The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Albert Bassey, senator representing Akwa Ibom north-east, for alleged money laundering.
The commission arraigned him on a six-count charge for allegedly taking possession of six vehicles worth N204 million when he was a finance commissioner in the state.
He was said to have collected one of the vehicles from Jide Omokore, an associate of Diezani Alison Madueke, former minister of petroleum.
Omokore reportedly had dealings with the state when he offered Bassey the vehicle.
One of the counts against him read: “That you, Albert Bassey, whilst being the Commissioner for Finance, Akwa Ibom State and Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee, IMDLCC sometime in December 2012, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, indirectly took possession of a vehicle (Infinity QX 56 BP) valued at N45,000,000.00 at the instance of one Olajide Jones Omokore (whose companies had contracts with Akwa Ibom State Government at that material time), when you reasonably ought to have known that the said vehicle formed part of proceed of unlawful activity (to wit: corruption) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”
But at the court on Monday, the senator pleaded “not guilty” to the counts when they were read out to him.
Thereafter, Mohammed Abubakar, EFCC counsel, prayed for a date, to enable the prosecution prove it against the senator.
On his part, Solomon Umoh, counsel to Bassey informed the court on an application for his client’s bail.
After listening to counsels, A. A. Okeke, the judge, granted the senator bail in the sum of N20 million.
Okeke said the senator should be held in EFCC custody until he meets his bail conditions.
The judge also withdrew the bench warrant issued against the defendant.
The matter was adjourned till July 2 and 3.
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