FBI Probe: Court Grants N50M Bail To Lagos Auto Dealer Over Alleged N207M Fraud

* Source : 123RF.com


A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, admitted bail to an auto dealer, Sarumi Samusideen Babafemi, alleged to be an agent to some fraud suspects named by the United State’s Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI), in the sum of N50 million with one surety in the like sum.

It would be recalled that Sarumi who is also a music promoter alongside  his three companies, 606 Autos Limited, 606 Music Limited and Splash Off Entertainment Limited, were on Friday, arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Joseph Aneke, on charges bordering on  N207.1 million fraud.

Sarumi and his company were arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside his three companies on a five count-charge of transferring the said sums which were obtained under false pretence, to his principals.

The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Anzelem B. C. Ozioko,  the EFCC Head of Legal Department, are contrary to 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011(As Amended) and Punishable under section 15(3) of the Act.  contrary to and punishable under

In the prove-of-evidence attached with the charge, the EFCC alleged that the defendant had carried out the illicit act through, Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc and some other banks, as their officials will be called to testify against the defendant.

Upon his arraignment on Friday, Sarumi, had pleaded not guilty to all the counts of the charge and his counsel, Mr. Muiz Banire (SAN) through an application, urged the court to admit him to bail.

The application which was opposed by the prosecution, under the grounds that the defendant ‘is a flight risk’, haven absconded when granted administrative bail earlier by his commission.

Upon hearing parties’ submissions on the bail application, Justice Aneke adjourned till today, for ruling.

Delivering ruling on the bail application today, Justice Aneke after citing plethora of authorities and section 36(5) of Nigeria 1999 Constitution, admitted bail to the defendant in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.

As part of the  bail conditions , Justice Aneke ruled that the surety must be a Civil Servant on Grade Level 15 in the Federal or Lagos State government employment or a landed property owner within the court’s jurisdiction.

He added that in case of the Civil Servant, there must be letter from the ministry’s Head of Department, confirming the surety’s statue, while the landed property owner must submit the original Certificate Of Occupancy (CofO).

The surety is to submit two passport photographs, while the defendant must submit his Nigeria/ECOWAS traveling passport.

Justice Aneke further ruled that  the EFCC should  verify the genuineness of all documents filed within 48 hours.

The defendant’s trial has been fixed for January 22 and 23.

The EFCC had alleged In a charge marked FHC/L/374c/19, that Sarumi also called 606, and his companies have between 2013 and 2018 transferred the sum of N37.6 million to one  Omojadesola Shittu Allison.

They were also alleged to have between 2015 and 2018 transferred the sum of N93 million to one Olanrewaju Ibrahim Oriyomi and the sum of N1.5 million to one Abiola Kayode Ayorinde (a.k.a ABK).

EFCC also alleged that  Sarumi and his companies between 2015 and 2018 transferred the sum of N25 million and N50 million to the dou of Bartholomew Oluchukwu Ezeudoko and Amobi Uchenna E.



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