On Monday, Saadatu Ramalan-Yaro, a businesswoman, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the second time in Lagos State, Nigeria, after her initial arraignment two weeks prior. She appeared before Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Abuja, facing charges of money laundering totaling over N140 billion.
Ramalan-Yaro is accused of failing to fulfill her responsibilities as the director of Tsami Babi Resources Limited, a designated non-financial business, by not submitting the company’s activities as required. The EFCC alleges that she deposited N100 billion into the company’s Zenith Bank account without notifying the Ministry of Commerce, violating Sections 5(1) (a) and 16(1) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of 2011 (as amended). This act is punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
In addition to the first charge, Ramalan-Yaro and M.A.Y. Fine Fragrance Limited, another designated non-financial institution, were accused of money laundering amounting to N40 billion. During the court proceedings, the accused pleaded not guilty. The prosecution counsel requested a date for the commencement of the case.
The defense counsel, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), requested bail for Ramalan-Yaro, which was granted by Justice Egwuatu. The trial was adjourned until July 12 and 13, 2023. As part of the bail conditions, the defendant must surrender her international passport to the court and provide two sureties, one of whom must be a public servant and the other a relative. The total bail amount was set at N100 million.