N8bn Currency Scam: Another Suspect seeks Plea Bargain

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Another suspect involved in the N8 billion Central Bank currency scam is currently negotiating for a plea bargain.

Tope Akintade, one of the suspects being prosecuted, has begun the process for plea bargain arrangement with EFCC, the commission’s counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi, told a court on Wednesday.

Mr. Adeniyi, however, said that the arrangement was yet to be completed with the defence counsel, Femi Edema.

Mr. Akintade had complained of being a prostate cancer patient.

Mr. Akintade’s plea bargain will be the second in the case in which several bank officials allegedly conspired to steal and conceal mutilated and defaced naira notes amounting to N8 billion, from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Earlier in the month, Ademola Oni had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for each of five charges for which he was convicted. Since the charges are to run concurrently, Mr. Oni will only spend two and a half years in jail.

On Wednesday, Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, adjourned till November 18 the trial of the accused persons.

The adjournment followed the illegibility of copies of documentary evidence produced by the anti-graft commission, EFCC.

Mr. Ayo-Emmanuel said that it was necessary to give all the parties concerned in the matter equal opportunity to read what was contained in the first two sheets of the documentary evidence given by a prosecution witness, Omotayo Igbosanu.

According to reports, all the defence counsel had complained about their inability to read the documentary evidence made by Mr. Igbosanu as contained in the illegible pages.

Kolawole Babalola, Adeola Olaniran, Philip Togun, Ibrahim Salami, Emmanuel Odiah and Tope Akintade, along with others, have been standing trial on multiple charges.

The charges bordered on alleged conspiracy, forgery, theft and recirculation of N8 billion currencies belonging to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Mr. Igbosanu, the Head of Currency Processing and Disposal Unit of CBN, Ibadan branch, told the court that the accused persons only destroyed N98 million out of the possible N610 million.

He added that Sterling Bank of Nigeria sent 61 boxes containing a total sum of N610 million out of which the accused persons replaced cut newspapers or lower denominations with moneys meant for destruction.

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