The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the Managing Director, Almond Properties Ltd., Olugbenga Obadina, in the Federal High Court, Abuja, on an eight-count charge bordering on money laundering.
The EFCC arraigned Obadina on Friday for receiving over N2.4 billion from a former National Security Adviser, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, for electricity contracts that were never executed.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to all eight counts. The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Peters Aso, urged the court to remand the defendant in prison custody and order accelerated hearing of the case.
Aso said that even though bail was at the discretion of the court, the proof of evidence accompanying the charges against Obadina, showed that he was not entitled to bail.
“The defendant received N2.4 billion out of which $2.6 million has been taken abroad and his passport is still in his custody. And so, if granted bail, he is a flight risk because he will jet off to enjoy that money already abroad.’’
The prosecutor said that although they had recovered N70 million from the defendant, rather than cooperate, he was frustrating the investigation.
He urged the court to discountenance the exhibits attached to the defendant’s bail application, saying they were public documents and only certified true copies would be accepted by the court.
Defence counsel, Chris Uche (SAN) notified the court that the defendant had been in EFCC’s custody for over one month even though he had been granted administrative bail,thus urging the court to grant his client bail, saying that the charge preferred against him was one in which bail could be granted.
He further argued that his client had demonstrated, through the exhibits he attached to his affidavit, that he would be available to attend his trial if granted bail.
He appealed that bail should be granted in liberal terms, adding that the N70 million recovered by the EFCC could be used as bond.
After listening to both parties, the presiding judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, said that the court could put in place measures that would ensure that the defendant was not a flight risk when granted bail.
Dimgba also said that the court would put in place measures to ensure that he appeared for his trial.
The case was adjourned till July 18 and Obadina remanded in Kuje prison.