Surety Withdraws from N4.6bn Money Laundering Case

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There was mild drama at the Federal high court, yesterday as a surety to a former National Chairman, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Yusuf Danjuma, standing trial over charges bordering on laundering of N4.6 billion, informed the court that he was no longer willing to stand as his surety.

Danjuma alongside a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode and a former Minister of State for Finance, Senator Nenadi Usman are facing charges of money laundering brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Also charged is a company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Ltd. However, Clement Onwuenwuenor, SAN lawyer to Danjuma urged the court to allow him speak with the surety and plead with him to have a change of mind.

The trial judge, Justice Daniel Osiagor granted the request and stood down the case for 30 minutes.

When trial resumed, Yusuf Danjuma’s lawyer Clement Onwuenwuenor, SAN, informed the court that the surety has been persuaded to wait until the next adjourned date to withdraw himself as surety.

Earlier, while addressing the court, the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to take the plea of the accused.

After the charge was read to the defendants, they all pleaded not guilty. Following their ‘not guilty’ plea, Justice Osiagor ruled that the defendants should continue on their previous bail conditions and adjourned the case till March 11, 2022 for trial.

The EFCC re-arraigned the accused on 17-counts amended charge of money laundering.

Their re-arraignment was sequel to the transfer of the case file to a new trial judge, Justice Daniel Osiagor.

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The defendants were previously before Justice Sure Hassan, before their case file was re-assigned to Justice Aikawa following an application by counsel to Fani-Kayode, Mr. Norrisson Quakers.

Shortly after the case was transferred, Justice Aikawa was transferred outside of Lagos.

In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015.

In counts one to seven, they were alleged to have unlawfully retained over N3.8 billion which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of stealing and corruption.

In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015 in Lagos.

They were alleged to have at various times, unlawfully retained over N4.6 billion, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful acts of stealing and corruption.

In counts 15 to 17, Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, who is said to be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos.

The said payments were alleged to have been made in excess of amounts allowed by law without going through a financial institution.

In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015.

In counts one to seven, they were alleged to have unlawfully retained over N3.8 billion which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of stealing and corruption.

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In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015 in Lagos.

They were alleged to have at various times, unlawfully retained over N4.6 billion, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful acts of stealing and corruption.

In counts 15 to17, Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, who is said to be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos.

The said payments were alleged to have been made in excess of amounts allowed by law without going through a financial institution.

All offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

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