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Money Laundering: Trial of Lagos Based Woman Resumed After 10 Years In Limbo

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After several hiccups and passing through three judges of the Federal High court in the past 10 years, the trial of a Lagos based woman, MRS. OMOLAYO IPHIGENIA ADENIJI accused by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, of laundering drug money for her husband who has been jailed by the British court for drug trafficking , has finally resumed before Justice Peter Lifu of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

At the commencement of trial last week, the prosecution represented by Mrs O.Iwuchukwu called the first Prosecution witness, Mr Richard Jiang an operative of the NDLEA who, while being led in evidence narrated how his boss asked him to take the statement of Omolayo Adeniji.

In his testimony, Richard , told the court that as at the 3rd of July 2012 his posting was in the department of Assets and Financial Investigation of the anti- narcotic agency .

He also told Justice Lifu that on the 3rd of July 2012, he was assigned by his boss to write the word of caution and take the statement of Mrs Omolayo Adeniji which he deed.

Richard added that Omolayo wrote her statement and that both of them countersigned at the end of the statement.

The prosecutor, Mrs Iwuchukwu, then tendered Omolayo’s statement made on the 3rd of July 2012 and it was admitted in evidence .

Under cross -examination by the defence counsel, Mr Kemi Balogun,SAN, whether he knows the time the defendant was arrested and if she was kept in the agency’s custody, the witness answered in the negative.

” I don’t know when she was arrested, I don’t know if she was in detention or not, I was only asked to write a cautionary word and take her statement which I did and no more.”
The second prosecution witness, Mrs Ayo Ogundoro Ronke also of the Assets and Financial Investigation Department of the NDLEA, in her testimony told Justice Lifu that she knows Omolayo Adeniji .
That on the 10th of April and 22nd of July 2012 she was directed by her boss to take Omolayo statement which he did and that after taking her statement she took Omolayo back to her boss who brought her.

The prosecutor then tendered the two statements of Omolayo and both were admitted in evidence.

Under cross – examination from Mr Kemi Balogun, SAN, Ogundoro told the court that prior to that day, 10th of April and 22of July 2012 she did not know Omolayo and no interaction beyond taking her statements and writing the cautionary words.
Earlier Balogun, SAN, giving background to the case, told Justice Lifu that the offence the defendant is alleged to have committed was actually committed by her husband who had faced prosecution outside the shore of Nigerian.

He added that as a wife with three children, the question that should be asked is, whether she is not entitled to house keeping allowance.
Meanwhile, Justice Peter Lifu has adjourned the matter till 12th April 2022 for further trial.

The five count charge against the defendant in charge number FHC/L/244C/2012 read thus:

COUNT I

That you MRS. OMOLAYO IPHIGENIA ADENIJI, Female, Adult, sometime between 2006 and 2009 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired with ADEGBOYEGA AYOBAMI ADENHI, ADEKUNLE ADENIJI (convicted by the British Court and serving prison term in U.K) (at large) to conceal the genuine nature of resources derived directly or indirectly from drug trafficking by ADEGBOYEGA AYOBAMI ADENLJI by floating three Companies to wit; Potential Four Ltd, Potential Four Petroleum Ltd and Sergio Foods Ltd opening Account Numbers 1012011972 formally Account Number Number 1011897238 formally Account Number 6217400482, Account 021740082, Account Number 1011122312 formally Account Number 621740028 and Account Number 6015307345 respectively at Zenith Bank Plc., in Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2014.

COUNT II

That you MRS. OMOLAYO IPHIGENIA ADENIJI, Female, Adult, sometime between 2006 and 2009 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court retained the proceeds of drug trafficking by ADEGBOYEGA AYOBAMI ADENIJI (convicted by the British Court and serving prison term in U.K) in your Zenith Bank Account Number 1001029933 through the inflow of various sum of money from Potential Four Ltd, Zenith Bank Account Number 1012011972 into your Zenith Bank Account Number 1001029933 aforesaid knowing or suspecting that ADEGBOYEGA AYOBAMI ADENIJI was engaged in illicit trafficking in drugs and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 16o0f the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2014.

That you MRS. OMOLAYO IPHIGENIA ADENIJI, Female, Adult between 2006 and 2011 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court knowing that the resources in Potential Four Ltd Account Number 1012011972 wholly or in part directly or indirectly represents the proceeds of illicit trafficking in drugs by ADEGBOYEGA AYOBAMI ADENIJI (convicted by the British Court and serving prison term in U.K) used the said resources to acquire the following assets and properties to wit; (i) Plot J71 Road 3, Close 9, Victoria Garden City, Lagos.

(ii) 3 Bedroom Apartment at Alcove Items Wright Estate, Yaba, Lagos.

(iii) Four plots of land acquired at a sum of 413,000,000.00 (Thirteen Million Naira) located at Bogije Village, Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State.

(iv) Shop Number 1-337 and 1-339 at Ikota Shopping Complex, Lagos

and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 17 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2014,

COUNT IV

That you MRS. OMOLAYO IPHIGENIA ADENIJI, Female, Adult, sometime in September 2011 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court converted four plots of land located at Bogije Village, Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State being resources derived directly or indirectly from illicit trafficking in drugs by selling same to Hon. Ajayi Shaibu for the sum of §16,000,000.00 (Sixteen Million Naira) only and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2014.

COUNT V

That you MRS. OMOLAYO IPHIGENIA ADENIJI, Female, Adult on or about the 14” of April 201! within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court made a cash deposit of N20,000,000.00 (Twenty Million Naira) to Mix Capital Ltd (an Asset Management and Development Company) for the purchase of a 3 bedroom apartment at Alcove Homes, Wright Estate, Yaba, Lagos and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2014.

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