The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, re-arraigned one Abdullahi Babalele before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on a two-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of $140,000.00.
According to the statement released by the anti-graft agency on Tuesday, the commission said Abdullahi Babalele, a son-in-law to a former Vice President and People’s Democratic Party( PDP) candidate in the 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, allegedly persuaded one Bashir Mohammed, a Bureau De Change(BDC) operator, to make a cash payment of the sum of $140,000 without going through any financial institution, 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.
One of the counts 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 the United States
Dollars) without going through a financial institution, which sums 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.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him.
Given his plea, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court of the existing bail earlier granted the defendant and applied for the commencement of the trial.
“My Lord, one of our witnesses is present in court,” Oyedepo said.
Counsel to the defendant, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, informed the court about an application before the court for the release of the international passport of the defendant.