Wednesday, 25 January 2017

[NG]Nigeria’s former Air Force chief re-arraigned for money laundering

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday re-arraigned Mohammed Umar, a former Chief of Air Staff, in the federal High Court, Abuja.
Mr. Umar was re-arraigned on a 7-count charge of money laundering before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, to which he pleaded not guilty.
Mr. Dimgba, in his ruling after counsel arguments, held that the defendant should continue to enjoy the bail conditions earlier granted by Justice Binta Nyako.
He, however, ordered the defendant to provide two sureties who must be civil servants or top management staff of private companies in the jurisdiction of the court excluding satellite towns within two weeks.
The judge adjourned the matter till February 13 to 16 for trial.
At the resumed hearing, Tahir Sylvanus, the Prosecuting Counsel, told the court the matter was for re-arraignment.
Mr. Sylvanus urged the court to accept the charge and allow same to be read to the defendant for his plea.
Hassan Liman, counsel to the defendant, prayed the court to allow his client continue with the bail and conditions already granted by Mrs. Nyako.
He said the defendant had not violated any of the conditions set out by Mrs. Nyako, adding that his client had been around to stand his trial.
Mr. Sylvanus did not oppose Mr. Liman’s oral application, contending that such decisions were left to the discretion of the court.
He, however, prayed the court to compel the defendant to present sureties before the court as guarantors for his bail.
He said the prosecution was not comfortable when Nyako admitted the defendant to bail on own recognisance.
The EFCC had on May 11, 2016, arraigned Mr. Umar before Justice Nyako before it was transferred to Justice Dimgba.
Mrs. Nyako had granted the defendant bail on own recognisance.
The prosecution said the offence contravened Section 15(2) (b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011, as amended.


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