An employee of Diamond Bank Plc, Mr Babatunde Faro, has been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 4-count charge of money laundering, false declaration of assets and fraud to the tune of $1million.
The accused was brought before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja on Friday alongside another suspect, one Mr Sada Amadu.
The EFCC accused Mr Adamu of making cash payment of the said sum being an amount exceeding the stipulated N5 million threshold payable cash by an individual according to law, to Faro.
The offence, the anti-graft explained, was a breach of Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(2)(b) of the same Act.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Sada Adamu, on or about the 2nd day of March 2015 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court made a cash payment of One Million US Dollars being an amount exceeding Five Million Naira to Babatunde Faro without going through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(2)(b) of the same Act”.
But the accused persons pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
In view of their plea, counsel to EFCC, S. A. Ugwuebulam, asked the court for a date to commence trial.
However, W. Y. Maman and W. T. Iorshe representing Mr Adamu and Mr Faro respectively prayed the court to grant the accused persons bail pending trial.
Opposing the motion, Ugwuebulam stated that, “the offences border on money laundering and other financial transactions without licenses. I urge the court to discountenance the motion for bail and order speedy trial of the case”.
Justice Dimgba, thereafter, adjourned to November 14, 2016 for ruling on the bail application and ordered the accused persons to be remanded in Kuje prison.