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N1.6 Billion Laundering Case: Former AG Requests Additional Time For Repayment



N1.6 Billion Laundering Case: Former AG Requests Additional Time For Repayment

At the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday, Anamekwe Nwabuoku, a former acting Accountant-General of the Federation, appealed to Justice James Omotoso for additional time to complete the refund of public funds allegedly embezzled by him and his co-defendant, Felix Nweke.

News About Nigeria reports that the pair are currently facing 11 counts of money laundering amounting to N1.6 billion, charges brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Nwabuoku and Nweke are accused of misappropriating funds during Nwabuoku’s tenure as the Director of Finance and Accounts in the Ministry of Defence from 2019 to 2021.

While Nwabuoku stands as the primary defendant, Nweke is the second defendant in the case labeled FHC/ABJ/CR/240/24, which was officially filed by EFCC counsel Ekele Iheanacho on May 27, 2024.

Nwabuoku, who briefly served as acting Accountant-General from May to July 2022 following the suspension of Ahmed Idris over an alleged N80 billion fraud, has found himself in legal turmoil.

When the case was called on Wednesday, the defence requested an adjournment of their arraignment to finalise the repayment of the misappropriated funds.

Nweke’s attorney, Emeka Onyeaka, informed the court that his client had already made progress towards settling the matter, including substantial refunds to the EFCC.

“The second defendant has taken steps, as there is communication to the commission regarding the alleged offences and making a refund. The commission has received the money and promised to communicate with us,” Onyeaka stated.

Nwabuoku’s lawyer, Maduakolam Igwe, confirmed that his client had also made considerable refunds and requested more time to complete the administrative process with the EFCC.

“The first defendant has also made some refunds. May I adopt the submission of my learned friend to tidy up the administrative procedure,” Igwe added.

However, EFCC counsel Ogechi Ujam countered, acknowledging receipt of a proposal letter from the defendants but clarifying that no formal negotiation, settlement, or agreement had been reached.

“In the circumstances, we urge this honourable court to allow us to arraign the defendants,” Ujam argued.

After considering the arguments from both sides, Justice Omotosho adjourned the case until October 14 for arraignment, giving the defendants more time to resolve the matter administratively.