Court remand BUKOLA SARAKI’s aide in Ikoyi prison.
Bukola saraki’s Deputy chief of staff, Gbenga Mokanjuola who is also a senatorial aspirant under PDP for Kwara south and others arraigned for money laundering and diversion of #3.5billion Paris club refund money into private account.
Makanjuola and Amobi were arraigned alongside Melrose General Services Limited on an eleven-count fee bordering on fraud by using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before Babs Kuewumi, a judge of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court.
Also joined as a defendant inside the healthy is Kolawole Shittu, a cashier inside the senate president’s office.
Ekene Iheanacho, the EFCC prosecutor, stated the defendants and one Robert Mbonu (now at large) had someday in December 2016 conspired among themselves to hide the foundation of N3.5 billion which become paid into Melrose General Services Limited account with Access Bank Plc.
The Commission said the 1/3 accused, Mr Amobi, who’s the operation supervisor of Melrose General Services between December 15 and 17, 2016, made a coins charge of N300 million to Mr Mbonu from the stated N3.5bn, with out going via a financial institution.
They additionally accused Messrs Makanjuola and Shittu of creating coins bills, in December 2016, totaling $1.m of $500, 000 in 3 tranches, among themselves with out going thru a monetary institution.
The offences, in step with the prosecutor, are contrary to 18, 15(2)(d), 15(2)(b) 1(a) and sixteen(2)(b) of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, and punishable below Sections 15(three) and 16 (2)(b) of the equal act.
They pleaded now not guilty to the costs.
Following their arraignment, Mr Iheanacho requested that the defendants be remanded in prison even as also in search of for an ordeal date.
Responding, Mr Makanjuola’s legal professional, Paul Erokoro, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, drew the courtroom’s interest to his client’s bail application.
He said the application has been served on the prosecution and sought the courtroom’s permission to move it.
A comparable request became additionally made via Mr Amobi’s lawyer, Omeoga Chukwu.
The court docket granted the two legal professionals the permission to move their bail packages.
In his argument, Mr Erokoro stated his purchaser become a former member of the House of Representatives and as such he is prepared to face his trial.
“My client is a full-time staff at the Senate and is not a flight risk. He was a member of the House of Representatives. I urge the court to grant him bail to prepare for his trial”, he said.
Mr Chukwu also pleaded with the court to admit his client to bail on liberal terms.
However, in his response, EFCC’s lawyer, Mr Iheanacho, urged the court to dismiss the applications saying the defendants constitute a flight risk.
“One of the defendants has absconded. The chances that the other defendants will abscond are now higher with their arraignment. We urge the court to refuse the defence’s requests”, he said.
After listening to the submissions of parties in the matter, the judge adjourned till October 9 for ruling on the bail applications.
Some of the counts against the defendants are::
“That you, Robert Chidozie Mbonu (now at large), Melrose General Services Limited, Gbenga Makanjuola and other persons at large sometimes in December 2016 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to disguise the unlawful origin of the sum of N3.5 billion paid into the account of Melrose General Services Limited and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended by the Act No. 2012)and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.