Mr Abdullahi Babalele, son-in-law of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate got a temporary relief on Thursday as a Federal High Court in Lagos, granted him bail.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo admitted Babalele to bail for N20million with one surety in like sum after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on Wednesday arraigned him for allegedly laundering $140,000 during the 2019 general election.
Babalele allegedly persuaded one Bashir Mohammed to make a cash payment of $140,000 without going through any financial institution-an offence that runs contrary to Section 18(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2100-as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
One of the charges against Babale reads: “That you, Abdullahi Babalele, on or about the 20th day of February, 2019 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, procured Basir Mohammed to make a cash payment of the sum of $140,000.00 (One Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars) without going through a financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by the Law and you thereby committed an offence 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.”
While ruling on his bail application, the judge ruled that the surety must be resident in Lagos and must produce evidence of means through an affidavit. The court also directed Babalele to deposit his passport with the court.
The passport had been with the prosecution. Babalele, however, pleaded not guilty.
The commission also arraigned Atiku’s lawyer, Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie and his brother Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, on a separate charge of laundering $2million.
They were also remanded pending bail.