EFCC docks man for alleged N22.2m money laundering
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, has arraigned one Olalegbin Christopher alongside his firms, Pentview Luxury Real Estate Management Limited and Gelbin Technology Limited over alleged N22, 239,869.79 money laundering.
The suspects were arraigned before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.
The offence is said to be contrary to Section 332(1) of the CriminalLaw of Lagos State, 2015.
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren said this in a statement in Abuja.
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He explained, “The defendant was arrested during a collaborative operation by the EFCC and the Federal Bureau ofInvestigation, FBI, for his alleged involvement in illegal internet activities.
“The defendant also allegedly used his companies to receive and conceal the proceeds of his criminal activities.”
One of the counts reads: “That you, Olalegbin Christopher, Olatunji Olalegbin Mary (at large), Pentview Luxury Real Estate Management Limited, Gelbin Technology Limited and others still at large, between 2015 and 2019 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired to collaborate in the concealing and disguising the genuine nature and ownership of the aggregate sum of N22, 239, 869.79k (Twenty Two Million, Two Hundred and Thirty-nine Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty-nine Naira, Seventy-nine Kobo only)being money received and derived from your illegal internet activities.”
But the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.
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It was on this premise that the prosecution counsel, M.K. Bashir, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed the court to remand the defendant in prison custody pending the determination of the case.
But counsel to the defendant, Abimbola Akeredolu,SAN, informed the court that a bail application had been filed and served on prosecution.
Akeredolu also told the court the prosecution had responded to the affidavit. She, therefore, urged the court to grant her client bail in the most liberal terms.
In his response, the prosecution counsel, Bashir, told the court that a counter-affidavit had been filed and served on the defence, where he opposed the prayer of the defendant.
Further, Bashir described the defendant as a flight-risk, adding that “The defendant, while making statement in the EFCC office, tried to move money from his Zenith Bank account through his phone and also wiped all the information on his phone.”
The prosecutor also informed the court that the defendant’s mum, who aided him in perpetrating the crime, could not be found.
“My Lord, the defendant too may also abscond like his mum,” he said.
In his words, “He is 26 years old and has never worked anywhere; yet, he acquired a 2019 model Porche car worth N120million and a 2015 model Merzedes Benz car worth N75million”.
The prosecution counsel, therefore, urged the court not to grant the defendant bail.
Justice Taiwo, after listening to both parties, said “the offence is a
The Judge, therefore, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N5 million, with two sureties in like sum.
One of the sureties, the trial Judge said, must be a level 16 officer with the Lagos State government, while the other must be a relation of the defendant resident in Lagos.
He also directed that the addresses of the sureties must be verified by the EFCC, while evidence of identification of the sureties must be provided to the court.
Justice Taiwo adjourned the case to October 18 and 23, for commencement of trial and also ordered the defendant to be remanded in Kirikiri prison pending the perfection of his bail conditions.
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