Alleged Money Laundering: Jurisdiction issue stalls arraignment of five company directors, former minister
*Court fixes June 26 for arraignment
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday adjourned a case on an alleged money laundering involving four directors of private companies and the Managing Director, Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, to June 26t for arraignment.
The charges of breach of Public Procurement Act were pressed by Donnington Ltd against Velocity Logistics, Winslow Logistics, Equal Logistics, Sahams Crystal Investment and Antaser Nig. Ltd.
The charges allegedly bother on infractions against the Money Laundering Act, especially the non-declaration of the activities of their companies as specified under Sec 5 (1) (a) (I) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of 2011.
The other defendants are Alkali Habib (a Director in TAJ Bank), Edwin Iyk Anyadigibe, Abdulmumini Haruna and Innocent Nwobodo.
Ahmad and the rest are facing a 10-count charge bordering on violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, including non-declaration of companies’ financial transactions.
Their alleged offences violated Section 5 (1) (a) (I) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of 2011, and Punishable under Section 16 (2) (b) of the same Act.
Counsel to the defendants, Victor Opara (SAN) noted that the purported charges were totally incompetent.
“As far as we are concerned, there is a purported charge filed before the court and our conception is that the whole charges are totally incompetent and we have challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the charges as constituted, instituted and prosecuted.
“Based on the preliminary objection that we have raised, the court has adjourned the matter till June 26 to enable an argument of the notice of the preliminary objection
Counsel to the complainant, Ugbede Idachaba, said the defendants filed notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court. Because of the subsisting preliminary objection, the matter was adjourned by the court till June 26 for arraignment by the presiding judge, Justice James Kolawole.
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