The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday arraigned Abdullahi Babalele, said to be a son-in-law of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for allegedly laundering $140,000 in the build-up to the 2019 General Elections.
Also, Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, said to be Atiku’s lawyer, was separately arraigned for allegedly laundering $2m in connection with the polls.
Atiku contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party against President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress.
Both Babalele and Giwa-Osagie were arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Babalele was accused of “procuring Bashir Mohammed to make cash payment of $140,000 without going through any financial institution.”
The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, said the money exceeded the threshold stipulated by the money laundering law.
He said Babalele made the transaction on February 20, 2019 in contravention of Section 18 (c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and was liable to be punished under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
When the two counts were read to him, however, Babalele pleaded not guilty.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo adjourned till Thursday to hear the bail application filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN).
He ordered that Babalele should be returned to the custody of the EFCC.
Immediately after Babalele’s arraignment, Giwa-Osagie and Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, said to be his brothers, were called into the dock.
They were both arraigned on two counts bordering on alleged laundering of $2m on February 12, 2019.
The EFCC prosecutor, Oyedepo, told the court that the Giwa-Osagie brothers conspired to make cash payment of $2m without going through a financial institution.
He said they acted contrary to Sections 18(a) and 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and were liable to be punished under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
But they pleaded not guilty.
Justice Oweibo adjourned till Thursday to take the bail applications filed on their behalf by their lawyer, Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN).
The judge ordered that they should be returned to the custody of the EFCC.
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