EFCC arraigns Atiku’s son-in-law on money laundering charges

Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, EFCC, is set to arraign the son-in-law of the runner-up in the 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, on a two-count charge of money laundering.

According to the charge sheet filed on August 8 and signed on behalf of the EFCC by Rotimi Oyedepo, Abdullahi Babalele is accused of committing the money laundering offence in February.

Mr Babalele had been arrested by the EFCC in February on the suspicion of laundering money the EFCC said was for votes buying. The commission placed him on administrative bail while investigations continued.

He was, however, rearrested on August 9, and according to information from the EFCC, would remain in custody until his arraignment before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on August 14.

The EFCC had also arrested a lawyer and ex-treasurer of Mr Abubakar, Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, on similar charges of money laundering at the time of arrest of Babalele.

The commission separately arraigned Mr Giwa-Osagie on the same day on three counts charge of money laundering before the same judge.

Many opposition figures have accused the EFCC of targeting the two men because of their closeness to Mr Abubakar who is challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in court.

The charges against Mr Babalele reads:

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Count 1

That you ABDULLAHI BABALELE on or about the 20th day of February 2019 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, procured Bashir Mohammed to make cash payment of the sum of $140,000. 00 (One Hundred and Forty Thousand United State Dollars) without going through financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

Count 2

That you ABDULLAHI BABALELE on or about the 20th day of February,2019 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, aided Bashir Mohammed to make cash payment of the sum of $140,000. 00 (One Hundred and Forty Thousand United State Dollars) without going through financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

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