The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned a 42 year-old Congolese, Seleto Papy before a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on a five-count charge bordering on unlawful possession of fake foreign currency totalling Thirty Eight Thousand Four Hundred American Dollars ($38,400).
The suspect was arraigned before Justice James Tsoho. After the charges were read out to the accused person, he pleaded not guilty to them. Prosecution counsel, Modupe Akinkoye then urged the court to remand the accused in prison and fix a date for the commencement of trial. However, defence counsel, Adeniyi Odunsi told the court that his client was entitled to bail based on the National Refugee Asylums Certificate. He urged the court to exercise its power judicially and judiciously, insisting that the accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. After listening to the counsel on both sides, Justice Tsoho, granted the accused person bail, and ordered that he should be remanded in prison custody until he meets the bail conditions. Bail was granted in the sum of N5million naira and two sureties in like sum. They must have landed properties in Lagos and must be ready to submit their original Certificates of Occupancy. They must also produce an evidence of tax payment in the last 3 years and two recent passport photographs. Papy was arrested on February 1, 2012, by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA operatives at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, during an outward clearance of cargo at the Nacho Shed on Asky Airline en route to Congo Kinshasa for trafficking fake currency and later handed over to the EFCC. The 42-year old unregistered pharmacist, who came to Nigeria in 2006 was said to have collected goods from one Alexis Mbunge, a Congolese, to send to Congo on his behalf.
The goods which comprised slippers and singlets packaged to be delivered to Alexis’ sister in the Democratic Republic of Congo, had fake dollar notes stuffed in it. Papy said that he did not bother to check the goods based on trust, until the consignment was searched at the Airport. The search yielded $38,400 counterfeit currency.