Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned a former chairman of Wema Bank, Olapade Mohammed and two other directors of AKS Steel Nigeria Limited before a Lagos Federal High Court for allegedly stealing about N2 billion belonging to the company.
Olapade, who was also the chairman of AKS Steel, was arraigned alongside the former managing director of the company, Tony Obinwa, and a director, Sanni Aliyu Mohammed.
Olapade and other two accused persons were alleged to have fraudulently conspired with others still at large to launder about N2 billion belonging to AKS Steel through several Nigerian banks to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, UAE, and India respectively.
The funds were said to have been transferred without the company’s board resolution using another company identified as 3 Brothers Concept Nigeria Limited.
The banks allegedly used by the accused persons to launder the said funds were Diamond Bank, United Bank for Africa, UBA, Spring Bank (now Enterprise Bank), Ecobank, Unity Bank, Intercontinental Bank (now Access Bank) and Equitorial Trust Bank (now Sterling Bank).
The anti-graft agency also alleged that the accused persons also forged various documents and submitted same at the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, with the aim of further committing monumental fraud.
Justice Abang in his ruling held that the charges against the accused persons were very well known to law, adding that the mere typographical error in a criminal charge could not and should not serve as a basis to dismiss such charges.
“I disagree with the learned counsel for the accused persons that the counts were unknown to law. They were charged for money laundering and mentioning the wrong section in the charge and year cannot, in my view, invalidate the charge,” Justice Abang ruled.
The judge then ordered the accused persons to take their pleas.
After their arraignment, they all pleaded not guilty while their lawyer, Alloy Ezenduka orally applied for bail which was not opposed by the EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).
Consequently, Justice Abang granted them bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties each in like sum.
The judge, however, ordered that the accused persons be remanded in EFCC’s custody pending the fulfilment of their bail conditions, while adjourned their trial till June 22 and 23.

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