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Published On: Fri, Jul 10th, 2020

Alleged N29bn Fraud: Order Nyako, son to enter defence, EFCC lawyer tells court

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By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday, asked court to order former Adamawa state Governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd) and his son, Senator Abdullaziz, to enter defence in the charge levelled against them by the Federal Government.
The EFCC is prosecuting the former governor and Abdul-Aziz; two companies, Sebore Farms and Extension Ltd and Pagado Fortunes Ltd, before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja, on a 37-count charge of alleged money laundering offences.
Other defendants are Zulkifik Abba, Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Energy Ltd.
The prosecution counsel Oluwaleke Alolagbe made the request while making an oral response on the no-case-submission filed by the defendants.
The prosecutor told the court that the statement of the 2nd defendant gave an account of how 40 units of houses in Hillview Estate were acquired and how athe payments were made.
“Gladly, the 2nd defendant left details in respect of the payments to be explained by the 4th defendant who gave a vivid explanation, part of which we have earlier made in our oral submission before this court.
“More details of this are contained in our address and I refer the court to the statement of the 2nd defendant made on 14th February 2015, Atolagbe said.
He contended that counts one to 14 of the charge preferred against the defendants borders on offence of conversion, punishable under section 15 of the money laundering act.
The second category of the charge, according to the EFCC counsel, which relates to counts 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 34, 35, “borders on disguising the genuine origin of proceeds of crime under same section 15(2) of the money laundering Act.
Alolagbe said the 3rd category, which relates to counts 19, 20, 21, 30, 31, 32, and 33 of the charge borders “collaborating in disguising the genuine origin of the proceeds of fraud.
The prosecution counsel told the court that counts 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, falls under the 4th category of the charge, and dwells on obtaining money under false pretence, under section 1(1) and (3) advance fee fraud and other related offences.
“The 5th category of the offences that the defendants were charged with is conspiracy to launder funds which relates to count 36, and they were charged under section 15(10) and (18) of the money laundering Act.
According to Atolagbe, the 6th categorically of the charge “is conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence, and relates to count 37.
In view of the foregoing, the prosecution counsel told the court he has been able to prove his case against the defendants.
For further details in respect of the charge and the offences, the EFCC lawyer referred the court to relevant pages of his written address.
“Finally, the only thing my lord will actually refer to is the evidence before the court and see whether there is a prima facie case established against all the defendants.
He therefore urged the court not to be tempted to go into details of the evidence, insisting that they have some explanation to make in respect of the charge filed against them.
Reacting, counsel to all the defendants told the court that they needed a short adjournment to enable them to reply on points of law to the oral arguments canvasses by the prosecution counsel.
The matter has been adjourned to 16 and 17 of July

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