Monday, 27 May 2024.

Top 5 This Week

Related News

EFCC re-arraigns ex-SMEDAN DG Masari for alleged N119m money laundering

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday, 23rd May 2024, re-arraigned the former Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Bature Umar Masari on an amended 22-count charge of alleged money laundering before Justice O.A Egwuatu of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja.

Masari’s arraignment was sequel to his alleged involvement in N119,507,080 (One Hundred and Nineteen million, Five Hundred and Seven Thousand, Eighty Naira), money laundering and gratification.

Prosecution Counsel, Ekele Iheanacho told the court of a 22 amended count charge of 13th May 2013, and filed on 17th May 2019, which he said, was before the court.

He, however, prayed the court for the charges to be read to the defendant, in order for him to take his plea.

Count 19 of the charge reads: “That you Bature Umar Masari between 27th June 2014 and 17th July 2014 at Abuja within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did use the sum of N10,000,000.00 (Ten million naira) paid into your Diamond Bank Plc Account No. 002688674 by Rahuse Ventures Limited when you reasonably ought to have known that the said N10,000,000.00 was proceeds of unlawful activities to wit: conspiracy and gratification and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

Count 20 reads: “That you Bature Umar Masari between 14th July 2014 and 21st July 2014 at Abuja within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did use the sum of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira) paid into your Diamond Bank Plc Account No. 002688674 by Rahuse Ventures Limited when you reasonably ought to have known that the said N10,000,000.00 proceeded of unlawful activities to wit: conspiracy and gratification and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act”.

After the charges were read to the defendant, he pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges.

The prosecution counsel, in view of the “not guilty” plea, applied for a trial date.

But defence counsel, Okechukwu Edeze, told the court that the matter was originally before Justice Okong Abang before he got elevated to the Court of Appeal.

According to him, Justice Abang on 24th May 2019, granted the defendant bail, adding that since then, he has been enjoying the bail conditions.

Edeze, however, prayed the court to allow his client to continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted him by Justice Abang.

Iheanacho did not oppose the bail application but only urged the court to ensure that the sureties were available and still willing to stand as sureties for the defendant.

READ ALSO:

“My Lord we are not opposing the application, except that we don’t know whether the sureties are still available and are still willing to stand as sureties for the defendant, that’s my only concern,” he said.

On his part, Edeze pleaded with the court to release his client to him on bail and promised to produce him and his sureties on the next adjourned date.

After listening to all the arguments, Justice Egwuatu released the defendant to his counsel as prayed and adjourned the matter till 16th July 2024, for the commencement of trial.

Mo Isa
Mo Isa
Mo Isa is writer whose pen only curate the latest news within your neighbourhood.

Latest News