The Economic and Financial Crimes Commision on Wednesday opened its case in the money laundering case instituted against Mrs Beauty Apere at the Federal High Court Yenagoa.

The absence of EFCC star witness had on Oct 20 stalled a N200-million money laundering suit against Mr Embelakpo Apere, and his wife, Beauty in separate cases before the court.

Apere (Embelakpo) was aide on Sustainable Development Goals to Bayelsa’s former Gov. Seriake Dickson.

It will be recalled that another aide to Dickson Chief Don-Evarada allegedly offered a gratification of N10 million when Apere was quizzed by EFCC in 2015 and reportedly arrested by current EFCC Chairman Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa who was then Zonal Head of EFCC in Port Harcourt.

At the resumed trial, the prosecution witness, Mr Timothy Owoeye an official of the EFCC in his evidence said that the Commision collaborated with several banks, regulatory agencies during its investigation.


Owoeye was led in evidence by prosecution counsel Mustapha Iko.

He told the court that the Commission acted on a Suspicious Transactions Report (STR) from the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to investigate the defendant.

He noted that the STR from the NFIU indicated that between April and Oct 2015, N73 million $51,900 and £3,800 cash lodgements were reported to have been lodged into the defendant’s bank account at Guarantee Trust Bank Yenagoa.

Owoeye also said that efforts to trace the source of the funds made the EFCC to query the registration status of Kare-X Fashions and Designs Nigeria Ltd with the Corporate Affairs Commision (CAC).

He said that the company which the defendant claimed to be her source for the funds was not found in the database of the CAC.

The witness further said that the defendant later claimed that she had other sources of business in supply of granite and timber for construction which were also scrutinised.

However, the EFCC said the income from defendant’s timber business could not be ascertained as most of the buildings where the timber were purportedly used have been roofed and occupied.

Owoeye attributed the development to the shortfall from the funds alleged to have been laundered and the amount the EFCC traced.

He tendered letters from several organisations in response to EFCC inquiry, documents from six commercial banks as evidence but the court noted that the documents were not itemised for ease of reference.

The trial judge, Justice Isa Ndahen, adjourned the case to Nov. 4 for ruling on the admissibility of the documents tendered in evidence by the EFCC.

The EFCC had arraigned Apere and Beauty at the court on Oct. 8 for money laundering allegedly carried out in 2015 but defense counsel to the duo Ardrew Arthur raised a motion of preliminary objection to Apere’s arraignment.

The defense argued that Apere had been earlier tried and discharged and the discharge amounted to an acquittal but the prosecution contends that the discharge was based on technicalities and not on merit.

The judge adjourned until Dec 15 for ruling on the motion opposing the arraignment of Apere.

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