EFCC SHUNS COURT ORDER, WITHHOLDS SHASORE’S PASSPORT
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has defied an order of the Federal High Court to transmit the international passport of embattled former Lagos State Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Olasupo Shasore SAN to the court’s registry.
Meanwhile, the absence of EFCC Prosecutor, Mr. Bala Sanga yesterday scuttled the trial of Shasore for alleged money laundering.
When the matter came up yesterday, the Lead Defence Counsel, Mr. Wale Akoni SAN told the court that the anti-graft agency had not complied with the order to deposit Shasore’s international passport with the court’s registry.
He also noted that the defence team was in receipt of a letter by the prosecutor requesting an adjournment of the case as it conflicted with another criminal matter that he has in an Abuja court.
Following the abortion of trial, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke adjourned the matter to February 21, 2023 for trial.
Though Sanga had during arraignment prayed the court to remand Shasore in custody, the court had ruled as follows: “There is no doubt that the court must strike a balance based on the evidence before it, between the constitutional rights of the defendant to liberty and presumption of innocence and the rights of the state to prosecute its erring citizens,” the judge held.
“The defendant’s application for bail succeeds and the bail is accordingly granted in the following terms:
“Defendant applicant is admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum. The surety must be a serving director or a permanent secretary in the service of the federation or the Lagos state government. Surety to produce two copies each of his or her recent passport photograph and evidence of payment of tax or tax clearance.
“The defendant’s international passport with the complainant shall be deposited with the registrar of this court pending trial. This is the ruling of the honourable court.”
CITY LAWYER had in an exclusive report noted how a four-man team of Senior Advocates had battled to secure bail for Shasore following his arraignment last October on a four-count charge bordering on money laundering. The team was then led by Mr. Charles Candide-Johnson SAN. Others in the defence team were Dr. Muiz Banire SAN, Mr. Segun Ajibola SAN, and Mr. Chijioke Okoli SAN.
The matter is filed as Charge No. FHC/L/447C/2022, Federal Republic of Nigeria and Olasupo Shasore, SAN. Shasore was the Chief Law Officer during the administration of former Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN.
Count one of the charge reads: “That you Olasupo Shasore, S.A.N. on or about the 18th day of November 2014 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court induced Olufolakemi Adelore to commit an offence, to wit accepting cash payment of the sum of US100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) without going through a financial institution which such exceeded the amount authorised by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 78(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 16(6) of the same Act.”
Count two reads: “That you Olasupo Shasore, S.A.N on or about the 18th day of November 2014 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, in a transaction without going through a financial institution, made cash payment of the sum of USD 100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) to Olufolakemi Adelore through Auwalu Habu and Wole Aboderin, which sum exceeded the amount permitted by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 1(a) and 16(1)(d) the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as Amended) and punishable under section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”
Count three reads: “That you Olasupo Shasore, S.A.N., on or about the 18th November, 2014, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, induced one Ikechukwu Oguine, to commit an offence, to wit: accepting case payment of the sum of USD100,000.00 (One Hundred thousand United States Dollars) without going through a financial institution, which such amount exceeded the amount permitted by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(c) of the Money Laundering Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) Of the same Act.”
Count four reads: “That you Olasupo Shasore, S.A.N on or about the 18th day of November 2014 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without going through a financial institution and made cash payment of the sum of USD100,000.00 (One Hundred thousand United State Dollars) to one Ikechukwu Oguine which sum exceeded the amount permitted by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary sections 1(a) and 16(1),(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act, as amended) and punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.”
It is recalled that Shasore was last January invited by the anti-graft agency to shed light on his involvement in the Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) case. The former Lagos attorney-general had represented Nigeria on the P&ID case.
The Federal Government had told a UK court that Shasore colluded with P&ID to pervert justice in the controversial gas supply purchasing agreement (GSPA) contract. Shasore denied the allegation.
The P&ID had won a $9.6 billion judgment against Nigeria in a British court, claiming that it entered a contract to build a gas processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State. The company stated that the deal collapsed because the Federal Government did not fulfil its side of the bargain.
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