• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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EFCC arraigns former Kwara finance commissioner over N1.22bn money laundering

EFCC freezes 300 p-to-p forex accounts to avert further naira crash — Olukoyede

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Ademola Banu, a former commissioner for finance in Kwara State over money laundering and misappropriation of state funds to the tune of N1.22 billion.

The anti-graft agency, on Tuesday, disclosed the former state commissioner was arraigned on Monday before Evelyn Anyadike, judge of the federal high court in Ilorin.

He was alleged to have among sundry issues conspired to divert the said sum during the administration of governor Abdulfatah Ahmed between May 2011 and May 2019 when he served as the Commissioner for Finance.

Banu was to be arraigned alongside his principal, former governor Ahmed on February 23, 2024, but when the case came up, he was absent in court and had no legal representation, prompting the court to issue a bench warrant against him upon the application by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN.

Ahmed was arraigned on 12-count charge as the matter was adjourned till April 29.

At the resumed sitting on Monday, Ahmed and Banu, who were listed as the first and second defendants, respectively, were present in court.

Jacobs said, “My Lord, at the last adjournment, the first defendant (governor Abdulfatah) took his plea, but the second defendant (Banu) was not available in court that day, causing your lordship to issue a bench warrant against him”

“Following the order of the court, counsel to the second defendant called me and explained that he would produce his client before the court today, which he has done. I pray the court to allow the charge to be read to him.

The case has, however, been adjourned to June 25 and 26, 2024 for trial.

Also, the EFCC disclosed that it re-arraigned a former assistant comptroller general of Nigerian Customs Service, Bridget Okafor before Justice Venchak .S. Gaba of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Kuje, Abuja.

Okafor alongside her Company Bridkass Investment Integrated Limited, is facing trial on 13 amended count charges bordering on abuse of office, misappropriation and contract scam to the tune of N1,966,378,045.85.

She, however, pleaded not guilty to all the 13-count charges when they were read to her.

Okafor was first arraigned on May 19, 2019 before Justice Gaba in FCT High Court, Kwali, before he was transferred to Kuje FCT High Court.

Meanwhile, after listening to the testimony of Mohammed, Justice Gaba adjourned the matter until June 26, 2024, for cross-examination and continuation of the trial.