EFCC arraigns 7 over N148.3m fraud

EFCC arraigns 7 over N148.3m fraud
Six men and a limited liability company, were today, arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged N148. 302 million fraud.

Those arraigned before Justice Babs Kuewumi by the EFCC on the alleged fraud are Alimi Haruna, Momouda Mohammed, Shittu Muideen, Akpojaro Amos, Joga Yusuf, Duru Patrick, and Ashmina Oil and Gas Limited.

The accused persons were charged before the court on charges bordering on conspiracy, money laundering, unlawfully retaining proceed of the illicit act, obtaining the huge amount of money without going through financial institution and obtaining under false pretence.

The offences according to the EFCC's lawyer, Ekene Iheanachor are contrary to sections 18, 15(2)(d) and 1(a) and punishable under sections 15(3) and 16(2) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011, as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012.

Arraigning the accused persons on Tuesday, the prosecutor, Iheanachor told the court that the accused committed the offences sometimes on May 2017 in Lagos State.

The prosecutor said the accused persons conspired among themselves to disguise the origin of the amount which was proceeds of unlawful activities. 

He particularly told the court that the first accused, Haruna, his company, Ashmina Oil and Gas Limited, and Okey Onyejiaka and Dublin Energy Limited, now at large, retained the said sum in their accounts with United Bank for Africa (UBA) and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) knowing that the said money was a proceeds of unlawful activity.

He also told the court that Haruna, his company made a cash payment of N68.1 million to Dublin Energy Limited without going through a financial institution. 

He also told the court that the duo of Akpojaro Amos, Okey Onyejiaka and Dublin Energy Limited (now at large) retained the sum of N15. 140, 000 million in their FCMB's account and made a cash payment of the same amount to Dublin Energy Limited without going through a financial institution.

All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge. 

With the accused not guilty plea, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date, he also urged the court to remand them in prison custody pending until the conclusion of the matter.

Responding, lawyers to the accused, who include N. O. Musa Hussain, O.K. Salawu and A. I. Unegbu, informed the court that they have filed bail applications of their clients.

However, the prosecution told the court that they are still within time to respond to the bail applications.

After hearing from the parties, Justice Babs Kuewumi, adjourned the matter till November 5, for the hearing of the bail applications while ordering that all the accused persons be remanded in prison custody.


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