The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), will today, Friday, arraign Olasupo Shasore (SAN), a former Attorney-General of Lagos State, before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
Shasore was alleged to have committed money laundering to the tune of $100,000 without going through a financial institution.
The Lagos Zonal Command of the Commission arraigned the AG on a four-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of $100,000 before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
A statement by EFCC’s Head Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said that the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.
He said that after his plea, prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga, prayed the court to order a remand of the defendant in custody pending trial.
However, Shasore’s counsel, Yemi Candide-Johnson, who appeared with three other senior advocates of Nigeria, prayed the court to grant the defendant bail on self-recognition.
Candide-Johnson averred that the defendant showed up for arraignment without being reminded, coerced, or forced.
He further told the court that the defendant had always made himself and any documents sought from him available to the anti-graft agency whenever necessary.
The defence attorney, however, argued that the case had been under investigation for three years and that the defendant does not pose a flight risk.
After the defence counsel’s submissions, the prosecutor did not oppose the application for bail.
In granting his bail application, the judge held, “There is no doubt that the court must strike a balance based on the evidence before it, between the constitutional rights of the defendant to liberty and presumption of innocence and the rights of the state to prosecute its erring citizens.
“The defendant’s application for bail succeeds and the bail is accordingly granted in the following terms: Defendant applicant is admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.
“The surety must be a serving director or a permanent secretary in the service of the federation or the Lagos state government. Surety to produce two copies each of his or her recent passport photograph and evidence of payment of tax or tax clearance.
“The defendant’s international passport with the complainant shall be deposited with the registrar of this court pending trial. This is the ruling of the honourable court.”
It will be his third arraignment for corruption since October 2022.
Shasore will be arraigned alongside a company, Middlesex Investments Ltd., before Justice Inyang Ekwo on 14-count charge bordering on money laundering.
While the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the complainant in the charge number: FHC/ABJ/CR/386/22 filed on August 17 by the EFCC’s counsel, Bala Sanga, Middlesex Investments Ltd and Shasore are 1st and 2nd defendants respectively.
Shasore is said to be a director and a signatory to the company’s Guaranty Trust Bank account number: 0005659394.
The anti-graft agency, in count one, alleged that between September 3 and September 11, 2014, the firm and Shasore failed to report in writing to the agency a single lodgement transaction of the sum of N60 million from Mandivera Global Resources Limited into the Guaranty Trust Bank Pic account number 0005659394 of MIddlesex Investments Limited.
Also in count five, the EFCC alleged that between August 26 and September 3, 2019, the defendants failed to report in writing to the agency a single transfer transaction of the sum of 30,000 dollars ($30,000.00) from the GTB account number 0005659435 of Middlesex Investments Ltd to the account of Olasupo Shasore.
The agency said this should be in compliance with Section 10(1)b of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 10(3) of the same act.
The suspects are further accused of failure to comply with the requirements of submitting to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments, a declaration of the activities of the company as specified under Section 5(1)(a)(ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011(as amended) and punishable under Section 16(2)(b)of the same act, among others.