The Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police in Lagos has arraigned three businessmen before a Federal High Court, sitting in Ikoyi, over an alleged N138 million fraud.
The businessmen were ex-directors of Integrated Intelligence Imaging West Africa Limited, Oluwole Tella, Leke Abajingin and Babatunji Olaosun.
They were arraigned alongside a company, Flinkteshnik Concept Limited, with conspiracy, unlawful conversion and fraud before Justice Peter Lifu in a charge number FHC/L/341c/2021.
The prosecutor, Mr Henry Obiaze, told Justice Peter Lifu that the businessmen and their company committed the offences sometime in 2019, in the Opebi area of the State.
According to the prosecutor, the businessmen converted the sum of N107, 028 million derived directly from the criminal activities of stealing and theft within Integrated Intelligence Imaging West Africa Ltd with the aim of either concealing or disguising the illicit origin of the resources.
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He stressed that both Oluwole Tella and Babatunji Olaosun, and their company, Flinkteshnik Concept Limited sometimes in 2018, fraudulently converted the sum of N138 million, derived directly from theft within Integrated Intelligence Imaging West Africa Limited, to conceal the source of the money.
Mr Henry Obiaze informed the court that the offences committed by the three businessmen, contravened Sections 15(1)(b); 18(c) and 17(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.
The businessmen however pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following their plea, he asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand them in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Services (NCoS) till the determination of the charges against them.
In a counter-reaction, Mr M. Popoola and Mr Emeka Opara (SAN), lawyers to the defendants, told the court that they have filed their clients’ bail applications and the same has been served on the prosecutor.
They urged the court to grant them bail in the most liberal terms.
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Mr Obiaze who admitted being served with the bail application urged the court to grant him time to file responses.
However, Justice Lifu, after citing a plethora of authorities which allow judges to use their discretion on bailable offences, admitted the businessmen to bail for ten million nairas with two sureties in like sum each, who must depose to an affidavit of means.
Justice Lifu also ordered that one of the sureties must relate by blood to the defendants, while the other surety must be a Civil Servant of Grade Level 12 and above either in Lagos State of Federal Government establishment.
The judge while adjourning till June 10, 2022, for the defendants’ trial, ordered that both Leke Abajingin and Babatunde Olaosun be remanded in custody till the perfection of the bail terms.
The judge, however, released the first defendant, Oluwole Tella, on health grounds but with on order that he must meet the bail conditions by next week Friday, after which he will be remanded.