EFCC arraigns businesswoman,4 others for alleged N43bn money laundering

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Photo: Saadatu Ramallan-Yaro

EFCC arraigns businesswoman,4 others for alleged N43bn money laundering

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned a businesswoman, Saadatu Ramallan-Yaro, before a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos. for alleged N43 billion money laundering.

Ramallan-Yaro was arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo alongside four companies, April 1616 Investment Limited, Amsaymay Limited, Misabs International Limited, Armada Financial Services and Amsamay Limited which are all Designated Non-Financial Institutions.

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The defendants all pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

One of the charges against Ramallan-Yaro reads: “That you, Saadatu Ramallan-Yaro, being a Director of April 1616 Investment Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution, on or about the 3rd day of July, 2020 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, failed to submit to the Ministry of Commerce a declaration of activities of the said company leading to the deposit of the sum of N1,050,000,000.00 (One Billion, Fifty Million, Naira) into account No. 1015006861 domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc., and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 5(1) (a), 16(1) (f) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 16 (2) (b) of the same Act..”

One of the counts against April 16 16 reads: “ That you, April 1616 Investment Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution, between 2017 and 2021, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, failed to submit to the Ministry of Commerce a declaration of your activities within which period the total sum of N42,578,881,137.00 (Forty Two Billion, Five Hundred and Seventy Eight Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty One Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty Seven Naira,) was deposited into your account No. 1015006861 domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc., and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 5(1) (a), 16(1)(f) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.

In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, S.I. Sulaiman, asked the court for a trial date.

The defence counsel, Richard Oma-Ahonaruogho, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, applied for the granting of bail to the defendants.

Oma-Ahonaruogho also pleaded with the court to release the defendant to him pending the fulfilment of her bail conditions.

Consequently, the Judge granted the defendants bail in the aggregate sum of N10m, with two sureties in like sum.

He ordered that the sureties must be civil servants of not less than Grade Level 14, with landed properties within the jurisdiction of the court.

The judge adjourned the case until September 28, 2023 for trial.

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