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Alleged Money Laundering: Tenure Of Yinka Farounbi As Ikeja NBA Chairman Characterised By Financial Impropriety – WITNESS


By Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos 

A Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria, presided over by Justice Mojisola Dada,  was on Wednesday (today) informed that the tenure of Yinka Farounbi, the former Chairman of the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, was characterised by financial impropriety.

This position was made known by a witness brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Thelma Coco Bassey, who insisted before Justice Dada that, “I have documents to show that the tenure of Yinka Farounbi, former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja branch, was laced with financial impropriety.”

Speaking while being cross-examined by Olu Daramola, SAN, Bassey, who served variously as (Secretary, Finanancial Secretary and Treasurer) of the NBA, maintained that monies spent by the Association were not accounted for.

Bassey told Justice Dada that, “There are memos to that effect. I have documents to show that during his tenure there were financial impropriety, so I wrote letters to past chairmen who are elders of the bar, drawing their attention to dealings in the bar. 

“I attached memos. Monies were also not accounted for by the second defendant during his regime. I can mention many.”

In her testimony in the ongoing trial of former chairman of the NBA, Adesina Ogunlana, Yinka Farounbi and Kappo Aderinola, who were arraigned by the EFCC  on a 30 counts charge of money laundering and theft of over N20 million belonging to the Ikeja NBA, and had pleaded not guilty to the charge, Bassey hinted that the EXCO of Ogunlana ought to give account in 2017 during the Annual General Meeting, AGM, but that instead of doing so, he organised the AGM for Forunbi to give account.

She said, “He himself did not give account claiming that his first one year was full of crisis. 

“That account was presented to the house way beyond the time. 

“An account in AGM ought not to be in the next chairman’s administration. 

“Farounbi ought to call AGM and present account before handing over.

“It took one year to present his first account. His second account was rejected. 

“In fact, when he wanted to present his second account because of so many financial impropriety, we rejeced it. 

“Mrs Nkechi Ojo, Social Secretary and Olawunmi also rejected it because it was not a true reflection of the accounts. 

“In fact a N450,000 that Farounbi co-signed with the third defendant which was not approved by the EXCO was not in that account. 

“We brought that out. He signed it without our knowledge.”

The witness further argued before Justice Dada that the account was presented twice before it was reluctantly accepted by the general house.

The matter has been adjourned until October 21, 22 and 23, 2019 for continuation of trial. 

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