The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday, arraigned one Muhammad Dangana, a staff of the ECOWAS Commission, before the Federal High Court in Abuja on a 15-count money laundering charge.
Dangana, who was identified as an Executive Assistant to the Financial Controller, ECOWAS Commission Secretariat, Abuja, was alleged to have criminally diverted about N587.7million from coffers of the establishment.
The anti-graft agency alleged that he used part of the looted funds to purchase land in the Federal Capital Territory.
He was docked before trial Justice Okon Abang alongside his alleged accomplices, Aliu Sesay and Saleh Dangana, even as EFCC told the court that others involved in the said fraud are currently at large.
However, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge that bordered on criminal diversion of funds, misappropriation and money laundering.
Sequel to a request by the prosecution counsel, Mr Wahab Shittu, trial Justice Abang remanded them in prison custody.
The court further fixed November 11, 12, 13 and 14 for trial.
One of the counts in the charge read: “That you Muhammad Dangana, male adult, being the executive assistant to the Financial Controller, ECOWAS Commission Secretariat, Abuja, sometime in 2016 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did launder the sum of N200,000,000 you dishonestly diverted from ECOWAS Commission funds, entrusted in your care and management by using same to purchase a plot of land, being Plot 36 Guzape District, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 11 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”
Additional reports from agencies