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Fayose Pleads Not Guilty To N6.9bn Fraud

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Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court in Lagos, yesterday, remanded former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after he pleaded not guilty to a N6.9 billion money laundering charge brought against him by the commission.

Fayose, who was arraigned alongside his company, Spotless Limited on an 11- count charge of fraud and money laundering, is to remain in custody till October 24 when his bail application would be heard by the court.

The anti-graft agency is accusing the former governor, his company and one Abiodun Agbele of taking possession of the sum of N1.2 billion on June 17, 2014 for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti State, which sum they reasonably  ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

The EFCC also alleged that Fayose received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars (about N1.8 billion) from the then minister of state for defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution and which sum exceeded the amount allowed by law.

The commission further claimed that the accused persons allegedly retained the sum of N300 million in his Zenith Bank account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which sum he ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd,  to retain in their Zenith and FCMB accounts the aggregate sums of N851 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

The accused persons was also alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

The accused was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million to acquire a property in Abuja in the name of his elder sister, Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also forms crime proceeds.

The offences contravenes the provisions of sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d),  and 18 (c)  of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011

Fayose, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

After Fayose plea was taken, the defence counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN) , informed the court of a motion on notice for bail of the accused.

Agabi, who was former Attorney General of the Federation under former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration also told the court the application had been served on prosecution.

However, the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, confirmed service of the bail application on the prosecution but told the court that he required time to reply.

After listening to the lawyers, Justice Olatoregun adjourned the case to October 24 for hearing of the bail application.

The judge also ordered that the former governor be remanded in custody of the EFCC pending the hearing and determination of the bail application.



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