Babalele was re-arraigned on October 8, 2019, on a two-count charge, bordering on money laundering to the tune of $140,000.00.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Abdullahi Babalele, on or about the 20th day of February 2019…procured Basir Mohammed to make a cash payment of the sum of $140,000, without going through a financial institution, which sums exceeded the amount authorised by the law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(C) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke.
The trial commenced and the prosecution, before closing its case against the defendant on November 25, 2020, called two witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence.
At the resumed sitting yesterday, counsel to the defendant, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, brought a no-case submission, dated November 27, 2020, praying the court to hold that the defendant “has no case to answer at all to be called upon to enter any defence in the case.”
Ozekhome, in the application, contended that the prosecution had not lent any credible evidence in support of the counts in the charge preferred against his client.
He prayed the court to hold that “no prima facie case has been established in any way or manner against the defendant” and also that the court should discharge him as prayed.
But prosecution counsel, U.U. Buhari opposed him and prayed the court to dismiss the defendant’s no-case submission.
Buhari submitted that the prosecution had been able to link the defendant to the offence and, therefore, “has a case to answer.”
Justice Aneke, after listening to both parties, adjourned till December 21, for the ruling.