Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Money Laundering : EFCC Presents More Evidence Against Esu-Nte

The trial of Imaobong Akon Esu-Nte, an accountant with the Nigeria Prisons Service, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on an 11-count charge of money laundering,conspiracy, forgery and abuse of office, continued before Justice E.S. Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on October 6, 2015, with the anti-graft agency presenting more evidence against her and co-accused.

Esu-Nte is being prosecuted alongside Olukolade Olabamiji, a businessman, Mohammed Abdulkadir, a banker and three companies - Royal Mall Nig. Ltd, Transferase Ventures, I. D. Integrated Petroleum,alleged to have been involved in committing the fraud.

Justice Chukwu had on June 10, 2015 dismissed an application by the accused persons, seeking to quash the corruption charges.

At the resumed sitting, prosecution witness, Sini Omar, tendered before the court as evidence, all the statements written by the accused persons.

Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Titus O. Ashaolu, he told the court that the procedure employed in obtaining the statements from the accused persons, followed professional procedures, and was according to world best practices.

During the questioning, Ashaolu had insinuated that Omar threatened all the accused persons at one point or the other, and initially denied them administrative bail in order to get confessional statements from them, accusations which Omar denied.

While stressing that at no time were the accused persons denied any legal representation and that Esu-Nte was never denied administrative bail contrary to the claim, he said, “She was granted administrative bail on that same day, but couldn't meet the bail conditions and once a suspect is invited to EFCC, bail is granted to the suspect before the close of work as it is a necessity in EFCC and if a suspect is still in custody after a day it is due to the inability to meet the bail conditions set out.”

He further stressed that at no time were the accused persons threatened, adding that “as a standard for granting administrative bail, EFCC gives two serving directors as a prerequisite and they must have landed property within Abuja and be ready to submit their international passports. However, in their case, none of them was able to meet the conditions and EFCC had to bring down the bail

Justice Chukwu, thereafter, adjourned till October 7, 2015 for further hearing.

Wilson Uwujaren
Head, Media & Publicity
6th October, 2015

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