EFCC arraigns Rivers SSG, others for alleged involvement in money laundering

Fire guts EFCC office

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday confirmed arraigning the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Mr. Kenneth Kobani, and a politician from the state identified as Mr. Samuel Okpoko for alleged money laundering.

It was gathered that Kobani and Okposo were arraigned on Monday before Justice B. Bilikisu of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

A statement made available to newsmen by the anti-graft agency on Wednesday indicated that they were brought to court on six counts bordering on money laundering to the tune of N750m.

The agency specifically said that Kobani and Okposo were docked for allegedly collecting the said amount from the Garrison branch of Fidelity Bank Plc in Port Harcourt.

The money, according to the EFCC, was part of the infamous $115m Diezani Alison-Madueke scam involving several politicians and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

It was alleged that the money was received on the eve of the general election in 2015 when Kobani was the Minister of State for Trade and Investment.

Charges against the duo read, “That you Samuel Johnson Okposo on or about the 27th day of March, 2015,  in Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this court, did conspire and aid other persons yet to be charged, to acquire and take possession and control of the sum of seven hundred million naira ( N700m) from Fidelity Bank located at Garrison, Port Harcourt, reasonably knowing and or ought to have known that such funds or property formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) and punishable under section 15( 3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended.

However, Kobani and Okposo were said to have pleaded not guilty after the charges were read to them.

Justice Bilikisu admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N50m and a surety each in like sum before she adjourned the matter till 4th-8th of June, 2018 for trial.

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