8th October, 2021
By Nathan Nwakamma/Yenagoa
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday, arraigned Mr Embelakpo Apere and his wife, Beauty, before a Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa.
The couple was arraigned for money laundering allegedly carried out in 2015.
Embelakpo is a former aide on Sustainable Development Goals to former Gov. Seriake Dickson.
His plea could not be taken, following the objection by defence counsel, Mr Andrew Arthur, to the arraignment.
Arthur had argued that Embelakpo had been discharged by the court and could not be tried a second time for the same offence.
Mr M.T. Iko, the prosecuting counsel countered the argument, insisting that the accused was not discharged on merit.
Justice I.H Ndahen adjourned the case till 19 Oct. for ruling on the arguments of the two lawyers.
However, the wife, who was arraigned alongside him pleaded not guilty to the seven-count charge.
According to the charge, Beauty Apere received various amounts in naira, dollars and pounds sterling between May 2015 and April 27, 2016.
EFCC alleged that the funds were proceeds of unlawful acts, punishable under the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.
In addition, she was charged with forgery of medical and birth certificates which purportedly emanated from the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa.
In his ruling, the court granted her bail to the tune of N10 million and two sureties who must have landed property in Yenagoa.
She would be in the custody of the Yenagoa Correctional Service pending when she would meet her bail conditions.
Meanwhile, EFCC urged the court to adjourn till 19 Oct. to enable the commission to produce witnesses to establish its case.