Malabu scam: EFCC arraigns Adoke on fresh money laundering charges

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Malabu scam: EFCC arraigns Adoke on fresh money laundering charges

 

 – Rejects EFCC custody, prefers Kuje prison

The immediate-past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), has pleaded not guilty to fresh money laundering charges against him.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arraigned Adoke alongside Aliyu Abubakar.

Both men are standing trial alongside others at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Gwagwalada, Abuja, in respect of the Malabu Oil scam.

They pleaded not guilty to the fresh seven counts read to them before Justice Binta Nyako at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants, about September 2013, made payments in naira and dollar which equivalent was about N900m into Adoke’s accounts in violation of various provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

After the defendants took their pleas, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Bala Sanga, urged the court to remand them in EFCC custody pending when their bail applications would be heard and determined.

But responding, Adoke’s legal team led by Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), who is also a former AGF, as well as Abubakar’s defence team led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), informed the court that they had filed separate applications for the bail of their clients.

Sanga confirmed that he had received the applications and had filed counters affidavits in opposition to them.

However, Adoke expressed his preference to be remanded in the Kuje Correctional Centre to the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

His lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), spoke on his behalf shortly after he was arraigned on Monday.

Ozekhome was arguing his client’s bail application when he noted that his client was produced in court by the EFCC from the Federal Medical Centre near Jabi, Abuja, where he had been admitted for treatment.

While arguing his bail application, Ozekhome urged the court to grant bail to the former AGF in liberal and affordable terms and conditions saying his client would prefer to be remanded in the Kuje Correctional Centre, instead of the custody of the EFCC.

He said, “The first defendant voluntarily returned to the country. There is his statement attached to show that he returned to the country voluntarily.

“He did not run away. We have attached an exhibit to show that he went for his Masters’ study abroad.

“We have deposed to the affidavit about his health conditions. The prosecution themselves brought him to court from the Federal Medical Centre near Jabi in Abuja, this morning.

“We also plead that he be taken to the Kuje Correction Centre, a euphemism for Kuje prison pending when he meets his bail conditions to avoid the mental psychological strictures, he goes through in the custody of the EFCC.

“My lord we pray that he be granted bail in liberal and affordable terms and conditions so that he can take care of himself.

“The law says, ‘come and stand trial’, it did not say ‘come and sit trial or come and prostate trial’.

“My lord as you can see, the first defendant who is less than 60 is already bent with age.”

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