The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday re-arraigned Col. Nicholas Ashinze, a former Special Assistant to the embattled ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and eight others on 13 counts of money laundering involving the sum of N1.84bn.
The anti-graft agency re-arraigned the defendants before Justice Babatunde Quadri on Monday following the earlier withdrawal of the former trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, from the case.
Others, who were re-arraigned alongside Ashinze on Monday, included an Austrian and Managing Director of Geonel Integrated Services Limited, Mr Wolfgang Reinl; a lawyer, Mr Edidiong Idiong; and Lt.-Col. Sagir D. Mohammed (retd.).
The rest of the defendants were companies. They were, Geonel Integrated Services Limited, Unity Continental Nigeria Limited, Helpline Organisation, Vibrant Resource Limited and Sologic Integrated Services Limited.
The EFCC, through its prosecuting counsel, Mr Ofem Ukett, had accused the defendants of various money laundering offences involving the alleged transfer and taking possession of a total of N1,840,000,000, which it described as proceeds of unlawful acts.
The commission in Count 1 accused all the defendants of conspiracy to commit money laundering offences contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, and punishable under Section 15 (3) and (4) of the same law.
It alleged in counts 2 to 7 that Ashinze; the Austrian, Reinl and Reinl’s Geonel Integrated Services Limited corruptly transferred various sums of money, totalling N1.84bn to Idiong, Mohammed, Sologic Integrated Services Limited, Vibrant Resource Limited and Helpline Organisation.
The anti-graft agency claimed that the transfer of the funds on April 22, 23, 24 and May 5, 2014, which allegedly formed parts of “proceeds of unlawful acts” violated the provisions of section 15(2)(b) of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and punishable under section 15(3) and (4) of the same law.
The prosecution, in counts 8 to 13, accused Idiong, Mohammed, Sologic Integrated Services Limited, Vibrant Resource Limited and Helpline Organisation of “taking possession” of the various sums of money totalling N1.84bn when they “reasonably ought to know” that the funds were proceeds of “unlawful acts”.