Alkali Habib, a Director with TAJ Bank and four private companies and their directors have been charged before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Abuja with the Money Laundering and Breach of Public Procurement Act.
Charged alongside Habib are Innocent Nwobodo, Edwin Iyk Anyadigibe, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad and Abdulmumini Haruna, Directors of Winslow Logistics, Antasar Nigeria Limited, Equal Logistics Services Limited, Velocity Logistics and Marine Services Limited, and Sahams Crystal Investment respectively.
The Defendants are charged by a private firm, Donnington Nigeria Limited for Breach of the Public Procurement Act bordering on Money Laundering.
It is the first litigation in Nigeria’s history where private organisation(s) apart from certain government agencies would bring individuals or businesses before the court for Money Laundering.
In the 10 counts filed differently against the defendants by Donnington Nigeria Limited through its Lawyer, Dr. R.O. Atabo (SAN), the companies and their promoters were substantially accused of committing act of Money Laundering in their financial operations with Count 9 of the charges against Winslow Nigeria Limited and its Director, Alkali Habib read thus: “That Winslow Logistics Nigeria Limited (RC 773791), being a designated Non-financial institution, and Alkali Habib, a Director and shareholder of Winslow Logistics Nigeria Limited (RC 773791) sometime between the period of September 2017 to 2020 in Abuja within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court failed to comply in writing to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in any lodgement or outflow transaction of the sums above N10m as required under section 10(1)b of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended), and you thereby committed an offence under Section 10(3) of the said Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under 10 (3) of the same Act.”
The other defendants’ charges apart from Velocity Logistics and its said Director, Ahmad, are in a similar vein as those of Antasar and Habib.
Meanwhile, the report affirmed that the genesis of the litigation was the consequence of a dispute arising from the Cargo Tracking Note Regime that includes Crude Oil Tracking designed to secure and curtail issues of terrorism, shipments of illegal weapons, ammunition, drug trafficking in water transportation and oil theft and other dubious practices at seaports and shore. The Cargo Tracking Note Scheme will generate revenue for the Federal Government, which Donnington Nigeria Limited, on its own initiative, applied to the President for the reintroduction of the Advance Cargo Declaration and Cargo Tracking Note that include Crude Oil Tracking also as a means for Foreign exchange revenue generation for the Government.
The Minister of Justice/Anthony General of Federal on January 11, 2022 had upon request for validation of the Executive Directive of Mr. President dated 10th May 2021, and on the recommendation of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) approved that the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources should engage a competing consultant to undertake the ACD/CTN on behalf of the Federal Government but with reason the process was unduly truncated at 90% conclusion when the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) without ever writing a letter to notify Donnington Nigeria Ltd, and without carrying out Due Diligence/ Background Checks hurriedly issued No Objection Certificate to Five allegedly unqualified companies while committing Contempt of Court by refusing to obey Court Injuction to the Complaints annoyance.