Alleged $205m money laundering: Court adjourns ex-NIA DG Ayo Oke, wife’s trial

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday, February 6, adjourned hearing till February 7 against former director general of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke and his wife Folashade, over alleged concealment of crime proceeds totaling $205 million.

The defendants are charged before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on counts of money laundering, fraud, concealment of crime proceeds, and criminal breech of trust, NAN reports.

We gathered that the case, which was earlier billed for February 1, for arraignment of the defendants was adjourned until February 6, as the case was not listed before the court on that day.

However, on Wednesday, Rotimi Oyedepo appeared for the prosecution and informed the court that although the case was still not listed, he was seeking a clear direction from the court in the circumstances.

He said that the prosecution was having issues with service of the charge on the defendants, adding that he wished to predicate on the existing charge before the court to make certain applications.

Citing provisions of the administration of Criminal Justice Act, he said that the court could compel attendance of the defendants by summons or bench warrant.

In response, Aneke said although the rules had such provisions, it was necessary for the court to have something to act upon, adding that there was nothing before the court at present.

The court consequently, adjourned the case until February 7, for the prosecution to bring his application before the court.

According to the charge, on April 12, 2017, the defendants indirectly concealed the sum of 43.5 million dollars, property of the federal government of Nigeria in Flat 7B, No. 16, Osborne Road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The defendants were also alleged to have between August 25, 2015 and September 2, 2015, in Lagos, indirectly used the sum of 1.7 million dollars, property of the federal government of Nigeria to acquire Flat 7B, No. 16, Osborne Road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The prosecution also alleged that the defendants directly converted the sum of 160.8 million dollars property of the federal government of Nigeria to their own use .

The prosecution said that the defendants reasonably ought to have known that the said sums formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of criminal breach of trust and concealment of crime proceeds.

The offences contravened sections 15, 15 (2), 15(2)(d) and 15 (3) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, as amended in 2015.

Meanwhile, we previously reported that Ayo Oke, a former director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, and wife had reportedly flied out of the country days before they were to be arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Oke and his wife were to face the court on corruption charges by EFCC on Friday, February 1.



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