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EFCC arraigns BDC operators for laundering $1.6m smuggling proceeds

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arraigned two Bureau de Change operators for allegedly laundering $1.6m, said to be proceeds of smuggling.

The defendants – Chris Ogbonna, Sulaiman Jibbo – were arraigned alongside two firms – Kur and Sule Nigeria Enterprises; and Sunchrist Trans Nigeria Limited – on five counts before Justice Ayokunle Faji.

The anti–graft agency said they ought to have reasonably known that the $1.6m, which they allegedly removed from jurisdiction sometime in 2017, “formed parts of proceeds of unlawful activity, to wit: smuggling.”

Ogbonna and Sunchrist Trans Nigeria Limited were also accused of transferring a total of N607.2m, being proceeds of smuggling, to Kur and Sule Enterprises.

Jibbo, on his part, was accused of making a cash payment of $52,287 to one Fredrick, “which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law.”

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following a bail application by their counsel, Chuks Nwana, Justice Faji admitted each of them to bail in the sum of N10m with two sureties in like sum.

Among other conditions, the judge barred the defendants from travelling outside the country, with an order that the EFCC should notify the Nigeria Immigration Service about them.

The judge gave them 10 days to meet the bail conditions, failing which they would be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services.

He adjourned till July 10 for report of compliance with the bail conditions.

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Environment preservation

The Lagos State Government and conservationists have renewed calls for increased practices aimed at preserving the environment for the sake of future generations.

A statement on Monday said the calls were made at an event to commemorate the 2020 World Environment Day at the Lekki Conservation Centre.

At the event, hosted by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency and supported by Bonnie Bio Nigeria Limited, stakeholders took turns to lament the adverse effects of mankind’s activities on the environment and called for positive actions to reverse the trend.

The LASEPA General Manager, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, said, “Deforestation has brought animals closer to us. Diseases that should not be found in human beings are being found in human beings because we are encroaching into the animal world with our practices,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of Bonnie Bio Nigeria Limited, Mrs Ogunbiyi Odun, expressed the company’s commitment to partnering the state government to reduce plastic waste in the state.

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