Kwara: Ex-finance Commissioner remanded for money laundering

January 29, 2020
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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ilorin zonal office has arraigned immediate past commissioner for Finance in Kwara state, Engineer Ademola Banu, before a Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin on charges bordering on money laundering.

The former commissioner was arraigned alongside Travel Messenger Company Limited and one Olarewaju Adeniyi on a nine-count charge before the court.

The EFCC alleged that the defendant conspired among themselves to launder the sum of N411,000,000 belonging to the Kwara state government.

Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Olarewaju Adeniyi, Ademola Banu and Travel Messenger Limited between January to December 2018 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court conspired among yourselves to commit an offence, to with conversion of the sum of #411,000,000.00 only, property of Kwara State Government, which sum you reasonably ought to know was derived from fraud, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the money laundering (prohibition) (amendment) act, 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) and (4) of the same act”.

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The accused persons pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them in court.

Counsel to the EFCC, Nnaemeka Omewa, told the presiding judge, saying, “My Lord, following the plea of not guilty entered by the defendants, the prosecution shall be asking this honourable court to give a trial date to enable us to prove our case. We also want you to remand the defendants in Correctional Facility pending the hearing and determination of this case”.

Defence Counsel, Gboyega Oyewole and Bamidele Ibironke, however, prayed Justice Babagana Ashigar to grant bail to their clients, arguing that the offences in which the defendants are standing trial are bailable.

Prosecuting counsel in opposing the bail applications of the accused persons, however, filed a counter-affidavit and urged the judge not acceed to the request.

Justice Ashigar adjourned the ruling of the application till 10th of February 2020 and ordered the defendants to be remanded in EFCC custody.

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