The Economics and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, arraigned one Akinola Ogunlewe alongside Babajide Soyode, before Justice A.R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja. The defendants are being prosecuted on five-count charges, bordering on money laundering.
Count three of the charges reads: “That you, Akinola Ogunlewe and Abolaji Ogunlewe (at large) sometime in 2013, in Lagos , within the Lagos Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, being directors in BCE Consulting Engineers Limited a Designated Non-Financial Institution (“DNFI”) aided the said company in failing to comply with the requirements of submitting to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, a declaration of its activities as specified under section 5 (1)(a) of the money laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As amended) and you there by committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the money Laundering (Prohibition) Act,2011 (As amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2) (b) of the same Act.”
They pleaded not guilty to the charges, prompting prosecuting counsel, Bala Sanga to urge the court to remand them in Nigerian Correctional Service pending commencement of trial.
Defence counsel, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN and Tajjuddeen Balogun, however, moved an application for the bail of Ogunlewe, adding that the prosecution had also been served, while counsel to Soyode, Chris Ubogu, made an oral application for the bail of his client.
While adjourning until January 23, 2020 for continuation, Justice Mohammed, handed over Ogunlewe to Wale Adesokan, SAN, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe, and Adeboye Dankawo, stating that they are to individually sign undertaking before deputy chief registrar of this court to produce the second defendant in court on January 23. 2020 and that if or any reason the second defendant absconds from justice, he will automatically forfeit the amount of what is to be in his benefit in suit No APSAABJ/CS/1455/2019 to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He ordered for the remand of Soyode (the third defendant) in the custody of EFCC, pending the hearing and determination of his application for bail.