The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Deputy National Chairman (South) Yemi Akinwonmi at the Federal High Court in Lagos for alleged N179.8million fraud.
He was re-arraigned along with two Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials Dickson Atiba and Ogunmodede Oladayo.
They were accused of conspiring to take possession of the money in March 2015 ahead of the general elections.
EFCC first arraigned them before Justice Muslim Hassan last July 30.
The case was re-assigned to Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, who withdrew after trial had begun following an application by the defence.
The case was again re-assigned to Justice Chuka Obiozor, hence the re-arraignment.
The prosecution said the defendants received the money from Adeyinka Ayo-Aina when they “reasonably ought to have known that the money formed part of proceeds of fraud.”
According to the commission, they handled the cash without going through a financial institution, thereby violating the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.
The prosecution said Akinwonmi, a former INEC staff, and Atiba, on or about April 7, 2015, made and accepted a cash payment of N69million.
It added that the sum “exceeded the amount authorised by law without going through a financial institution.”
EFCC said the alleged offence is contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, as amended, and punishable under Section 16(2).
Akinwonmi, Atiba and Oladayo pleaded not guilty to the eight-count charge filed by prosecuting counsel Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.
Justice Obiozor adjourned until May 27 for trial.
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