Four officials of the Kwara State government who have been accused of money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were on yesterday, May 8, 2019 returned to the custody of the anti-graft custody, pending ruling on their bail applications at a later date.
The EFCC previously last week arraigned one Abubakar Ishiak identified as the Permanent Secretary, Government House as well as Shina Akorede, Director of Finance and Administration; Rasaq Momonu, Controller Finance and Accounts, and Hafeez Yusuf, Cashier before a Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin respectively.
However, the EFCC accused the arrested Kwara State Government officials of making “cash payment of N20.3 million to one Energy Multi-Trade Interbiz limited for services rendered to the Kwara State Government House, which cash sum passed the limitation of N10 million payable to a body corporate committing an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 12(2) of the same Act.”
At the resumed sitting, counsel to the defendants identified as Abdulwahab Bamidele, urged the court to grant the arrested officials bail pending the determination of the allegations levelled against them.
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Opposing the bail application, counsel to EFCC identified as Christopher Mshelia, urged the court to discountenance the application for bail, and to accord the case accelerated hearing.
“It is an obligation on the applicants to provide sufficient materials for the court to sway the discretionary powers in their favour. We submit that the court should consider the nature of the allegations against the applicants. The reasons adduced by the applicants are too watery to warrant the exercise of the discretionary powers of the court for bail.”
The trial judge identified as Justice Baba Gana Ashigir reserved ruling on the bail application till a later date to be communicated to the parties.
Meanwhile, the hearing on the substantive case has been fixed for June 23, 2019.