with stringent conditions, including providing sureties who are high-ranking government employees and securing landed property within the court’s jurisdiction.

The court also required him to surrender his travel passport and be released to his lawyer’s custody, under the condition that he appear in court for his trial.

This case follows a similar charge last month against Idris Okuneye, known as Bobrisky, who was sentenced to six months in prison on related charges.

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