The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has remanded Abdullahi Babalele, son in-law to former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar in its custody for money laundry.
This followed a request made by his counsel, Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), to Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Lagos. The judge ordered that Babalele be remanded in the EFCC custody pending the hearing of his bail application today.
Mr. Babalele was docked yesterday before Justice Oweibo on a two-count charge of alleged money laundering. He pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge.
According to the charge signed on behalf of the EFCC by its prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, Babalele committed the offence in February, 2019. One of the charge against Abdullahi read: “That you Abdullahi Babalele on or about February 20, 2019, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, procured Bashir Mohammed to make cash payment of $140,000 without going through a financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 18(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
Also, Uyiekpen Osagie-Giwa, said to be Atiku’s lawyer and his brother, Erhunse Giwa-Osagie were separately arraigned for allegedly laundering $2million in connection with the polls.
The Osagie brothers were alleged to have, on February 12, 2019, aided each other and made cash payment of $2 million, without going through the financial institutions.
The offences, according to the prosecution, are contrary to Sections 18(c), 18(a), 1(a), 16(1), (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16, 16(2)(b)16(2)(b) of the same Act.
They also pleaded not guilty to the charge. Justice Oweibo also adjourned till today to take their bail application and ordered that they also be returned to the EFCC custody.