Court remands ex-Kwara finance commissioner, others

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A Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital has remanded ex-finance commissioner in the state Ademola Banu in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged money laundering.

Engr Banu served under the former Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed as commissioner.

The Ilorin zonal office of the anti-graft agency arraigned the commissioner alongside Travel Messenger Company Limited and one Olarewaju Adeniyi on a nine count charge before the court.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants conspired among themselves to launder the sum of about N411 million belonging to the Kwara state government.

The charges read: “That you, Olarewaju Adeniyi, Ademola Banu and Travel Messenger Limited between January to December 2018 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable court conspired among yourselves to commit an offence, to with: conversion of the sum of N411,000,000.00 ( four hundred and eleven million naira) only property of Kwara state government, which sum you reasonably ought to know was derived from fraud, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the money laundering (prohibition) (amendment) act, 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) and (4) of the same act ”

The accused person pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them in court.

Counsel to the EFCC, Nnaemeka Omewa told the Presiding judge said “my following the plea of not guilty entered by the defendants, the prosecution shall be asking this honourable Court to give a trial date to enable us prove our case , we also want you remand the defendants in Correctional Facility pending the hearing and determination of this case ”
Defence counsel, Gboyega Oyewole and Bamidele Ibironke urged the court to grant bail to their clients, arguing that the offences in which the defendants are standing trial are bailable.

Prosecuting counsel in opposed the bail applications filed a counter affidavit and urged the judge not to accede to the request.

Presiding judge Justice Babagana Ashigar adjourned the ruling of the application till 10th of February 2020.