Court fixes February 25 for trial of Fashola’s impersonator

A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed February 25 to resume the trial of Mr Malik Wakili who was charged with impersonating and defrauding Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN).

Tribune Online reports that proceedings on the matter were stalled due to the absence of trial judge, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke.

Justice Aneke did not sit following the demise of his colleague of the court’s Abeokuta division, Justice Ibrahim Watila, who passed away on Monday after a brief illness.

Tribune Online also reports that Mr Wakili was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in December 2019 on a three-count charge of impersonating and defrauding Fashola of N3.1 million.

The EFCC alleged that he committed the offence in March 2019.

Prosecution counsel, Usman Buhari, said Wakili conspired with one Abdullahi Umar, said to be at large, “to fraudulently impersonate Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) with intent to gain monetary advantage for themselves.”

The defendant, it was claimed, “converted N3,106,216, being the value of the Air-Miles Skywards Account Number EK248739282 of Mr Babatunde Fashola with Emirates Airlines and which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity, to wit: fraud.”

Buhari said Wakili acted contrary to sections 15(2)(a) and 27(1)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and was liable to be punished under sections 15(3) and 22(3)(a) of the same Act.

Wakili, however, pleaded not guilty.

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