From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abuja zone yesterday arraigned the Commercial Director of the Process and Industrial Development, (P&ID) Limited, Mohammed Kuchazi before Justice F.O. Giwa of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Kuchazi and his company Kore Holdings Limited are being prosecuted on an eight count charge bothering on failure to comply with the regulations of the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCUML, as stipulated by the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.
Count one of the charge reads: “That you Kore Holdings Limited, being a designated non-financial institution; Muhammed Kuchazi, being a Director of and signatory to the bank account of Kore Holdings Limited, sometimes in May 2014, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, failed to comply with the requirements of submitting, to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, a declaration of the activities of Kore Holdings Limited contrary to Section 16(1) (f) read together with section 5(1) (a) (ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act”.
Kuchazi pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.
Prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga prayed the court for a trial date and remand of the defendant in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Centre. The defence counsel, Aniah Ikwen, however pleaded with the Court to grant his client bail on health grounds.
Justice F.O. Giwa declined the defence counsel’s request, stating that the prayer could not be granted where the defendant’s bail application has not been served to EFCC.
After listening to both counsels, the Judge remanded the defendant in EFCC’s custody and adjourned the matter till February 4, 2021 for hearing of the bail application, while fixing April 27 and 28, 2021 for commencement of trial.