$1.4m Fraud: Court Dismisses Bizman’s Application Challenging Court’s Jurisdiction

The Defendant

Justice Tijjani Ringim of a Lagos Federal High Court, today, dismissed an application filed by a businessman, Kolawole Adebayo Erinle, challenging court’s jurisdiction to hear a fraud case of $1,410 million USD, against him.

The businessman was brought before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in a charge marked FHC/L/293c/2023, on charges of conspiracy and obtaining the sum of $1,410, 000.00, by false pretence.

The offences which contravened sections 18(a), 1 and 16(1)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act. 

But while the charge was pending, the defendant through his lawyer, Lawal Pedro (SAN) filed and application challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter.

However, the application was vehemently opposed by the EFCC through his lawyer, Mr. Banjo Temitope, who urged the court to dismiss the application and ordered the defendant to appear before it and take his plea.

Ruling on the arguments canvassed by parties on the application, Justice Ringim held that the defendant must submit himself to the court and take his plea, before any application can be entertained.

Consequently, the judge dismissed the application for lacking in merit, and ordered the defendant to appear before the court on October 12, to take his plea.

Charges against the defendant reads: “That you, Kolawole Adebayo Erinle and Edward Dada (still at large) sometime in 2019 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire amongst yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: making cash payments exceeding the amount authorized by Law without going through financial institution and you thereby commited an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act. 

“That you, Kolawole Adebayo Erinle and Rinde-Remdex Nigeria Limited sometime in 2019 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without going through a financial institution made cash payment in the sum of $ 1,410,000.00 (One Million Four Hundred and Ten Thousand USD) fo one Edward Dada which sum exceeded the amount authorized by Law and you thereby committed an offence Contrary to Section 1, Section 16(1)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”

The defendant is currently standing trial before Justice Ramon A. Oshodi, of an Ikeja Special Offences Court in another fraud related charges.

He is being prosecuted before the court alongside his company, Rinde-Remdex Nigeria Limited, on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, and obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of $1.41 million.

Justice of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has refused to admit one Kolawole Adedayo Erinle, who is facing trial over an alleged $1.4m fraud, to bail.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which is prosecuting Erinle, disclosed this in a statement.

Erinle and his company, Rinde-Remdex Nigeria Limited, are standing trial on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, and obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of $1.41 million.

He was alleged to have defrauded an American university, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, KCUMB, of the said sum.

He had however, pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.