Crime

EFCC arraigns businesswoman for alleged N50bn fraud in Lagos

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned Lagos businesswoman Saadatu Ramalan-Yaro on counts of money laundering.

Ramalan-Yaro, the director of April 1616 Investment Limited and Amsamay Limited, both non-financial institutions, was arraigned for alleged money laundering before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, alongside the two companies. Also arraigned were Misabs International Limited and Armada Financial Services.

Ramalan-Yaro’s April 1616, on July 3, 2020, in Lagos, allegedly failed to submit to the Ministry of Commerce a declaration of activities of the company leading to the deposit of N1,050,000,000 in its Zenith Bank account.

In another count, April 1616, between 2017 and 2021 in Lagos, failed to submit to the Ministry of Commerce a declaration of activities for the total sum of N42,578,881,137 deposited into the same Zenith Bank account.

According to the charge, the second company, Misabs, between 2016 and 2019 in Lagos failed to submit to the Ministry of Commerce a declaration of N1,930,054,133.26 in another Zenith Bank account.

Similarly, the third company, Armada, between July 5 and December 31, 2021, in Lagos, also failed to submit to the Ministry of Commerce a declaration of N1,950,000,000 deposited into the company’s Zenith Bank account.

Likewise, Amsaymay Limited, the fourth company, between October 12 and November 28, 2020, in Lagos, allegedly retained the sum of N1,417,198,232 in its Zenith Bank account.

The offences violated Sections 5(1)(a) and 16(1)(f) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011, as amended, and are punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same act.

The defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, after which the prosecution counsel, S. I. Sulaiman, asked the court for a trial date.

The defence counsel, Richard Oma-Ahonaruogho (SAN), moved the bail application for Ramalian-Yaro.

The judge granted the defendant bail in the aggregate sum of N10 million, with two sureties who must be Grade 14 officers with properties within the jurisdiction of the court.

The case was adjourned until September 28, 2023, for trial.

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