The Deputy Director of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDA) Mr Babatunde Osho has been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for forgery, fraudulent acquisition of properties and money laundering to the tune of N700 million.
The SMEDA Deputy Director, Mr Babatunde Osho, was arraigned on Monday, November 26, 2018, before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja, on a 41-count charge.
According to EFCC report, Mr. Osho was arraigned alongside Midset Agro Services Limited, Just Fair Investment Limited, and Tufik Associates, companies he is signatories to.
The defendant’s journey to the dock, started when the Commission received an intelligence report that Osho, a Deputy Director, Account and Finance, in Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, SMEDA, allegedly diverted the said money, meant for constituency projects and awarded same to his personal companies.
Further investigations into the matter revealed that no contracts were executed.
Also, during interrogation, he was asked why the money was diverted into his account and Osho, who equally owns a Primary and Secondary School, Royal Field Academy in Ogun State, made available forged documents to mislead the Commission into believing that the contract was actually awarded to his companies.
One of the counts reads: “That you Babatunde Osho and Just Fair Investment Limited between April 2017 and May 2018 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, used the total sum of N120,700,000 (One Hundred And Twenty Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira) when you ought to have known that the said N120,700,000 paid into the FCMB Account No. 4342993012 represents proceeds of unlawful activity of Babatunde Osho to wit: Forgery and Fraudulent Acquisition of Property and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
He pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, E. E. Iheanacho, prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded in prison custody.