The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, June 11, 2018, presented its first witness in the on-going trial of Nanle Dariye, son of former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye, on a 6-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N1.5 billion before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The suit filed with charge no. FHC/ABJ/CR/19/2018 has Mr Dariye as first defendant. The second defendant is Apartment le Paradis, an hotel where he was director.
The counsel to the EFCC, George Adebola, presented his first witness (PW1), Emem Kongkor, who introduced herself as an operative of the anti-graft agency and Team Leader “Team A” of the Inspection and Enforcement Unit of the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, SCUML.
“SCUML has the mandate to register, monitor and regulate the activities of designated non-financial institutions, DNFIs. Section 25 of the Money Laundering Act 2011 (as amended) defines DNFIs to include mechanized farming, hotels, casinos, supermarkets and other small scale businesses”
According to Ms Kongkor, “Section 10 of the Money Laundering Act 2011(as amended) mandates all DNFIs to report in writing every single lodgments or transfer that exceeds the threshold of N5 million or its equivalent for individual accounts and N10million or its equivalent for corporate accounts within seven days”.
The witness narrated how sometime in 2017, a case of non-compliance with the Money Laundering Act 2011 (as amended) was referred to Team “A” for investigation. Following the investigation, “the team liaised with the Asset Management Co-operation of Nigeria, AMCON desk of EFCC and investigations revealed that Dariye had a case with the AMCON team of EFCC as well.
“Furthermore, the first defendant was invited on May 15, 2017 to meet with the Team “A” and AMCON. During the meeting, Dariye disclosed that he did not know that the second defendant, Apartment le Paradis Limited was not registered with SCUML. I took him through the Money Laundering Act 2011 (as amended) and explained the need to register the hotel and report transactions and advised that he register with SCUML and send backlog of all its business transactions. A formal letter of non-compliance was written to Apartment le Paradis Limited on May 30, 2017 stating their obligations with regards to DNFI registration and reporting“,she said.
Further engagements included letters to Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC dated February 6, 2018 requesting for the names of directors and First Bank Plc on February 8, 2018 requesting for the account opening forms, the statement of account for First Bank Plc Account No 2014165731 through which the sum of N1.5B was laundered.
The counsel to EFCC tendered the statement dated May 15, 2017. And with no objection from counsel to Mr Dariye, Peter Erivwode, the document was admitted in evidence as Exhibit A .
Additional proof of evidence to back the testimony were tendered and admitted as as follow:
Two internal memos from SCUML to AMCON as Exhibit B1 and B2; letter of non-compliance to second defendant from SCUML as Exhibit C; formal correspondence to CAC as Exhibit D; formal correspondence to First Bank as Exhibit E; formal response from CAC dated March 1, 2018 as Exhibit F and formal response from First Bank Plc as Exhibit G .
The case has been adjourned to June 12, 2018 for cross-examination.