The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arraigned an associate of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Abiodun Agbele, before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja.
He was arraigned on an 11-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N1,219,000,000 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Nineteen Million Naira).
The money is part of N4, 685, 723,000, (Four Billion, Six Hundred and Eighty-five Million, Seven Hundred and Twenty-three Thousand Naira) allegedly transferred from an account belonging to the Office of the National Security Adviser with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Mr. Agbele was arraigned alongside a former Minister of Defence for State, Musliu Obanikoro; Sylvan Mcnamara Limited; Lt. A.O Adewale; Tunde Oshinowo and Olalekan Ogunseye (all at large).
One of the charges reads:
“That you, Abiodun Agbele, Musliu Obanikoro (now at large), (while being the Minister of Defence for State), Sylvan Mcnamara Limited, LT. A.O Adewale (now at large), Tunde Oshinowo (now at large) and Olalekan Ogunseye (now at large) (while being the sole signatory to the Zenith Bank account of Sylvan Mcnamara Limited) sometime between the 4th day of April, 2014 and 13th November, 2014, conspired amongst yourselves to commit illegal act to wit: laundering the sum of N4, 685, 723, 000.00 being sum transferred from the Office of the National Security Adviser with Central Bank of Nigeria by Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) which you knew or reasonably ought to have known that the said fund formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity of Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) the then National Security Adviser, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As amended in 2012) and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.
Mr. Agbele pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.
In view of his plea, prosecuting counsel, Johnson Ojogbane, asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand the accused person in prison.
However, counsel to the accused person, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, urged the court to grant the accused person bail on self-recognition, adding that the accused person had earlier been granted administrative bail by the Commission.
But Mr. Ojogbane kicked against the application, while seeking accelerated hearing of the case. According to him, ‘‘the accused is in touch with others at large.’’
After listening to both counsels, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba ordered the accused person remanded in Kuje prison and fixed Thursday, August 4, 2016 for ruling on the bail application.