EFCC Charges Saraki’s Cousin With Money Laundering
Posted: 25/Mar/2020

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission again on Tuesday arraigned Ope Saraki, a cousin of former Senate President Bukola Saraki, for alleged money laundering.

Tuesday’s arraignment came five days after the anti-graft agency last Thursday arraigned Ope for the alleged diversion of the sum of N221,339,827 meant for the purchase of 13 ambulances and 13 generators for the General/Specialist Hospitals in Kwara State.

In the second charge on Tuesday, Ope, a former Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Kwara State on Sustainable Development Goals, was accused of laundering N11.1m, which he allegedly collected from one Kunle Adimula in February 2019.
 
The EFCC said he acted contrary to sections 1 and 16 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and was liable to be punished under Section 16 of the same Act.

When the one count was read to him before Justice Babangana Ashigar at the Federal High Court in Ilorin, Ope pleaded not guilty.

The prosecuting counsel, Sesan Ola, prayed the court to fix trial date, while the defence counsel, Dr Kayode Olatoke (SAN), applied for the bail of his client rather than remand him in the prison, citing the coronavirus pandemic.

Justice Ashigar granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N10m with two sureties in like sum.

The judge said one of the sureties must reside within the court’s jurisdiction and ordered Ope to submit his travel documents to the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court.

While adjourning the matter till May 15, the judge said Ope should be remanded in the custody of the EFCC pending when he would meet his bail conditions.