N5.6bn Fraud: EFCC re-arraigns Colonel Nicholas Ashinze on amended charge

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has re-arraigned Colonel Nicholas Ashinze before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High court sitting in Maitama, Abuja.
He was arraigned on a 13-count amended charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N5.6billion.
Ashinze is standing trial alongside an Austrian, Wolfgang Reinl, Edidiong Idiong and Sagir Mohammed.
Other defendants in the case are five companies: Geonel Integrated Services Limited, Unity Continental Nigeria Limited, Helpline Organisation, Vibrant Resource Limited and Sologic Integrated Service Limited.
At the sitting, EFCC counsel, Ofem Eket, informed the court that, “I am seeking to amend a charge dated October 6, 2017”. Defence counsels did not object to the amended charge.
Count three of the charge reads: “That you, Col. Nicholas Ashinze, being a serving officer of the Nigeria Army and a former Special Assistance (SA) to the immediate past National Security Adviser, (Col. Sambo Dasuki Rtd), Wolfgang Rein being an Austrian National and Managing Director of Geonel Integrated Services Ltd and Geonel Integrated Service Limited on or about 22nd April, 2014 at Abuja, in the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court did transfer the sum of Five Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N550,000,000) to Edidiong Idiong being a lawyer practising in the name and style of Law Partners & Associates knowing that the said sum forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit; ‘ corruption’ and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (prohibition), Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) and (4) of the same Money Laundering ( prohibition), Act 2011 (as amended)”. Defendants pleaded not guilty to the amended charge.
Justice Kolawole granted the application to amend the charge and further stated that the evidence provided earlier shall stand. The matter has been adjourned to March 14, 2018 for continuation of trial.

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