Ex-SMEDAN DG docked for N189.6m money laundering

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Bature Masari, a former Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), was on Monday arraigned in an FCT High Court, Apo, for alleged N189.6 million money laundering.

Masari had pleaded not guilty to a 27-count charge, bordering on misappropriation, embezzlement and money laundering.

He was arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, in his ruling, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N50 million with two sureties in like sum.

Adeniyi said that the sureties must be directors in the Federal Civil Service, reside in the FCT, and depose to affidavits of means.

The ICPC prosecuting counsel, Henry Emore, had told the court that the defendant committed the alleged offences in 2014 while serving as the director-general of SMEDAN.

Emore said the defendant while in office received N50 million from Engineering Service and  Hamshakim Ventures through his GTB account number 0022506116 as gratification for contracts award.

The prosecutor also said that the defendant collected another N20 million from Afrifarmers and Allied products consult Limited for award of contract.

He said the offences contravened the provisions of Sections 10(a)(i) and punishable under section 10(a)(ii) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

The counsel to the defendant, Mamudu Magaji, (SAN), had prayed the court to grant bail to his client on liberal terms.

The judge adjourned the case to Nov. 26, Nov. 27, Nov. 28, and Nov. 29, respectively and told prosecutor to bring all his witnesses to court for continuous hearing of the case. (NAN)

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