The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Sokoto Zonal Office on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 rearraigned two Chinese nationals, Meng Wei Kun and Xui Kuoi, before Justice Saleh Kogo Idrissa of the Federal High Court Sokoto on a Three count charge of Conspiracy and Money laundering to the tune of N50.000, 000.00 (Fifty Million Naira).
The defendants were earlier docked for two counts charges at Sokoto State High Court, before Justice Muhammad Sa’idu Sifawa, for allegedly offering a bribe to the Zonal Head of EFCC Sokoto, Mr. Abdullahi Lawal in the sum of fifty million naira (N50, 000.000.00) on behalf of a construction company China Zhonghao Nig. Ltd.
The company is being investigated over contracts it was awarded by the Zamfara State Government to the tune of over Fifty Billion Naira between 2012 and 2019.
The Sokoto Zonal Office of the commission is investigating the construction company, in connection with the execution of contracts for the construction of township roads in Gummi, Bukkuyun, Anka and Nassarawa towns of Zamfara state.
The Chinese company also has questions to answer over the construction of One Hundred and Sixty Eight (168) Solar Powered Boreholes in the 14 local government areas of the State amongst others.
Count one reads: ’That you Mr. Meng Wei Kun,Adult, Male and Mr. Xu Kuai, Adult, Male on or about the 11th day of May, 2020 in Sokoto within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court (Federal High Court) did conspire amongst yourselve to commit an offence to wit: making cash payment of the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty million naira) which sum exceed the amount authorized by the law without going through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended by Act No.1 of 2012) and Punishable under Section 16 (2) of the same Law’’.
Another count reads: ‘’That you Mr. Meng Wei Kun, Adult, Male and Mr. Xu Kuai on the 11th of May 2020 at about 2200 hours at Kasarawa area, Airport Road Sokoto, in Sokoto within the Jurisdiction this Honourable Court (Federal High Court) without going through a financial institution made cash payment of the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) to one Abdullahi Lawal the Zonal Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Sokoto Zonal Office which exceeded N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) for the purpose of compromising an ongoing investigation involving your company China Zhonghoa Nigeria Limited and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended by Act No.1 of 2012) and Punishable under Section 16 (2) of the same Law’’.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges when it was read to them.
In view of their pleading not guilty, the prosecution counsel, S H. Sa’ad, asked for a date to commence trial and prayed the court to remand them in prison custody.
However, counsel to the defendants, A. T. Hassan, told the court that he had filed an application for bail for his clients and urged the court to grant his prayers.
Sa’ad acknowledged receipt of the application this morning while in court, but said he needs a short time to respond.
Justice Idrissa adjourned the matter to 29 October, 2020 for bail hearing while the defendants are to be remanded in EFCC custody pending the determination of their bail.