ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- On Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned a couple, Ruth and Oriyomi Idowu, for alleged money laundering and forgery.
The couple were arraigned alongside firms belonging to Ms Idowu, the third to the sixth defendants (Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Ltd., Samee Idowu Company Ltd. and Farmex Integrated Companies Ltd).
They were charged with 20 counts bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, money laundering, stealing, retaining stolen property, and forgery and were arraigned before the Ikeja Special Offences Court.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The EFCC counsel, Bilikisu Buhari, prayed the court for a trial date and that the defendants be remanded in prison custody following their not-guilty plea.
The first defence counsel, Gabriel Onwubuya, informed the court of his client’s bail application yet to be served on the prosecution.
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Mr Onwubuya further prayed the court to remand the defendant in EFCC custody and for a short adjournment for the hearing and determination of the bail application.
The prosecution, however, informed the court that the holding facility of the EFCC was already overstretched and that the appropriate place in the instance following arraignment was the prison custody.
The court held that there was no bail application from the second defence counsel before the court.
Justice Mojisola Dada ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody pending a hearing and determination of their bail application. Ms Dada subsequently adjourned the case until 15 December for a hearing of bail application.
According to the charge sheet, the prosecution alleged the defendants to have dishonestly retained N936.6 million in their UBA bank account, property of Creditpro Business Support services.
The prosecutor also submitted that the defendants allegedly used N10 million to purchase a GLK Benz, a purchase sum derived from converting N500 million belonging to Creditpro Business Support Services to disguise the funds’ illegal origin.
The defendants were also alleged to have conspired with intent to defraud, claimed to have a genuine local purchase order (LPO) from various vendors and obtained N2.757 billion from the complainant for themselves.
According to the prosecution, the alleged offences contravene sections 1(1)(a), 8 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and 278(2) 328, 331, 332 and 365 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.