EFCC ARRAIGNS FAYOSE ON MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGE

Immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose was this morning arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Hon. Justice M. Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on an eleven-count charge bordering on money laundering. He pleaded not guilty to all the counts and through his lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN) applied for bail. The prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo informed the court that he needed time to respond to the application for bail and the charge has been adjourned to Wednesday, the 24th of Oct 2018.

Mr. Fayose is accused of retaining sums which he reasonably ought to have known constituted proceeds of an unlawful act, of receiving cash sums exceeding the limit permitted by law, and of receiving gratification in contravention of the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended).
Mr. Fayose was alleged to have retained the sum of N1,219,000,000 along with Mr. Abiodun Agbele sometime in June 2014 to fund his gubernatorial campaign; the sum of N300 million in his fixed deposit account with Zenith Bank Plc sometime in April 2015; the aggregate sum of N317 million between June and August 2014 which he deposited in the account of Spotless Investment Limited, a company owned by him and his family; the aggregate sum of N305,760,000 between June and August 2014 into his account with Zenith Bank; the aggregate sum of N719, 490,000 in June 2014 which he procured De-Privateer Limited and Abiodun Agbele to retain for him; the aggregate sum of N1,151,711,573 which he used between November 2011 and August 2015 to acquire chalets 3 and 4 and 6 and 9 of the property at Plot 100, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos; an aggregate sum of N200 million which he used in April 2015 to acquire the property at No 44, Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja in the name of his elder sister, Moji Oladeji; an aggregate sum of N270 million in April 2015 to acquire a property at Plot 1504, Yedseram street, Maitama, Abuja in the name of Spotless Investment Ltd. These sums are alleged to have been retained in contravention of Section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) as they constitute proceeds which Mr. Fayose ought to have reasonably known form proceeds of crime – criminal breach of trust and stealing.
Mr Fayose was also alleged to have procured Still Earth Limited to retain the sum of N132,500,000 for his benefit in the company’s account with First City Monument Bank (FCMB) which constitutes proceeds of an unlawful activity – gratification received from Samchase Nigeria Ltd in contravention of Section 18(c) of the Act.
Mr. Fayose was alleged to have collected the sum of USD 5 million from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro  without going through a financial institution contrary to Sections 1 and 16 (d) of Act.

For ease of reference, the relevant provisions of the Act are reproduced below:

Section 15 (2)(d): Any person, or body corporate, in or outside Nigeria, who directly or indirectly acquires, uses, retains or takes possession or control of; any fund or property, knowingly or reasonably ought to have known that such fund or property is, or forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act commits an offence of money laundering under this Act.

Section 15 (3): A person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (2) of this section is liable on conviction to a term of not less than 7 years but not more than 14 years imprisonment. 

Section 15 (4): A body corporate who contravenes the provisions of subsection (2) of this section is liable on conviction to

(a) a fine of not less than 100% of the funds and properties acquired as a result of the offence committed; and

(b) withdrawal of licence.

Section 1: No person or body corporate shall, except in a transaction through a financial institution, make or accept cash payment of a sum exceeding –

  • N5, 000,000.00 or its equivalent in the case of an individual; or
  • N10, 000,000.00 or its equivalent in the case of a body corporate.

Section 16 (1) (d): Without prejudice to the penalties provided under section 15 of this Act, any person who – makes or accepts cash payments exceeding the amount authorized under this Act commits an offence.

Section 16 (2) (b):  A person who commits an offence under subsection (1)  paragraphs (b) – (f), is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than 3 years or a fine of N10,000,000 or to both, in the case of individual and, N25,000,000, in the case of a body corporate.

 Section 18 (c): A person who – incites, procures or induces any other person by any means whatsoever to commit an offence, under this Act, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to the same punishment as is prescribed for that offence under this Act.

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