By Lukman Olabiyi

Justice Kehinde Ogundare of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday, adjourned the criminal case instituted against internet socialite Okechukwu Pascal (a.k.a  Cubana Chief Priest due to the prayer for a plea bargain he initiated with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

At the resumption of trial yesterday, Cubana Chief Priest’s counsel, Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN), informed Justice Kehinde Ogundare of the defendant’s intention to toe the path of plea bargain subject to Section 14 of the EFCC Establishment Act.

“We have looked at the charge and pursuant to Section 14 of the EFCC Act which encourages plea bargain agreements.

EFCC counsel Bilkisu Buhari confirmed the position.

Ojukwu then prayed the court to give a short date for parties to return and update the court on the deal.

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He also withdrew the earlier preliminary objection he filed challenging the jurisdiction of court to entertain the charge.

“In the interest of justice, we’re urging the court to strike out the motion since the prosecution has not responded to it,” he added.

Granting his prayer, Justice Ogundare struck out the preliminary objection.

The judge also adjourned the case till June 5, for report of the plea bargain agreement.

The EFCC, had on 17th of April, arraigned the embattled socialite on a three-count charge bordering on abuse of the Naira

One the counts reads: That you, Okechukwu Pascal, on 13th February, 2024, at Eko Hotel Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, while dancing during a social event , tampered with funds in the denomination of N500(Five Hundred Naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying, thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act, 2007.”