Alleged Money Laundering: Court adjourns trial of Atiku’s son-in-law

EFCC
EFCC

A Lagos Division of the High Court on Friday, adjourned the case of a son-in-law to former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, who is standing trial over alleged money laundering.

The case was adjourned till November 11.

The EFCC had accused Mr Babalele of allegedly laundering about $140,000 (approx N50 million) ”without going through any financial institution in the build-up to the last general elections”. Mr Atiku was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in that election.

The defendant was first arraigned on August 14 before Justice Nicholas Oweibo. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was then granted bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum.

However, following a re-assignment of the case file to a new judge, Chukwujekwu Aneke, the defendant was re-arraigned.

Read also: EFCC re-arraigns Nigerian senator for alleged N3.1bn fraud

He was re-arraigned on Thursday, by the commission on a two-count charge bordering on money laundering.

Also at the last sitting, the defendant applied to the court for the release of his international passport to enable him travel abroad for medical treatment.

But the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, opposed the application arguing that there was no proof that his condition could not be treated in Nigeria.

According to the prosecutors, the said cash the defendant is accused of ”actually exceeded the threshold stipulated by the Money laundering Act offences which contravene the provisions of Section 16(2) and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011”.

Court session

The defendant again pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him, according to a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.

In his ruling today, Mr Aneke granted the temporary release of the defendant’s passport to enable him to travel.

The judge held that the defendant had shown that “he has health issues with the evidence before the court.”

“Only the living can stand trial,” the judge said.

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Mr Aneke, however, directed the defendant to return the passport to the court’s registrar on November 11, 2019.

The case was adjourned to November 11,12 and 13 for the commencement of trial.

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