The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday, arraigned two former chairmen of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch, Lagos State, Adesina Ogunlana and Yinka Farounbi, before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court, sitting in Ikeja, on a 30-count charge, bordering on conspiracy to commit felony, money laundering and stealing to the tune of N20m property of the NBA.
Ogunlana and Farounbi were arraigned alongside Aderinola Kappo, a former treasurer of the NBA, Ikeja Branch.
The defendants allegedly conspired and converted the said amount, belonging to the NBA for their personal use, while they were executive members of the association.
The second and third defendants, Farounbi and Kappo, who were signatories to the accounts of the NBA, Ikeja Branch, allegedly signed some cheques at different times without appropriate authorisation and gave the cheques to the first defendant, Ogunlana to cash.
One of the charges reads: “That you, Adesina Ogunlana, Yinka Farounbi and Kappo Aderinola, sometime in 2016 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired and dishonestly stole money, property of the Nigeria Bar Association, Ikeja Branch.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
In view of their not guilty plea, the prosecution counsel, Samuel Daji, asked for a trial date and prayed the court to remand them in prison custody pending the hearing and determination of the case, saying that the defendants were flight-risks having earlier jumped bail.
“They jumped the administrative bail granted them by the EFCC during investigation,” Daji said.
He also told the court that the lives of the prosecution witnesses in the case were in danger, having been threatened. He also noted that the operatives of the EFCC were beaten up by the defendants and their colleagues during the time of their arrest.