Court convicts businessman for money laundering

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Scale of justice

As it stands now, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction of Abdullahi Sani before Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court Kano, on a one-count charge bordering on under declaration.

The charge reads: “That you, Abdullahi Sani, on or about December 31, 2018, at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano State, within the judicial division of this honourable court (at the currency declaration desk), with passport No. 09PC66281, while travelling with $207,000 USD to China and about to board Ethiopian Air with Flight No. ET940, failed to declare $121,000 USD to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 2(3) Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 2(5) of the same Law.”

NCS officers had arrested the convict at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport during a routine check, and upon a search on him, it was discovered that he had $207,000, but declared only $86,000, leaving $121,000 undeclared.

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He was subsequently handed over to the EFCC for further investigations.

Upon arraignment by the EFCC on February 6, he pleaded “not guilty” to the charge.

In a dramatic manner, however, he changed his plea to “guilty” when the matter came up on December 16.

At the resumed hearing yesterday, prosecuting counsel Nasiru Salele, while reviewing the facts of the case, called a witness, Hassan Yahaya.

Delivering judgment, Justice Allagoa pronounced Sani guilty as charged and convicted him accordingly.

The judge ordered him to forfeit 40 per cent of the undisclosed sum of money to the Federal Government. The remaining 60 per cent and the disclosed $86,000 were, however, ordered to be returned to him.

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