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EFCC charges Atiku’s lawyer for money laundering

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Friday charged former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s son-in-law Messrs Babalele and legal adviser Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie for money laundering.

A three-count charge, signed by prosecuting counsel Rotimi Oyedepo, was filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos against Giwa-Osagie and his brother. EFCC

Part of the charges reads: “That you Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, on or before the 12th day of February 2019 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, procured Erhunse Giwa-Osagie to make cash payment of the sum of $2,000,000.00 without going through financial institution.” the charge read.

“That you Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, sometimes in February 2019 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, made the payment of the sum of $2,000,000.00 without going through a financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount.”

Giwa- Osagie was first arrested in March after a bureau de change operative Alhaji Abdullahi Usman allegedly identified him as the owner of $2 million found in its possession. The commission alleged the money was to be used for the 2019 elections.

But Abubakar condemned the investigation and said the antigraft commission was intimidating him and his supporters.

“My son in law and lawyer have been detained, one for 3 weeks and the other recently,” Atiku said in March. “They are paying the price for supporting me. I urge those now persecuting them to remember that a government’s mandate is to pursue peace and justice for all, and not just those who support them.”

EFCC denied the witch-hunt claim. It said the money with Abubakar’s lawyer exceeded the amount authorised by law to be transacted in cash.

The commission said Giwa-Osagie’s action is contrary to Section 18(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”

The antigraft body said the duo allegedly contravened sections 18(a) and 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, punishable under Section 16(2)(b).


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