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EFCC charges Atiku’s lawyers, brother

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a money laundering charge against Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, lawyer to the 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar.

EFCC first arrested Giwa-Osagie in February at the height of the campaigns.

The arrest and subsequent detention of Giwa-Osagie were in some quarters described as a political witch hunt, aggressive intimidation and harassment of opposition actors.

The anti-graft agency is accusing the Senior Advocate of Nigeria of laundering $2million ahead of the last general elections.

According to the agency, Giwa-Osagie took possession of the said $2 million without going through a financial institution.

EFCC said the sum exceeded the amount authorised by law to be transacted in cash.

The agency’s three-count charge was signed by prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, and was filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos against the lawyer and his brother, Erhunse Giwa-Osagie.

The anti-corruption body further explained that the two brothers allegedly contravened sections 18(a) and 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, punishable under Section 16(2)(b).

The charges added, “That you Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie and Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, sometimes in February 2019 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired to commit an offence to wit: making cash payment of the sum of $2,000,000.00 (two million United State Dollars) without going through financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a), and 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

“That you Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, on or before the 12th day of February 2019 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, procured Erhunse Giwa-Osagie to make cash payment of the sum of $2,000,000.00 without going through financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

“That you Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, sometimes in February 2019 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, made the payment of the sum of $2,000,000.00 without going through a financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 1(a). & 16(1)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and Punishable under section 16 of the Same Act.”

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