Alleged Money Laundering: Court Admits Former Skye Bank Chairman, MD to N50m Bail

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The Federal High Court, Abuja Monday admitted former Chairman of the Board of now defunct Skye Bank Plc, Dr Tunde Ayeni, and the Managing Director of the Bank Timothy Oguntayo to bail in the sum of N50 million each.

Both Ayeni and Oguntayo were arraigned before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an eight-count criminal charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N4.7 billion and another $5 million between 2014 and 2015 when they held sway at the helm of affairs at the bank.

Justice Dimgba, who granted bail to the defendants following an application moved by their counsel, also ordered the defendants to provide two sureties in like sum, who can be either a civil servant with an Assistant Director level and a business or professional person with evidence of landed property within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja or Lagos.

Dimgba also ordered that the defendants submit their international passports with the Registrar of the court and can only travel with the permission of the court.

When the matter was called up, prosecution counsel Abba Mohammed told the court that the matter was scheduled for arraignment of the defendants and that the charge be read to them.

However, they pleaded not guilty to the charges, which prompted their counsel to draw the court’s attention to pending applications for their bail.

Counsel to the 1st defendant, Dele Adeshina (SAN), informed the court that the 1st defendant’s bail application filed 13 December, 2018 has already been served on the prosecution and sought leave of the court to move it.

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Similarly, counsel to the 2nd defendant, Tola Oshodin (SAN), said the bail application filed on the 17th December, 2018 was served on the prosecution in the court just Monday morning because the charge against the 2nd defendant was only served on him Monday 17th December, 2018.

Responding, the prosecution counsel told the court that the application of the 1st defendant was only brought to his notice in court Monday morning by the 1st defendant’s counsel while he was just served with that of the 2nd defendant.

Ruling on the bail application, the court held that the defendants are entitled to bail and subsequently admitted them to N50 million each.

The judge also held that the defendants are given the next 36 hours to perfect their bail or be remanded in prison custody.

He then adjourned the matter till February 13 and 14 for commencement of trial.

Count 1 of the charge read: That you Dr. Tunde Ayeni whilst being the Chairman Board of Directors of Skye Bank Plc and Timothy Ajani Oguntayo whilst been the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Skye Bank between the years 2014 and 2015 conspired at different times to do an illegal act, to wit: caused cash delivery to you Dr. Tunde Ayeni of the sums of money totaling M,750,000,000,00 (Four Billion Seven Hundred and Fufty Million Naim) and USD$,000,000.00 (Five Mil|ion United States Dollars) belonging to Skye Bank Plc contrary to the provisions of section 1(a) of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as Amended) read together with section 18(0) of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as Amended) and punishable under section 16(2Xb) of the Money medering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as Amended).

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COUNT 2 That you Dr. Tunde Ayeni whilst being the Chairman, Board of Directors of Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank Plc) on or about the 23″ January, 2014 at Abuja within the Abuja Judicial Division of this Honourable Court did accept cash payment in the sum of N1, 000,000,00000 (One Billion Noim ) from staff of Skye Bank Plc being money belonging to Skye Bank Plc, contrary to the provisions of section 1(0) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as Amended) and punishable under section 16(1)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as Amended) read together with section 16(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as Amended). COUNT 3: That you Dr. Tunde Ayeni whilst being the Chairman, Board of Directors of Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank Plc) sometime in September, 2014 in Abuja: within the Abuja Judicial Division of this Honourable Court did accept cash payment in the sum of 859 5,000,000.00 (Five l Million United States Dollars) from staff of Skye Bank Plc being money belonging to Skye Bank Plc, contrary to the provisions of section 1(a) of l the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as Amended) and punishable under section 16(1)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) I Act, 2011 (as Amended) read together with section 16(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as Amended).

Source: Thisday

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