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Alleged Money Laundry: I gave N11.18m to Ope Saraki, EFCC witness tells court

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The trial of former Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Kwara State governor on Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), Alhaji Ope Saraki, commenced on Thursday with the prosecution calling its star witness, Kunle Adimula.

Saraki, a cousin to the immediate past president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, allegedly collected a sum of N11,180,000 (eleven million, one hundred and eighty thousand naira) meant to execute some projects under the MDGs, a sum which exceeded the cash payable to an individual.

The offense is contrary to Section 1 and 16 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 of the same Act.

The Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on March 24 arraigned Saraki on a one-count charge, bordering on money laundering before Justice Babangana Ashigar of the Federal High Court, Ilorin, Kwara State.

Testifying on Thursday, Adimula narrated how the defendant received the sum of N11,180,000.00 (Eleven million, one hundred and eighty thousand naira) cash sometime in 2019.

Adimula who was led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Sesan Ola, further told the court that he was issued a receipt after he handed over the money to the defendant, which he gave to the CFA, Muhammed.

A copy of the receipt was shown to the witness which he identified and tendered as evidence by the prosecuting counsel.

The document was admitted in evidence as Exhibit EFCC 1 as its admissibility was not opposed to by the defense counsel led by Joshua Olatoke (SAN).

Under cross-examination by the defense, Adimula insisted that he acted strictly on instruction by collecting the money and handed over the same to the defendant.

When asked whether he was aware that the project was budgeted for and approved by the Kwara State House of Assembly, Adimula said it was not within his purview to know, but to ensure that instructions given by his boss were complied with.

The case has been adjourned till January 13.

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