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N470m Fraud: Court Grants SAN Leave To Attend Conference In Kenya

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Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday granted permission to a former Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State, Dele Belgore (SAN) to travel Kenya to attend a conference.

Justice Aikawa specifically directed the Court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR), to release Belgore international passport, to enable him attend the conference.

The embattled Senior Advocate of Nigeria and former Minister for National Planning, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman were accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of laundering the sum of N470 million.

The anti-graft agency alleged in the charge that the duo in 2014, on or about March 27, 2015, conspired among themselves and directly take possession of N450 million, which they reasonably knew to be proceed of crimes.

The two defendants were also alleged to have on March 27, 2015, transferred the sum of N50 million to some politicians and security officers in Kwara state, without going through financial institutions.

The alleged offences, according to the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, are contrary to Sections 18(a), 15(2)(d),1(a), Section 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 15(3), 4 and 16(2)(b)of the same Act.

They however pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

While ruling application filed before the court, by Belgore, Justice Aikawa ordered that he must returned the traveling document to the DCR by April 4, or face appropriate action from the court.

The court had directed that the international passports of the two accused persons be deposited with the Court’s DCR, as part of their bail conditions.

In his ruling, Justice Aikawa noted, “the applicant had filed the application for the release of his international passport, to enable him attend an international conference in Kenya, and same was served on the prosecution. But the prosecution did not file any counter to oppose the application.

“Since the prosecution has failed to file a counter, it is my belief that the application is deemed properly filed.

“The Deputy Chief Registrar is directed to release the passport to him to enable him attend the international conference in Kenya.

“However, the applicant must return the passport by April 4, failing which appropriate action shall be applied”.

 





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