By Taiye Agbaje
Abuja, Aug. 3, 2020
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, filed an additional seven-count charge against the former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, over alleged offences bordering on money laundering.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adoke, alongside an Abuja-based businessman, Aliyu Abubakar, was, on June 17, arraigned before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, over charges involving about N400 million.
Six out of the seven counts in the initial charge involved only the former AGF.
Although the trial was expected to begin on Monday, the amended charges by the EFCC stalled its commencement.
At the resumed trial, Counsel to the anti-graft agency, Bala Sanga, informed the court of an amended charge he filed on July 29 which was served on all the defendants.
Justice Ekwo, who frowned at the late filing of the amended charges, adjourned the trial till Tuesday on the ground that he was yet to sight the latest applications.
In the former seven-count charge, EFCC alleged that the defendants committed the money laundering offences involving over N400 million in Abuja in September 2013.
Part of the counts relating to Adoke accused him of receiving the dollar equivalent of N300 million from Abubakar, paying the dollar equivalent of N367. 3 million to one Usman Mohammed Bello, and allegedly using the sum of N300 million, which was alleged to be part of the proceeds of unlawful activities, all in violations of various provisions of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.
The former AGF was also accused of making “structured cash payments, in 22 tranches” amounting to N80 million, another of such structured payments in 13 tranches summing up to N50 million into his Unity Bank account.
The commission alleged that the funds were not only part of the proceeds of unlawful acts but they also exceeded “thresholds outside a financial institution” and that the payments were done with the intention of concealing the origins of the funds contrary to section 15(2(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same law.