N19bn Paris Club Scam: Court Adjourns Saraki’s Aide, Makanjuola’s N3.5bn Fraud Trial to March 13

Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High
Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday,
January 10, 2019, adjourned to March 13,
2019, a N3.5bn fraud trial involving Gbenga
Makanjuola, Deputy Chief of Staff to the
Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, and
three others.
Makanjuola alongside Kolawole Shittu, cashier
to Senate; Robert Chidozie Mbonu, a former
Managing Director, Societe Generale Bank of
Nigeria, SGBN (at large), Melrose General
Services Limited and Obiora Amobi, Operation
Manager, Melrose General Services Limited
were arraigned on October 3, 2018 on an
amended 11-count charge bordering on alleged
conspiracy, accepting cash payment beyond
threshold and money laundering to the tune of
N3.5billion ((Three Billion, Five Hundred Million
Naira) only.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Gbenga
Makanjuola, sometime in December 2016 in
Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this
Honourable Court, did accept cash payment of
the sum of $500, 000. 00 (Five Hundred
Thousand Dollars) only from Kolawole Shittu
without going through a financial institution
and thereby committed an offence contrary to
Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering
Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended by Act No.
1 of 2012) and punishable under Section 16
(2) (b) of the same Act.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the
charge preferred against them. Consequently,
the prosecution counsel, Ekene Iheanacho,
had asked for a trial date and also prayed the
court to remand the defendants in prison
The prosecution counsel had also urged the
court to refuse the bail applications filed by
the defence counsels on behalf of their
clients. Justice Kuewumi had, therefore,
adjourned to October 9, 2019 for ruling on the
bail applications.
In his ruling, Justice Kuewumi had granted the
defendants bail in the sum of N250m each on
October 9, 2018 and adjourned till December 4,
2018 for commencement of trial. At the
resumed hearing today, Justice Kuewumi
announced that he had been transferred to the
Sokoto State Division.
“I have been posted out of Lagos State to
Sokoto State. I can’t open a matter that will
not be concluded. So, we have to adjourn the
matter”, the Judge had said.
However, in his submission, counsel to the
prosecution, Iheanacho, told the court that the
matter was adjourned to today for the
prosecution to open its case. “My Lord, I am
ready to proceed with the trial”, he further
Counsel to the first defendant, K. T. Olawuni,
as well as counsel to the third defendant,
Omeoga Chukwu, said they were also ready to
proceed with the trial. Also, counsel to the
second and fourth defendants, Paul Erokoro,
SAN, said he was ready to proceed with the
Erokoro, however, said that the prosecuting
counsel had just served him with an additional
proof of evidence. “My Lord, I need time to go
through it very well,” he pleaded. Justice
Kuewumi thereafter, adjourned the matter to
March 13 for mention.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.