Money Laundering: Ex-Governor Nnamani Re-Arraigned

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Former Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, one of his aides Sunday Onyekazuru Anyaogu and six other companies, were this morning re-arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, on 105-count amended criminal charge of money laundering.

The re-arraignment became necessary because the judge formerly handling the trial was transferred out of Lagos.

The companies arraigned are: Rainbow Net Nigeria Limited, Hillgate Nigeria Limited, Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile Nigeria Limited, Renaissance Teaching Hospital, and Mea-Mater Elizabeth High School.

The case file was re-assigned to a new judge, Justice Muhammed Yinusa.

In the new amended charge, Nnamani, Anyaogu and the six accused companies between August 2003 and May 2007 allegedly conspired amongst themselves to launder about N5.2 billion belonging to Enugu State government, thereby committing an offenc under money laundering act.

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The accused persons were also alleged to have illegally taken money from the statutory allocation to some local governments such as Aninri Local Government, Enugu South Local Government, Agu Local Government, Igbo Local Government and Uzo Local Government.

Nnamani pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Consequently, his counsel, Rickey Tarfa (SAN) leading seven other lawyers, urged the court to allow the former governor to continue on his former bail.

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, prosecuting counsel, Kelvin Uzozie, did not oppose the application.  Consequently, the presiding judge adjourned the matter till 28 May for trial and ordered the accused persons to continue on their former bail.

—Akin Kuponiyi