The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, on Friday, January 11, 2019, arraigned one Folawunmi Awonusi before Justice P. I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State on a two-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N38, 800, 000 (Thirty Eight Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira) only.
The defendant, who is a legal practitioner, was said to have allegedly made cash payments of the sum of money in tranches of N22, 300, 000 and N16, 500, 000 to one Olakanye Olalekan.
The offence is contrary to Sections 1(a) and 16(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section (16)(2)(b) of the same Act.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Folawunmi Awonusi, on or about the 16th day of January 2018, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without going through a financial institution, made cash payment of the sum of N22,300,000 to one Olakanye Olalekan, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by law”.
Another count reads: “That you, Folawunmi Awonusi, on or about the 11th day of January 2018, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without going through a financial institution, made cash payment of the sum of N16,500,000 to one Olakanye Olalekan, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by law”.
The defendant pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
In view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Idris Mohammed, asked for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the defendant in prison custody pending the determination of the case.
Counsel to the defendant, M. Onaha, informed the court that application for bail had been filed and served on the prosecution.
He, therefore, urged the court to admit his client to bail.
Mohammed, however, opposed the bail application, which he said was served on him on January 9, 2019.
He further submitted that the prosecution was still within the time frame, as provided by the law, to file a counter-affidavit.
He, therefore, asked the court for a date to hear the bail application.
Justice Ajoku adjourned the matter to Wednesday, January 16, 2019 for hearing of the bail application, and February 5, 2019 for commencement of trial.
The defendant was remanded in Agodi Prison pending the determination of his bail application.