By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
Three persons, Kasumu Shakiru Ademola, Salau Omoniyi Mukaila and Ganiu Oluyede Ishola were today arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for alleged fraudulent conversion of the total sum of N96, 739, 666.86 million.
The three defendants were arraigned on eight counts charge bordering on conspiracy, unlawful conversion and fraud alongside a stock broking firm, CSL Stockbrokers.
EFCC in a charge marked FHC/L/397c/18, alleged that the three defendants and the stockbroking firm had on or about June 25, 2015, conspired among themselves and converted 298, 550 units of shares of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Nestlé Food Plc, Julius Berger Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc, Nigeria Enamelware Plc and Union Bank Plc valued N34 million, belonging to late Joseph Adeniji Adeyemi Joseph.
The defendants were also alleged to have between June 2, 2015 and June 14, 2017, concealed the sum of N58, 739, 666, 86 million, which was allegedly derived from fraud and retained same in their Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc, number 0011453876.
The offences according to the EFCC lawyer, Mr. Nnemeka Omewa are contrary to sections 18(a), 15(2)(b), 15(2)(a) and 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act. 2011, as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Following their not guilty plea, Omewa asked the court for a trial date, while urging the court to remand them in prison custody pending the determination of the matters.
However, the defendants lawyers, while informing the court that their clients have been in the prosecution’s custody for over six months, also told the court that they have their clients’ bail applications and same have been served on the prosecution and urged the court to grant their clients bail in the most liberal terms.
The prosecutor admitted being served with the bail applications.
Upon taking arguments from the both parties, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke adjourned the matter till Friday, February 8, for ruling on the bail applications. While ordering nacmvj.a km that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.
Count one of the charge against the defendants reads: “that you Kasumu Sakiru Ademola, Salau Omoniyi Mukaila, Ganiyu Oluyede Ishola and CSL Stockbrokers on or about the 2nd day of June, 2015 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves did commit an offence to wit: Conversion of 298,550 (Two Hundred and Ninety Eight Thousand. Five Hundred and Fifty Units of shares of Guinness Nigeria Pic, Nestle Food Plc, Julius Berger Plc, Unilever Nigeria Pic, Nigeria Enemelware Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria Pic belonging to late Joseph Adeniji Adeyemi Joseph which shares is valued at N34,000,000 (Thirty Four Million Naira), and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2015, as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the some Act”.