The Economics and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today, February 25, 2015 arraigned one Akpere Ovine Desmond before Justice Abubakar Shitu of the Federal High Court, Warri, Delta State on a 2-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.
The petitioner had alleged that on May 29, 2012, he received a phone call from one Mr. Taiwo Ogunsanyo who claimed to be a staff of First Bank Nigeria Plc. According to him, Taiwo claimed the bank was updating customers’ security information and requested for his token number, phone number and corporate identity number.
He sent all the details as requested and, to his surprise, he received a debit alert of the withdrawal of the sum of Six Million Naira (N6, 000,000.00) from his company, First Ambition investment Limited’s account with First Bank.
A trail of the funds, led investigators to an account( number 2060211484) at the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) belonging to one Frank Asemota, from where the money was transferred to different accounts and consequently withdrawn at various ATM terminals.
Akpere Ovine Desmond whose account was flagged was arrested in Access Bank, Benin, Edo State with 44 ATM cards.
Investigation further revealed that the accused person conspired with others to launder the six million naira (N6, 000,000.00) proceed of the scam.
Count one reads, “that you Akpere Ovine Desmond on or about the 29th day of May, 2013 at Sapele, Delta State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did convert the sum of six million naira (N6,000,000.00) belonging to one Taiwo Aremu Waheed, which you derived from the money illegally transferred into the account of one Frank Asemota domiciled at United Bank for Africa (UBA) with account number 2060211484 with the aim of disguising the origin of the money and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Adebayo Soares asked for a date for trial but the defence counsel, D.O Afure presented an application for bail of the accused before the court.
Justice Abubakar granted the accused bail in the sum of three million naira( N3,000,000.00) and two sureties in like sum, who must be resident within the Jurisdiction court,. Additionally, one of the sureties must have a landed property with Certificate of Occupancy in Delta State.
The matter was adjourned till April 29, 2015 for trial.
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