$1.6m money laundering: Court admits two Bureau de Change operators to bail, gives 10 days to perfect conditions

Two Bureau de Change operators, Chris Ogbonna, and Sulaiman Jibbo, who were alleged to have laundered $1.6 million, suspected to be a proceed of smuggling activities, have been were given 10 days to perfect their bail or risk remand in the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS).
The defendants were charged before Justice Ayokunle Faji of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos Nigeria by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a five-count charge bothering on the alleged offence.
Arraigned alongside the two defendants are two companies - Kur and Sule Nigeria Enterprises and Sunchrist Trans Nigeria Limited.
In a five-count charge filed before the court, EFCC stated that Ogbonna and Sunchrist Trans Nigeria Limited were alleged to have transfered a total of N607.2 million, being proceeds of smuggling to Kur and Sule Enterprises, while Sulaiman Jibbo, was accused of making a cash payment of $52,287 to one Fredrick, "which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law."
According to the charge, the defendants ought to have reasonably known that the $1.6 million, which they allegedly removed from jurisdiction sometime in 2017, "formed parts of proceeds of unlawful activity, to wit: smuggling."
The EFCC prosecuting counsel, Kufre Uduak, submitted that the defendants acted contrary to Sections 18(c), 15(2), 1(a), and 16(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and liable to be punished under Sections 15(3) and 16(2)(b) of the same law.
After hearing the charge against them, the defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
The prosecution applied for trial date in view of the defendants' plea.
Meanwhile, based on bail application filed and argued by their counsel, the presiding Judge, Justice Faji, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N10 million each with two sureties in like sum.
The judge barred the defendants from travelling outside the country, without consequential order in which the EFCC should notify the Nigeria Immigration Service about them.
The defendants were also given 10 days to meet the bail conditions, failure which they would be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services.
The case has been adjourned till July 10, 2020 for report of compliance with the bail condition.

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