The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday arraigned the immediate past Commissioner for Finance in Kwara State, Ademola Banu of a Federal High Court, Ilorin on charges bordering on money laundering.
Mr Banu was arraigned before Justice Babangana Ashigar alongside Travel Messenger Company Limited and one Olarewaju Adeniyi on a nine-count charge.
In a statement on Wednesday, the EFCC’s spokesperson, Tony Orilade said that the defendants allegedly conspired among themselves to launder the sum of N411million belonging to the Kwara State Government.
Count one reads: “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 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”.
They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Following their plea, counsel for the EFCC, Nnaemeka Omewa asked the court for a date for trial to commence, “to enable us to prove our case”.
“We also want you to remand the defendants in Correctional Facility pending the hearing and determination of this case,” he added.
Defence counsel, Gboyega Oyewole and Bamidele Ibironke , however, prayed Justice Ashigar to grant bail to their clients, arguing that the offences in which the defendants are standing trial are bailable.
Mr Omewa, however, opposed the bail applications and informed the court of a counter-affidavit, in which he urged the court to dismiss the application.
Justice Ashigar, thereafter, adjourned the matter until February 10, 2020 to rule on the application, and ordered the defendants to be remanded in EFCC custody.