By Henry Ojelu
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, arraigned the immediate past chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Ikeja branch, Adesina Ogunlana, and his predecessor, Yinka Farounbi for alleged money laundering and stealing.
They were arraigned along with the immediate past treasurer of the association, Aderinol Kappo.
According to the charge, the three defendants allegedly stole a total sum of N20 005, 000 belonging to the association.
They were alleged to have, between 2016 and 2018, committed the offence by converting to personal use the said amount into Ogunlana’s First Bank account through the issuance of cheque ‘without authorization.’
The prosecution informed the court that the offences are contrary to Sections 278(1) (b) and 285(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, No, 11,2011, Conspiracy to commit felony to wit. Stealing contrary to Section 409 and 285 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No. 11. Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him by EFCC.
Following their not guilty plea, the prosecution counsel, led by Samuel Daji urged the court to remanded the defendants in prison custody pending the court’s ruling on the bail application.
There was however a mild drama in the court as Ogunlana collapsed in the dock, immediately the EFCC counsel asked the court to remind him and his co-defendants in prison.
He was offered a seat while the prosecution counsel and the defence counsel argued his bail condition.
The defence counsel, Mr Akin Olatunde urged the court to grant the defendants bail on the liberal term.
“The court is at discretion to admit the defendants to bail after their arraignment. The essence of bail is for defendants to be present in court.”
Upon listening to both parties, Justice Dada said: “I have considered the case of the matter and considering the fact that the defendants are ex-officials of the Nigerian Bar Association, the court will be granting them a temporary bail.
“They are, however, ordered to submit their international passports to the court registrar pending the determination of their bail condition.”
She adjourned the matter till June 3, 2019.