Cubana Chief Priest Seeks Out-of-Court Settlement with EFCC Over Naira Abuse Charge

Celebrity bartender and entrepreneur Pascal Okechukwu, popularly known as Cubana Chief Priest, is exploring the possibility of reaching an out-of-court settlement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) regarding the allegations of Naira abuse leveled against him.
During the proceedings at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday, Cubana Chief Priest’s lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria Chikaosolu Ojukwu, informed Justice Kehinde Ogundare that his client is seeking a resolution with the anti-graft agency.
Ojukwu disclosed that both parties have applied for the matter to be settled in accordance with the provisions of section 14(2) of the EFCC Act.
However, he indicated that the withdrawal of the defence’s preliminary objection would be necessary for reconciliation if the EFCC confirms the position.
Confirming the application, EFCC prosecutor Mrs. Bilikisu Buhari informed the court that the Commission was still deliberating on the matter.
In light of this development, the defence counsel requested the withdrawal of the preliminary objection, a request to which the prosecution raised no objections. Consequently, the court granted the withdrawal.
Justice Ogundare adjourned the case until June 5 for a report on the settlement progress.
Cubana Chief Priest was arraigned by the EFCC on April 17 on three counts of allegedly spraying and tampering with Naira notes during a social event at the Eko Hotel in Lagos.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N10 million with stringent conditions.
The conditions of his bail include providing two responsible sureties employed by the Federal or State Government, possessing landed property within the jurisdiction of the court, and submitting his travel passport to the court’s custody.
Failure to meet the bail conditions within seven days would result in his remand in a correctional facility, although he was temporarily released to his lawyer’s custody with an undertaking to ensure his appearance in court for trial.
The case bears similarity to the prosecution of controversial cross-dresser Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, who faced similar charges and was subsequently sentenced to a six-month jail term by the EFCC in April.
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