Story by Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today, arraigned a businessman, Ola Lawal, who also bears Lawal Roland, before a Federal High Court, Lagos, for allegedly defrauding Flour Mill of Nigeria Plc of the sum of N46 million.
Lawal was arraigned before the court alongside his company, DCAN Oil and Gas Limited.
Lawal and his company were arraigned before Justice (Professor) Chuka Obiozor, on two counts charge of fraudulent transfer of the said sum from the Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, account number 1002792889 domiciled in United Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc to the oil and gas company’s account number 0036695765 domiciled in Union Bank Plc.
The EFCC prosecutor, Mr. M. k. Hussan told the court that the defendants committed the offence on June 24, 2019.
Hussain also told the court that the offences committed by the defendants are contrary to sections 2 and 15(2)(d) of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 15(2)(3) of the same Act.
The defendant however pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following his not guilty plea, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date and also asked that the defendant be remanded in prison custody.
But lawyer to the defendant, Mr. Godwin Dick, while informing the court that he is not opposing the trial date as requested for by the prosecutor, informed the court that he is ready to move his client’s bail application, which he said has been filed and served on the prosecution since August.
Godwin also told the court that he has just been served with the prosecution’s counter-affidavit today.
He urged the court to take his client’s bail application, as bail is at the court’s discretion and that since the prosecution failed to file and serve its response before today.
Ruling on the submission of parties, Justice Obiozor, while chastised the prosecution for not responding to the application earlier before today, adjourned the matter till tomorrow, Tuesday, for hearing of the defendant’s bail application and commencement of trial.
Justice Obiozor while ordering that the defendant be remanded at the EFCC’s custody till tomorrow, also ordered the prosecution to come with its witness(s) for trial of the matter.
The charges against the defendants read:
Count One: “that you, Ola Lawal (a.k.a Lawal Roland) and DCAN Oil and Gas Limited on or about 24th June, 2019 in Lagos within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court fraudulently transferred the sum of N 46, 000,60030 (Forty-Six Million Naira) from Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Account Number 1002792889 domiciled in United Bank for Africa Plc to DCAN Oil and Gas Limited account number 0036695765 domiciled in Union Bank Plc, which you have known that the funds forms part of unlawful activities and thereby committed an Offence contrary to Section 2 of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 15(2)(3) of the same Act.
Count two: ” that you Ola Lawal (a.k.a Lawal Roland) and DCAN Oil and Gas United 24th June, 2019 in Lagos within the Jurisdiction of this Court took possession of the sum of N46, 000,000.00 (Forty Six million) which you fraudulently transfered from Flour Mills of Nigeria account number 10027923389 domiciled in United Bank but domiciled ‘m Union Bank Account Number 0036695755 Which you reasonably ought to have known that such fund forms part of proceeds of an unlawful activities and thereby committed an Offence Contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and Punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act”.