Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned an oil magnate, Aliyu Abubakar, and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited on fresh 67- count charges bordering on money laundering before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
They were arraigned alongside six companies: A-Group Construction Company Limited, Rocky Top Resources Limited, Mega Tech Engineering Limited, Novel Properties and Development Company Limited and Carlin International Nigeria Limited before Justice Inyang Ekwo. The charge marked: FHC/CR/268/2016, which initially had nine counts, was filed in 2016.
In the earlier nine-count charge, Mohammed Bello Adoke, former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, and Dan Etete, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, were mentioned in the suit.
However, the names of Adoke and Etete were removed when the defendants were re-arraigned in an amended 48-count charge on July 1, although the EFCC had denied dropping Adoke’s name from the case.
At the resumption of the trial yesterday, Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, Abubakar and the other six companies pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
The EFCC’s lawyer, Bala Sanga, told the court that Malabu Oil alongside Dauzia Etete (Dan Etete), Seidougha Munamuna and Amaran Joseph, both directors of the company, who are currently on the run, “took control of the sum of $401,540,000 paid from the Federal Government of Nigeria escrow account No: 0041451493 IBAN 30CHAS609242411492 with JP Morgan Chase Bank in London into the account 2018288005 of Malabu Oil & Gas Limited domiciled with First Bank of Nigeria Limited.”
Trial adjoined until September 10.