Court convicts Coys of laundering Patience Jonathan’s $15.5m

Ebun Francis

Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday convicted four companie — Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development & Investment Co. Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited for laundering the sum of $15.5m domiciled with skybank plc.

It will be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had in August frozen the accounts of the four companies and seized the $15m in the course of probing a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa for money laundering.

The companies pleaded guilty to laundering the money on the 15th of September 2016.

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Reviewing the facts of the case as a result of the guilty plea, the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo,  informed the court how the companies laundered the money which was stolen from the State House, Abuja.

According to Oyedepo, “The EFCC received an intelligence report showing vividly that the fourth to seventh defendants retained proceeds of crime. Our investigations showed that Festus Iyoha admitted receiving the funds from the first defendant (Dudafa). Iyoha is a domestic staff at the State House.

“He admitted that funds credited into the accounts were given to him from the State House.”

The EFCC counsel said Iyoha paid $3,096,377.38 into Pluto’s account; $3,410,534.71 into Seagate’s account; $3,765,711.87 into Trans Oceans’ account; and $250,000 into Avalon Global’s account, all domiciled in Skye Bank plc.

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The presiding judge admitted the accounts statements, their mandate cards, certificates of incorporation and statements made to the EFCC by the companies’ representatives in evidence.

Justice Babs Kuewumi  while convicting the companies of money laundering, said he was satisfied that the EFCC had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt.