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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

NAWA OH: EFCC accuses man of swallowing $115,000

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has charged one Onwuasonya Augustine to court for allegedly swallowing $115,000 to avoid declaring it to officials of the Nigeria Customs Service at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

Augustine was on Tuesday arraigned along with five others for the offence of money laundering.
The anti-graft agency listed his alleged accomplices as Christian Okoli, Kingsley Nwokenta, aka Buchito , Nwokenta Emmanuel, Ezenwa Ikenna and Ezenwa Uzoma.
The six were charged with four counts before Justice C.J. Aneke of a Federal High Court in Lagos.
The EFCC prosecutor, Ayokunle Fayanju, alleged that Onwuasonya and the others committed the offence on August 25, 2015, adding that they were apprehended at Room 303 of a five-star hotel in Lagos.
Fayanju said the men acted contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012, and were liable to being punished under Section 2(5) of the same Act.
The sixth accused, Uzoma, was singularly charged with the offence of obstructing an NDLEA official, Bello Tsanya, in the discharge of his duty, which, according to Fayanju, is against the provisions of Section 22 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012).
The prosecutor said Uzoma was liable to being punished under the provisions of Section 22(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012).
But when the charges were read to the six accused in court, they all pleaded not guilty.
The prosecutor said, “In view of the plea of the accused, I respectfully pray the honourable court for a trial date to enable us bring our witnesses. However, I will also be praying that the accused persons be remanded in prison pending trial.”
But the counsel for the 1st to 5th accused, Mr. Victor Opara, told the court that he had filed bail applications on their behalf and sought short adjournment for the hearing of the applications.
He, however, urged the judge to order the remand of the accused in the EFCC custody pending the hearing of their bail applications, rather than the prison custody.
Opara pointed out that the 2nd defendant had health challenges, which were being treated while he was in the custody of the EFCC and asked the court to remand him and the others in the EFCC custody so that they could have easy access to treatment and lawyers.
But Fayanju urged the court to reject the prayer to remand the accused in the EFCC custody, saying the commission’s detention facility was overstretched.
Justice Aneke adjourned till December 11, 2015, to take the bail applications of the accused and ordered their remand at the Ikoyi Prison.

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