$22.6m Fraud: EFCC Re-arraigns Ogunlewe, BCE Consulting Engineers Limited

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has re-arraigned Akinola Ogunlewe alongside his company, B.C.E. Consulting Engineers Limited before Justice A.R. Muhammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

They were re-arraigned on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 on twelve count amended charges, bordering on forgery, obtaining fraudulent document and criminal possession as well as money laundering to the tune of $22,630,000.00 (Twenty Two Million, Six Hundred and Thirty Thousand United States Dollars).

One of the count reads; “That you Akinola Ogunlewe trading under the name and style of BCE Consulting Engineers, sometimes in July 2021, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, took control of the sum of $22,630, 000.00 (Twenty two million, six hundred and thirty thousand United States Dollars) plus accrued interest thereon when you reasonably ought to have known that the said funds forms part of your unlawful activities to wit: forging the signature of Babajide Soyode(alias Babatunde Soyode) on contract documents with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended).”

The defendants pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.

Defense Counsel, Agbo Adeboruwa, SAN, informed the court that he had filed an application before the court seeking to quash the case. However, prosecution counsel, Bala Sangha, countered Adeboruwa that a counter affidavit, opposing his application, has been placed before the court.

Sangha further stated that the application of the defence was not a jurisdictional issue, “it did not challenge the jurisdiction of this court.” He added that counts nine to twelve of the charge have to do with the failure of the defence to file a report to the EFCC as required under Section 5 and 9 of the Money Laundering prohibition Act, 2011(as amended).

Justice A.R Muhammed adjourned the matter to October 26, 2022 for ruling and possible continuation of trial, depending on the outcome of the ruling.

The judge allowed the defendant to continue with his bail.

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