The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide, before the Federal High Court, Lagos for allegedly laundering the sum of N650 million.
Ms Akinjide, who was first docked before the Oyo State division of the court, was re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke in Lagos on a 24-count charge, following the transfer of the case file by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Kafarati.
Justice Aneke took over the case after it was moved from the court of Justice Muslim Hassan, following an application to that effect filed by the former minister and her co-accused persons.
She was charged by the anti-graft agency alongside a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is said to be at large.
Others named in the charge are Senator Ayo Adeseun and a chieftain of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olarenwaju Otiti.
Justice Aneke is the 4th judge to handle the trial in two years.
The minister and others were all accused of conspiring to directly take possession of N650million, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.
According to the EFCC, the accused persons allegedly received the money from Mrs Alison-Madueke in the build-up to the 2015 general election.
The money was said to be part of a larger sum of $115 million allegedly doled out by Mrs. Alison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.
However, they all pleaded not guilty to the charge. And they were granted bail; the court ruled that they should continue with the bail granted them by the previous court.
When they were docked before Justice Hassan then, he ordered that they should continue to enjoy the terms of the bail earlier granted to them by Justice Abdul-Malik of the Federal High Court in Ibadan in 2017.
Justice Abdul-Malik had granted Mrs. Akinjide bail on self recognition for her cooperation with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission during investigation.
The court also granted bail to Otiti and Adeseun in the sum of N100m each and sureties in the like sum. The court said that the surety must be a civil servant or public servant on the level of director.
Justice Aneke has adjourned trial till September 30.