Alleged Money Laundering: Ex-Lagos AG, Shasore, Challenges Court Jurisdiction

The Embattled Ex-Lagos AG, Sasore (SAN)

The scheduled further trial of a former Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Olasupo Shasore (SAN) before a Lagos Federal High Court, over alleged money laundering, today, was stalled due to his application challenging the court jurisdiction to tried him.

Sasore (SAN) is being tried by the federal government of Nigeria through the Lagos office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on alleged offences bordering money laundering.

The EFCC in a charge numbered FHC/L/447C/2022, accused Sasore (SAN) of accepting, transacting and making payments with cash payment of the sum of US100,000 USD, without going through a financial institution which such exceeded the amount authorized by Law.

Those he allegedly death with the said sum are: Olufolakemi Adelore and Ikechukwu Oguine.

Sasore (SAN) alleged acts, according to the EFCC contravened sections 78(c), 1(a) and 16(1)(d) and 18(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 16(6) and 16(2)(b)of the same Act. 

The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charges, when he was arraigned and he was accordingly admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum. 

The surety, the judge ordered must be a serving Director or a Permanent Secretary in the service of the Federation or the Lagos state government. And that the Surety must produce two copies each of his or her recent passport photograph and evidence of payment of tax or tax clearance.

Justice Aneke also ordered the former Attorney-General to deposit his international passport with the Court’s registrar of this court pending trial.

At the resumed hearing of the charge today, EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Abba Mohammed, urged the court to allow him to call the eight witness to testify in the matter.

However, Sasore’s lawyers led by Olawale Akoni and Chijioke Okoye, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), told the court that their client have filed an application challenging the court’s jurisdisction to entertain the charge and many others.

Sasore’s application challenging the court’s jurisdiction, is basically “a motion to strike out the charge for want of jurisdiction”.

The application, In the alternative, is asking the court for “an order for the Prosecution to avail it with all relevant documents in their possession not disclosed or absent from the proof of evidence and needed for a robust defence of the matter”.

But the prosecutor, Mr. Mohammed, told the court that the application was served on his office last Friday, after they have closed for work. Adding that he was just seeing that application today’s morning.

He stated that the documents demanded for by the defence did not have anything to do with the defendant.

He however, stated that the defendant’s application cannot stall the scheduled trial, and urged the court to proceeds with the trial.

But the presiding judge, Justice Aneke, held that there is need for the court to first hear the application challenging his jurisdiction on the matter before further proceedings.

Consequently, Justice Aneke while adjourning the matter till April 26, for hearing of defendant’s application challenging his jurisdiction.

The judge also ordered the prosecutor to file his response to the application and serve same on the defendant, and to also make available all the documents requested for by the defence team.

The charges against the former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice reads: “That you Olasupo Shasore, S.A.N. on or about the 18th day of November 2014 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court induced Olufolakemi Adelore to commit an offence, to wit accepting cash payment of the sum of US100, 000.00 (One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) without going through a financial institution which such exceeded the amount authorized by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 78(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 16(6) of the same Act.

“That you Olasupo Shasore, S.A.N on or about the 18th day of November 2014 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, in a transaction without going through a financial institution, made cash payment of the sum of USD 100, 000. 00 (One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) to Olufolakemi Adelore through Auwalu Habu and Wole Aboderin, which sum exceeded the amount permitted by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 1(a) and 16(1)(d) the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as Amended) and punishable under section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

“That you Olasupo Shasore, S.A.N., on or about the 18th November, 2014, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, induced one Ikechukwu Oguine, to commit an offence, to wit: accepting case payment of the sum of USD100, 000.00 (One Hundred thousand United States Dollars) without going through a financial institution, which such amount exceeded the amount permitted by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 78(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 16(6) of the same Act.”1(a) and 16(1)(d) the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as Amended) and punishable under section 16(2)18(c) of the Money Laundering Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) Of the same Act.

“That you Olasupo Shasore, S.A.N on or about the 18th day of November 2014 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, without going through a financial institution and made cash payment of the sum of USD100, 000.00 (One Hundred thousand United State Dollars) to one Ikechukwu Oguine which sum exceeded the amount permitted by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary sections 1(a) and 16(1),(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act, as amended) and punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.”