Judge’s Absence Stalls Trial of Akingbola

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Erastus Akingbola
Erastus Akingbola

Davidson Iriekpen

A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday adjourned until June 3, the money laundering trial of a former Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, Erastus Akingbola.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Akingbola with amended 22 counts, bordering on money laundering.

He, however, pleaded not guilty on re-arraignment in March.

The case, which was slated for continuation of trial yesterday, could not proceed as the judge was said to be on another official assignment.

The EFCC accused the defendant of converting an aggregate sum of $1.3 million and $8.5 million, taken from the bank’s GBP NOSTRO account at Deutsche Bank in London.

The sum was said to have been remitted into the account of Fuglers Solicitors with the Royal Bank of Scotland in London, to purchase property in the name of Life Boat Settlement Trust allegedly set up by the defendant.

According to the EFCC, the defendant knew that the sums represented proceeds of crime.

The alleged offences contravene the provisions of Sections 105(1) and 105(a), of the Investment and Securities Act, 2007.

They also contravene the provisions of Sections 13 (1), 15(1)(a) and 28(3) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Cap B3, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

One of the offences contravenes the provisions of Sections 14(1) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2004.