The son-in-law to Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate at the last general election, Abdullahi Babalele, has been released from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) where he was remanded by a Federal High Court, Lagos, over alleged money laundering.
Babalele was release last Friday, after meeting the bail conditions imposed on him by Justice Nicholas Oweibo, after he pleaded not guilty to a two-count charge of money laundering leveled against him by the anti-graft agency.
However, Atiku’s lawyer, Barrister Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, a partner in the law firm of Africa Law Practice (ALP) and his brother, Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, who were also arraigned by the EFCC on different charge of money laundering, are yet to meet the bail terms imposed on them by the court.
Though, the Giwa-Osagies, were released to their counsel, after they had pleaded not guilty to three counts charge of money laundering preferred against them by the EFCC, after the court ruling on their bail applications last week Thursday.
It was gathered that Babalele was released last Friday, after meeting the bail conditions and that he is now at Abuja. But the Osagies are still processing theirs.
The EFCC had arraigned Babalele, Atiku’s son-in-law for laundering$140, 000 USD with the aide of one Bashir Mohammed.
While Barrister Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, a partner in Africa Legal Practice (ALP) alongside his brother, Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, were arraigned for laundering$2 million USD.
The trio were arraigned before the court last Wednesday, on two separate charges, by the EFCC on money laundering charges.
The offences according to the prosecution are contrary to sections 18(c), 18(a), 1(a), 16(1), (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16, 16(2)(b)16(2)(b) of the same Act.
They were however, granted to bail last week Thursday, in the the sum of N20 million with one surety each, after their counsel, who includes Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) for Babalele and Mr. Raji Ahmed and Mr. Norrison Quakers, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), for the Osagies, have argued their clients’ bail applications.
In the charge against Babalele, the EFCC alleged that Atiku’s son-in-law had on February 20, 2019, procured and aided one Bashir Mohammed to make cash payment of the sum of $140,000 USD, without going through financial institution.
While EFCC had alleged that Osagie’s brothers have on February 12, 2019, aided each other and made cash payment of $2 million USD, without going through the financial institutions.
Justice Oweibo has adjourned the trial of the criminal charge against the defendants till October 8.