This Day (Lagos)

28 November 2012

Nigeria: EFCC to Arraign Babalakin, Others Thursday

Photo: This Day
Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will Thursday arraign the embattled Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) before an Ikeja High Court, Lagos, for money laundering.

Babalakin is alleged to have laundered various sums of money on behalf of the former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori while he was in office.

THISDAY learnt that Babalakin would be arraigned alongside four others on a 27-count charge of money laundering amounting to N3.4billion before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo.

The commission had last week charged Babalakin and others - Alex Okoh, Stabilini Visioni Limited, Bi-courtney Limited and Remix Nigeria Limited - for the alleged offence.

EFCC alleged that Babalakin had conferred benefits with the former Delta State governor "to wit N1,356,600.00 on contract awarded to Stabilini Visioni Limited by transferring the sum through a third party to Erin Aviation Account in Mauritius for the procurement of an aircraft

It also accused the five suspects of siphoning $11.3million abroad for Ibori through the Erin Aviation Account in Mauritius.

The charge sheet, dated November 21 read in part: "That you, Dr. Bolanle Olawale Babalakin, Stabilini Visioni Limited and Bi-Courtney Limited, between May 2006 and December 2006 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did corruptly confer benefit on former Governor James Onanefe Ibori to wit: the sum of N1,356, 600 billion on account of contracts awarded by Delta State

Government through various third parties to Erin Aviation Account in Mauritius for the purchase of Challenger Jet Aircraft by the said James Onanefe Ibori.

"That you, Dr. Bolanle Olawale Babalakin, Stabilini Visioni Limited and Bi-Courtney Limited on or about May 3, 2006 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did corruptly confer benefit on former Governor James Onanefe Ibori to wit: the sum of N145,500,000 on account of contracts awarded by Delta State Government to Stabilini Visioni Limited by transferring the said sum through third parties to Erin Aviation Account in Mauritius for the purchase of Challenger Jet Aircraft by the said James Onanefe Ibori.

"That you, Dr. Bolanle Olawale Babalakin, Stabilini Visioni Limited and Bi-Courtney Limited on or about May 10, 2006 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did corruptly confer benefit on former Governor James Onanefe Ibori to wit: the sum of N141million awarded by Delta State Government to Stabilini Visioni Limited by transferring the said sum through third parties to Erin Aviation Account in Mauritius for the purchase of Challenger Jet Aircraft by the said James Onanefe Ibori.

"That you, Dr. Bolanle Olawale Babalakin, Stabilini Visioni Limited and Bi-Courtney Limited on or about 10th May 2006 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did corruptly confer benefit on former Governor James Onanefe Ibori to wit: the sum of N118million awarded by Delta State Government to Stabilini Visioni Limited by transferring the said sum through third parties to Erin Aviation Account in Mauritius for the purchase of Challenger Jet Aircraft by the said James Onanefe Ibori."

Other funds allegedly laundered by Babalakin, Stabilini Visioni, Bi-Courtney on May 5, 10 and 26 were N100 million; N89 million; N102 million; N35 million; N156 million; and N67 million.

The EFCC also alleged that on June 2, 2006, the suspects "did corruptly confer benefit on former Governor James Onanefe Ibori to wit: the sum of N260 million on accounts of contracts awarded by Delta State Government to Stabilini Visioni Limited by transferring the said sum through various third parties to Erin Aviation account in Mauritius for the purchase of Challenger Jet.

The charge sheet also revealed the dollar components of the funds laundered by the suspects in company with two others.

The EFCC accused Babalakin, Stabilini Visioni, Bi-Courtney, Renix Nigeria Limited and Alex Okoh of laundering about $11.3million for Ibori.

They are to face trial for alleged "retention of proceeds of a criminal conduct, contrary to Section 17(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004.

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A federal high court has stopped the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from going on with plans to arraign Chairman of Bi-Courtney, Wale Babalakin, on money-laundering ... Read more »