An Aide to the Senate President Bukola Saraki has been remanded in EFCC custody by the order of the court after he was arraigned for an alleged N3.5 billion fraud along side some other suspects.
Gbenga Makanjuola has been charalongsidert by the EFCC on an eleven count charge agaist him and a company cal Melrose General Services Ltd, on fraud allegations.
All the suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges and asked the court for a bail. But the EFCC counsel Mr Ekene Iheanacho asked the court that the accussed be remanded in Prison and also asked for a trial date.
Which the alleged’s counsel rejected Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN) said that the application has been served on the prosecution and sought the court’s permission to move it.
Arguing his application, Erokoro said that the accused was a former member of the House of Representatives and as such prepared to face trial. “My client is a full-time staff at the Senate and is not a flight risk. “He was a member of the House of Representatives; I urge the court to grant him bail to prepare for his trial”, he said. Other defence counsel also pleaded with the court to admit the other accused to bail on liberal terms.
However the EFCC’s Lawyer replied the application and said “One of the defendants have absconded; the chances that the other defendants will abscond are now higher with their arraignment. “We urge the court to refuse the defence requests for bail,” he said.
After listening to the submission of the consel, Justice Babs Kuewumi adjorned the case until Oct 9 for ruling on the bail applications.
The alleged were said to have conspired to disguise the unlawful origin of the sum of N3.5 billion paid into the account of Melrose. According to the prosecution, the accused took control of the sum which was transferred from the Nigeria’s Governors Forum account, into an Access Bank account operated by Melrose. The prosecution said that the accused ought to have known that the sum represented proceeds of unlawful activities. The offences contravenes the provisions of sections 15, 15 (2), 15(3), 18, and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Amendment Act 2011.