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Business woman, Ramalian-Yaro, Four Firms Arraigned for Multi-billion Naira Fraud Allegation

The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, May 8, 2023, arraigned a businesswoman, Saadatu Ramallan-Yaro, Director, April 1616 Investment Limited and Amsaymay Limited, both Designated Non-Financial Institutions, on alleged money laundering before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

According to Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, also arraigned on separate charges were four companies: April 1616 Investment Limited; Misabs International Limited, Armada Financial Services and Amsamay Limited.

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IMG 20230509 WA00212One of the charges against Ramallan-Yaro reads: “That you, Saadatu Ramallan-Yaro, being a Director of April 1616 Investment Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution, on or about the 3rd day of July, 2020 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, failed to submit to the Ministry of Commerce a declaration of activities of the said company leading to deposit of the sum of N1,050,000,000.00 ( One Billion, Fifty Million, Naira) into account No.
1015006861 domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc., and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 5(1) (a), 16(1) (f) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 16 (2) (b) of the same Act..”

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One of the counts against April 16 16 reads: “ That you, April 1616 Investment Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution, between 2017 and 2021, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, failed to submit to the Ministry of Commerce a declaration of your activities within which period the total sum of N42,578,881,137.00 (Forty Two Billion, Five Hundred and Seventy Eight Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty One Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty Seven Naira,) was deposited into your account No. 1015006861 domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc., and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 5(1) (a), 16(1)(f) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.

One of the counts against Misabs reads: “That you, Misabs International Limited, a Designated Non-Financial institution, between 2016 and 2019 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, failed to submit to the Ministry of Commerce a declaration of your activities within which period the total sum of N1,930,054,133.26 (One Billion, Nine Hundred and Thirty Million, Fifty Four Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty Three Naira, Twenty Six Kobo) was deposited into your account No. 1010090410 domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc., and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 5(1) (a), 16(1) (f) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.”

One of the counts against Armada Financial Services reads: “That you, Armada Financial Services, a Designated Non-Financial Institution, between 5th July 2021 and 31st day of December 2021 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, failed to submit to the Ministry of Commerce a declaration of activities of the said company within which period the total sum of N1,950,000,000.00 (One Billion, Nine Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) was deposited into the company’s account No. 1017656772 domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc., and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 5(1) (a), 16(1)(f) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.”

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One of the counts against Amsamay reads: “That you, Amsaymay Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution, between 12th October, and 28th day of November, 2020, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, retained the total sum of N1,417,198,232.25 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Seventeen Million, One Hundred and Ninety Eight Thousand, Two Hundred and Thirty Two Naira) in your account No. 1017656772 domiciled in zenith Bank Plc., which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activities to wit: fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3)of the same Act.”

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They all pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, S.I. Sulaiman, asked the court for a trial date.

The defence counsel, Richard Oma-Ahonaruogho, SAN, moved the bail application for the defendants.

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Oma-Ahonaruogho also pleaded with the court to release the defendant to him pending the fulfilment of her bail conditions.

Consequently, the Judge granted the defendant bail in the aggregate sum of N10m, with two sureties in like sum.

The sureties must be Grade Level 14 officers, with landed properties within the jurisdiction of the court.

The case was adjourned till September 28, 2023 for trial.

Joshua Okoria

Joshua Okoria is a Lagos based multi-skilled journalist covering the maritime industry. His ICT and graphic design skills makes him a resourceful person in any modern newsroom. He read mass communication at the Olabisi Onabanjo University and has sharpened his knowledge in media practice from several other short courses. 07030562600, hubitokoria@gmail.com

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