LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
The Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arraigned the immediate past Commissioner for Finance in Kwara State, Mr Ademola Banu before a Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin on charges that border on money laundering.
Banu was arraigned alongside Travel Messenger Company Limited and one Olarewaju Adeniyi on a nine count charge before Justice Babangana Ashigar led Court.
The EFCC alleged that the defendant conspired among themselves to launder about four hundred and eleven million naira 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 wit: conversion of the sum of N411,000,000.00 ( four hundred and eleven million naira) 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 “
The Accused Person pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them in Court.
Counsel to the EFCC, Nnaemeka Omewa told the Presiding Judge ” 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 prove our case , we also want you remand the defendants in Correctional Facility pending the hearing and determination of this case “
Defence Counsel, Gboyega Oyewole and Bamidele Ibironke however prayed Justice 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 accede 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.