Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Nigeria: Former President Obasanjo accused of receiving $140,000 in money laundering trial

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has commenced the trial of Abdullahi Babalele, son-in-law of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who was accused of laundering $140,000 in the build-up to the 2019 general elections.

The trial began before Justice C.J. Aneke at the Federal High Court in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria with the testimony of Bashir Mohammed, a close friend of Babalele.

Mohammed, who was led in evidence by the EFCC’s prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, narrated graphically how he delivered the naira equivalent of $140,000 cash to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Babalele’s instruction

Mohammed told the court how he got a phone call from Babalele sometime in February, this year requesting him to deliver a message to “an elder statesman” who turned out to be former president Olusegun Obasanjo and that on Babalele’s request, he supplied two bank accounts, which were credited.

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The witness said he took the money to Obasanjo’s residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

“When I got there, somebody came and took me inside where I met former President Obasanjo and delivered the message,” Mohammed said.

Under cross-examination by the defence counsel led by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Mohammed affirmed that he wrote a statement at the EFCC office during investigation.

Ozekhome’s bid to tender the statement as an exhibited was, however, opposed by the EFCC prosecutor.

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Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Aneke adjourned till tomorrow to rule on the admissibility of the statement of the witness.

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