….rules on bail request Thursday
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—-The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, remanded an ally to Governor Ayodele Fayose, Mr. Abiodun Agbele, in Prison custody over his alleged complicity in N4.6billion fraud.
Trial Justice Nnamdi Dimgba remanded Agbele at Kuje Prison after he was docked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on an 11-count criminal charge.
The anti-graft agency alleged that the defendant had between April 4 and November 13, 2014, connived with the then Minister of Defence for State, Musliu Obanikoro, Lt. A.O Adewale, Tunde Oshinowo and Olalekan Ogunseye to launder over N4.6bn from office of the National Security Adviser, NSA.
It maintained that it was the erstwhile NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd, that facilitated the transfer of the fund into the Zenith Bank account of a firm, Sylvan Mcnamata Ltd, with Agbele as the sole signatory.
Noting that the fund was siphoned from account the NSA office operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, EFCC, told the court that Obanikoro and other persons that were fingered in the illicit transfer, are currently at large.
Whereas count-two of the charge disclosed that the accused persons, on June 17, 2015, took possession of over N1.2bn that was transferred from the CBN account, Agbele was alleged to had on the same day, wired N100million into a Zenith Bank account number 1010170969, belonging to another firm, Spotless Investment Ltd.
Besides, EFCC alleged that Agbele, while being the Managing Director of De Privateer Ltd, on or about June 18, 2014, retained about N219m in Zenith Bank account number 1013835889, of the firm, when he ought to have known that the said fund formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity of the former NSA, Dasuki.
According to the agency, the defendant transferred N300m and N200m into the same account on June 19 and 23, 2014.
Out of the total loot, EFCC told the court that the defendant, on June 26, 2014, transferred N137m into Fayose\’s account domiciled in Zenith Bank (Akure Branch) with account number 1003126654.
Also cited as defendants in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/ CR/154/2016, were the three indicted firms, Sylvan Mcnamara, De Privateer Ltd and Spotless Investment Ltd.
Meanwhile, Justice Dimgba adjourned till Thursday to decide whether or not Agbele should be released on bail pending his trial.
The defendant had after he pleaded not guilty to the charge, begged the court through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, to grant him bail.
Ozekhome contended that charges against his client were all bailable offences, saying he ought to be presumed innocent until ingredients of the charge are established by the projection.