By Paul Efiong with agency report
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned Aliyu Usman, an associate of the embattled former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, before Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, on a four–count amended charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N600 million.
Mr. Usman was initially arranged on October 5, 2017 alongside one Nuru Yahaya and two companies – Leaderettehe Nigeria Limited and Nordeen Global Resources on a 6-count charge of money laundering contrary to Section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as Amended) and punishable under Section (15) (3) and (4) of the same Act.
The defendants were among others listed as persons who allegedly received contracts from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA.
The two companies allegedly received about N897 million from the arms funds from ONSA and diverted part of the money in the construction of an estate with 18 unit blocks of flats at Mbora District Abuja and another for the purchase of a three bedroom flat at OAU Quarters, Wuse II Abuja.
At the resumed sitting on Monday, Offem Uket, counsel to the EFCC, informed the court that the prosecution would be amending its charge.
“We have two motions on notice – one to amend charge and the other to drop the name of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants in the charge”, Mr. Uket said.
The judge granted the application and struck out the earlier charge, as the defence raised no objection. The defendant pleaded not guilty to the amended charge.
Thereafter, Mr. Usman’s counsel, Faruk Asokome, told the court that he had an application dated February 8, 2018 seeking the release of his client’s international passport to enable him travel abroad for medical treatment.
Justice Tsoho, in granting the application said, “the defendant must execute a bond to the tune of N150 million and must deposit his international passport before the next adjourned date with the court”.
He, thereafter, adjourned to May 24, 2018 for continuation of trial.