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I Gave Obasanjo $140,000 From Abdullahi Babalele, Atiku’s Son-in-law

I Gave Obasanjo $140,000 From Abdullahi
Babalele, Atiku’s Son-in-law
The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday heard that
Abdullahi Babalele, a son-in-law of former Vice-President
Atiku Abubakar, allegedly gave former President Olusegun
Obasanjo the naira equivalent of $140,000.
An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
witness, Bashir Mohammed, told Justice Chukwujekwu
Aneke that he delivered the cash to Obasanjo on behalf of
his “close friend” Babalele.
Babalele is on trial for allegedly laundering $140,000 in the
build-up to the 2019 general elections.
The EFCC arraigned him on two counts of money
laundering in August.
He procured Mohammed “to make a cash payment of
$140,000 without going through any financial institution,”
the anti-graft agency claimed.
EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, said the money
exceeded the threshold stipulated by the money laundering
Act.
The alleged February 20, 2019 transaction contravened
Sections 18 (c) and (2)(b)of the Money Laundering
(Prohibition) Act, 2011, Oyedepo said.
Babalele pleaded not guilty.
On Tuesday, the EFCC called Mohammed as its first
witness.
Led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, the
witness narrated how he allegedly delivered the sum to the
former president at his Abeokuta, Ogun State home.
Obasanjo endorsed Atiku, who was the presidential
candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ahead of
this year’s presidential poll.
But Atiku lost the election to incumbent President
Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress
(APC).
Mohammed said he got a phone call from Babalele
sometime in February, requesting him to deliver a message
to “an elder statesman.”
He said on Babalele’s request he supplied two bank
accounts, which were credited.
The court heard that the witness took the money to
Obasanjo’s residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Mohammed said: “When I got to the gate, somebody came
and took me inside where I met former President Olusegun
Obasanjo and delivered the message.”
“I called the defendant in the presence of former President
Obasanjo and informed him that I had delivered the
message. He said that was good and thanked me.”
Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Mike
Ozekhome (SAN), Mohammed affirmed that he wrote a
statement at the EFCC office during the investigation.
Ozekhome’s bid to tender the statement as an exhibit was,
however, opposed by the prosecutor.
Justice Aneke adjourned till today to rule on the
admissibility of the statement.

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