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N2.7 Billion Money Laundering Case: EFCC Arraigns Two Suspects in Lagos Court

N2.7 Billion Money Laundering Case: EFCC Arraigns Two Suspects in Lagos Court

In the fight against financial crimes, the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) brought charges against Akeem Adekunle and Kayode Olusola Ayodeji before Justice I.O Ijelu of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.

The duo was arraigned on an amended three-count charge bordering on laundering funds and conspiracy to launder funds amounting to N2,737,784,800.00 (Two Billion Seven Hundred and Thirty-Seven Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty-Four Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira).

The charges against the defendants allege their involvement in transferring property derived from illegal activities and promoting unlawful activities through fraudulent means. One of the counts reads: “That you, Akeem Adekunle, Kayode Olusola Ayodeji, Odunayo Rashiday Popoola (at large), and Afolabi Olushola Sunday a.k.a. ‘Asiwaju Something’ (at large), between 21st September, 2023, and 4th October, 2023, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to commit a felony to wit: transferring property derived from an illegal act to the tune of N2,737,784,800.00 from the unlawful activity of Afolabi Olushola Sunday, with the aim of disguising the illegal origin of the same.”

Another count alleges that Akeem Adekunle procured one Esther Titilayo to open an Access Bank account with the intent of promoting Afolabi Olushola Sunday, also known as ‘Asiwaju Something,’ in carrying out unlawful activities, specifically, stealing.

Upon hearing the charges, both defendants pleaded “not guilty.” In response, the prosecution counsel, S. I. Suleiman, requested a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendants in a correctional center pending the commencement of the trial.

However, the defense counsels for the defendants made various requests to the court. Grace Adenubi, representing the first defendant, requested a stand-down of the matter to enable her to file a bail application on behalf of her client. The judge, Justice Ijelu, frowned at this request. Meanwhile, the counsel to the second defendant, C.V. Nwagbara, did not present a formal bail application but sought a short date to file it.

Consequently, Justice Ijelu adjourned the case until May 6, 2024, for the commencement of trial and ordered that the defendants be remanded at a correctional facility pending the trial proceedings.

The arraignment of Akeem Adekunle and Kayode Olusola Ayodeji underscores the EFCC’s commitment to combatting financial crimes and ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice. The charges brought against them highlight the seriousness with which the authorities are addressing cases of money laundering and other illicit financial activities, which have far-reaching consequences for the economy and society at large.

The outcome of this trial will not only serve as a deterrent to others involved in similar criminal activities but also reaffirm the rule of law and the impartiality of the justice system in Nigeria. As the trial progresses, the EFCC continues to work tirelessly to investigate and prosecute individuals and entities involved in financial crimes, thereby safeguarding the integrity of the nation’s financial system.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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