The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the Kogi Assembly candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), for Ankpa 11 Constituency, Mr Ismaila Yousuf Atumeyi, before the Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos.
He was arraigned on 18 counts alongside two others in connection with an alleged N1.4bn bank fraud.
The other two defendants are Ngene Joshua Dominic and Abdulmalik Salau, a former bank employee.
In count one, the EFCC alleged that the former bank employee, Abdulmalik Salau between August and Oct. 2022 within the jurisdiction of the court and without lawful authority directly caused modification of the data held in the network of Union Bank PLC leading to the transfer of N1.4 billion to the account of FAV Oil & Gas Ltd and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 16(1) of the Cybercrimes Prohibition Prevention Act of 2015.
In another count, the three defendants were said to have conspired to directly conceal the N1.4billion in the account of Fav Oil and Gas Limited, “which sum they reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful activity and they thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 18 (a), 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.”
At their arraignment on Monday, the EFCC, through its counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), told the court presided over by Justice Tijjani Ringim that the offences border on concealment of proceeds of fraud, money laundering and cybercrime.
Oyedepo also said that the defendants committed the alleged offences between August and October 2022 in Lagos.
Specifically, the defendants were accused of laundering the sum in tranches of N100 million, $480,000, N12.5 million, N7 million, N9 million, N7m, N12m, N8m, $140,000 and N326,400,000.
They were also alleged to have acquired a N12.5 million black Mercedes Benz C300, N7m BMW 3 Series, N9million Black Range Rover, N7m Toyota Hilux 2014 upgraded to 2021, N12m Black BMW SURXI 2016 and N8m White Toyota Hilux 2010 and N10million White Toyota Hilux.
The court also heard that they allegedly directly transferred N80million to Frank Maya Integrated Ventures, acquired a property known as N0 8, Grace Crescent, Efab Queens Estate, Gwarimpa, Abuja and concealed $140,000 and N326,400,000 in a Black Escalade SUV.
When the counts were read to the defendants, they each pleaded not guilty.
The EFCC Counsel asked the court to order an accelerated hearing of the case, as the anti-graft agency was ready to open its case against the defendants and had lined up six witnesses to testify against them.
The court also listened to the bail applications of the defendants from their counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Bolaji Ayorinde and counterarguments from Mr Oyedepo.
Justice Ringim adjourned till tomorrow, Tuesday for a ruling on the bail application.