Court remands Fayose’s ally, Abiodun Agbele, in prison

THE Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, ordered that Abiodun Agbele, an associate of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State be remanded in Kuje Prisons in Abuja, pending the determination of his bail application today.

Agbele and three others were on Wednesday, arraigned  by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an 11-count charge bordering on money laundering of about N4.6 billion allegedly transferred from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd).

The other defendants are Sylvan Mcnamara Limited, De Privateer Limited and Spotless Investment Limited.

Agbele had been in the custody of the anti-graft agency since June 27, 2016.

The trial judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, made the remand order on Wednesday, after taking arguments from counsel on Abgele’s bail application moved by his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome.

Ozekhome, while urging the court to grant his client bail on self recognition, said the prosecution had not laid any shred of evidence to support allegations that the defendant was a flight risk, adding that the onus was on them to show that if granted bail, he would not abscond trial.

He told the court that the applicant was arrested by the EFCC from his house and his international passport, which he submitted as part of the conditions for his administrative bail was still with the commission.

Objecting to the bail application, counsel for the EFCC, Johnson Ojogbane, urged the court to deny Agbele bail on the ground that he would jump bail if granted.

He said the applicant was a flight risk and had perfected plans to flee the country before he was arrested, saying also that the applicant, in conjunction with a former Minister of Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, said to be at large, colluded to move and aid the escape of Olalekan Ogunseye, a principal suspect in the case out of the country and that if Agbele was granted bail, he would flee jurisdiction of the court.

The EFCC further submitted that prior to his arrest, the applicant was still in contact with the said Olalekan and plans had also been concluded to get him out of the country by Governor Fayose and Musiliu Obanikoro.

He, therefore, urged the court to refuse the bail application, but grant an accelerated hearing in the matter.

Part of the charge read: “That you, Abiodun Agbele; Musiliu Obanikoro (now at large), while being the Minister of Defence for State; Sylvan Mcnamara Limited, LT. A.O Adewale (now at alrge); Tunde Osinowo (now at large) and Olalekan Ogunseye (now at large), while being the sole signatory to the Zenith Bank account of Sylvan Mcnamara Limited, sometime between the 4th day of April, 2014 and 13th of November, 2014, conspired amongst yourselves to commit illegal act to wit: laundering the sum of N4, 685, 723,000,000:00 being the sum transferred from the Office of the National Security Adviser with the Central Bank of Nigeria by Colonel Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (retd) which you knew or reasonably ought to know that the said fund formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity of Colonel Dasuki (retd), the then National Security Adviser, and you thereby, committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended in 2012) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

“That you, Abiodun Agbele, Musiliu Obanikoro (now at large) LT. A.O. Adewale (now at large), and Dr. Tunde Osginowo (now at large), on or about the 17th day of June, 2015, directly took possession or control of the sum of N1, 219,000,000:00, being part of the N4, 685, 723,000,000:00 transferred from the Office of the National Security Adviser with the Central Bank of Nigeria, when you know that the funds formed part of proceeds  of unlawful activity of Colonel Dasuki, the then National Security Adviser and Musiliu Obanikoro (the then Minister of Defence for State) to wit: Theft and corruption, and you thereby, committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(d) Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended in 2012) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

“That you, Abiodun Agbele, on or about the 17th of June, 2014, did transfer the sum of N100,000,000:00 into the account of Spotless Investment Limited domiciled in Zenith Bank with Account number 1010170969, when you know that the  funds is the proceeds  of unlawful activity of Colonel Dasuki, the then National Security Adviser and Musiliu Obanikoro (the then Minister of Defence for State) to wit: Theft and corruption, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(b) Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

“That you, Abiodun Agbele and Spotless Investment Limited, on or about the 17th of June, 2014, did retain the sum of N100,000,000:00 with Zenith Bank Account number 1010170969 belonging to Spotless Investment Limited, when you reasonably ought to have known that the funds is the proceeds of unlawful activity of Colonel Dasuki, the then National Security Adviser and Musiliu Obanikoro (the then Minister of Defence for State) to wit: Theft and corruption, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(b) Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.”

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