The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, re-arraigned the duo of Ope Saraki, a cousin to a former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and a former Commissioner for Information in Kwara State, Olatunji Oyeyemi Moronfoye.
The duo was re-arraigned on separate charges bordering on abuse of office, diversion of public funds and money laundering before Justice Muhammed Sani of the Federal High Court, Ilorin.
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The case, which first started on May 13, 2015 before Justice Olayinka Faji of the Federal High Court, Ilorin has suffered a series of setbacks occasioned by the transfer of the trial judges.
The EFCC accused Ope, a former Senior Special Assistant on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the state, of allegedly receiving a cash payment of N11,180,000.00 from one Kunle Adimula.
It said the sum exceeded the cash amount payable to an individual.
It said the offence is contrary to Section 1(a) and 16(1) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16(2) (b) of the same Act.
According to the EFCC, Moronfoye, while being the Special Adviser on Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, allegedly committed procurement fraud by means of unlawful influence in the award of two contracts involving the renovation of Ijagbo Primary Health Centre and supply of medical equipment to two hospitals in Kwara State.
The alleged offence contravenes Section 58(4) and is punishable under Section 58(5)(a) and (b) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.
The two defendants pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
Following their pleas, counsel to the EFCC, Sesan Ola, urged the court to fix a date for trial and remand the defendants in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service pending trial.
But Sulyman Abaya and Joshua Olatoke, SAN, representing Ope Saraki and Moronfoye, respectively urged the court to allow their clients to continue with the terms and conditions of the bail earlier granted them by the court.
Justice Sani, after listening to the submissions by counsels, admitted the defendants to bail on the terms earlier granted them by the first trial judge, having not breached the terms.
Justice Sani adjourned the case to February 16, 2022, for commencement of trial for Ope Saraki and February 22, 2022, for Moronfoye.
Justice Faji had on May 13, 2015, admitted Moronfoye and Saraki to bail in the sum of N50million and two sureties in like sum.