EFCC re-arraigns ex-NIMASA DG, two others for alleged N304.1m fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday re-arraigned the former acting Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Haruna Baba Jauro, at the Federal High Court, Lagos, for alleged money laundering.
He was re-arraigned alongside one Dauda Bitrus Bawa and a company, Thlumbau Enterprises Limited, on a 19-count charge of fraud and money laundering to the tune of N304.1 million.
The defendants were first arraigned before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun on April 12, 2016.
At Monday’s proceedings, counsel to the defendants, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), told the court that Thlumbau Enterprises Limited had written a letter dated November 6, 2020, notifying the court of the appointment of its secretary, Baba Haruna Salome, as its representative in the trial in accordance with Section 478 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015.
He said: “The purpose of the letter is to enable the aforesaid representative of the third defendant to communicate to the court the third defendant’s plea of not guilty to the charge preferred against it.”
The counsel said he was in receipt of the copy of the letter, adding that the original copy had been lodged with the court’s Registrar.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read out to them.
After they pleaded not guilty to the charges, the prosecution counsel, U.U. Buhari, asked the court to pick a trial date.
He also urged the judge to remand the defendants in a correctional centre.
In his response, the defence counsel, appealed to the judge to allow the defendants to continue to enjoy the bail previously granted them by Justice Olatoregun pending the commencement of trial.
After listening to both parties, Justice C.A. Obiozor held that the “defendants shall continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted them on the same terms.”
He adjourned the case till March 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 29, and April 6, 2021, for the commencement of trial.