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N950m Money Laundering: Ex-Ministers, Shekarau, Wali Get Bail

KANO, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A Federal High Court sitting in Kano has granted bail to a former Governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and two others over alleged money laundering.

Shekarau, a former Minister of Education is arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside a former External Affairs Minister, Aminu Bashir Wali and one Mansur Ahmad on a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N950 million.

The trial Judge, Justice Zainab Abubakar-Bage granted the defendants bail in the sum of N100 million each with two reliable sureties in like sum.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Johnson Ojoghame during hearing Thursday told the court that the defendants had between March 26 and 27, 2015 in Kano, conspired between themselves and received various sums of money without going through financial institutions.

He disclosed to court that the money was issued out to the defendants by the People’s Democratic Party PDP and former Petroleum Minister Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke.

Accordingly, the prosecutor contended that the offences allegedly committed by the accused contravened sections 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act and Section 15(1) of money laundering Act.

While the trio had pleaded not guilty to the charges, their counsel, Mr. Ologunolisa Sam (SAN) made a written bail application in respect of the defendants under Section 163 of the Criminal Justice Act 2015.

“The defendants were early in May 2016 invited by EFCC and at no time were they found wanting when they were granted bail.

“If granted bail, the defendants would not jump bail, nor commit any offence and would not tamper with police investigation” the defence Lawyer pleaded.

In her ruling, Justice Abubakar-Bage held that the first surety should have landed property within the jurisdiction of the court while the second surety should not be below the rank of a director.

She in addition ordered the defendants to surrender their International passport and two recent passport size photographs to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court.

The case has been adjourned for trial till June 26, 2018.

 

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