Tue. Dec 5th, 2023

Court Restarts Trial Of Woman Charged With Laundering Drug Money After 10 Years

Court Restarts Trial Of Woman Charged With Laundering Drug Money After 10 Years

 A Lagos Federal High Court, has restated the trial of Mrs. Omolayo Iphigenia Adeniji, whose trial over alleged money laundering, had been stalled for about 10 years. 

Mrs. Omolayo Iphigenia Adeniji, was accused by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) of laundering drug money for her husband, who is currently serving a jail-term in Britain, United Kingdom, for drug trafficking.

Her trial has eventually commenced last Thursray, before the court presided over by Justice Peter Odo Lifu.

At the resumed trial of the defendant on Thursday, NDLEA counsel, Mrs Obiageli Nwachukwu, called the first Prosecution witness, Mr  Richard Jiang, an NDLEA operative, who, narrated how his boss asked him to take the defendant’s statement.

Richard in his testimony, told the court that on July 3, 2012, his posting was in the department of Assets and Financial Investigation of the anti-narcotic agency.

Richard also told Justice Lifu that on July 3, 2012, he was assigned by his boss to write the word of caution and take the statement of Mrs Omolayo Adeniji which he did. Adding that  Omolayo wrote her statement and that both of them countersigned at the end of the statement.

The prosecutor, Mrs Iwuchukwu, then tendered Omolayo’s statement  made on July 3, 2012 and it was admitted in evidence.

Richard while being cross-examined  by the defence counsel, Mr. Kemi Balogun (SAN) whether he knows the time the defendant was arrested and if she was kept in the agency’s custody,  the witness answered in the negative. 

“I don’t know when she was arrested, I don’t know if she was in detention or not, I was only asked to write a cautionary word and take her statement which I did and no more”.

The second prosecution witness, Mrs Ayo Ogundoro Ronke, also of the Assets and Financial Investigation Department of the NDLEA, in her testimony told the court that she knows Omolayo Adeniji.

 She stated that on April 10 and July 22, 2012, she was directed by her boss to take Omolayo statement which she did and that after taking her statement she took Omolayo back to her boss who brought her.

The prosecutor, Mrs. Iwuchukwu then tendered the two statements of Omolayo and  both were admitted in evidence.

Ayo while being cross-examined by Mr. Balogun (SAN) told the court that prior to that day, April 10, and July 22, 2012, she did not know Omolayo and no interaction beyond taking her statements and writing the cautionary words.

Earlier Balogun (SAN) giving background to the case, told Justice Lifu that the offence the defendant is alleged to have committed was actually committed by her husband, who had faced prosecution outside the shore of Nigerian.

He added that as a wife with three children, the question that should be asked is, whether she is not entitled to house keeping allowance.

Meanwhile, Justice Peter  Lifu has adjourned the matter till April 12, 2022 for further trial.

One of the five counts charge against the defendant in charge number FHC/L/244C/2012 read thus: “That you Mrs. Omolay Iphigenia Adeniji, Female, Adult, sometime between 2006 and 2009 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired with Adegboyega Ayobami Adeniji, Adekunle Adeniji (convicted by the British Court and serving prison term in U.K) (at large) to conceal the genuine nature of resources derived directly or indirectly from drug trafficking by Adegboyega Ayobami Adeniji, by floating three Companies to wit; Potential Four Limited, Potential Four Petroleum Ltd and Sergio Foods Limited, opening Account Numbers-: 1012011972 formally Account Number Number 1011897238 formally Account Number 6217400482, Account 021740082, Account Number 1011122312 formally Account Number 621740028 and Account Number 6015307345, in Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2014”.