Aminu Sule Lamido, the 34-year old son of Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for money laundering, was Friday convicted by Justice Fatu Riman of the Federal High Court, Kano, and ordered to forfeit 25 per cent of the undeclared sum of $40,000.
But the governor’s son won’t be serving any jail term. He will walk free after forfeiture of the 25 per cent of the undeclared sum.
Aminu was arrested on December 11, 2012 at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport on his way to Egypt for failure to declare the $50,000 in his possession. He only declared $10,000 to the Nigerian Customs Service.
When he was arraigned before Justice Riman on Monday February 4, 2013, Aminu pleaded not guilty to the charge and was remanded in prison pending hearing of his application for bail.
The charge against the accused reads: “That you Aminu Sule Lamido on or about 11th day of December, 2012 at the Mallam Aminu International Airport, Kano within the Jurisdiction of the Federal High Court while transporting in cash, the sum of $50,000 (Fifty Thousand Dollars Only) from Nigeria to Cairo, Egypt, falsely declare to the Nigerian Customs the sum of $10,000 (Ten Thousand Dollars Only) instead of the said sum of $50,000 (Fifty Thousand Dollars Only) as required under Section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act Cap F34 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 2(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 2(5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011”.
At the resumed hearing on February 5, 2013, Justice Riman granted the accused person bail in the sum of N8million and two sureties in like sum.
In the course of trial, which got underway April 19, 2013, the prosecution called four witnesses and tendered documents which were admitted as exhibits. One of its witnesses, Sanusi Ahmed who is an operative of the EFCC, told the court that the accused person only registered $10,000 in the Nigerian Customs Declaration Form only for a search to reveal that he had $50,000 on him. He identified the Customs Declaration Form when it was shown to him. The document was accepted by court as exhibit 1.
The two witnesses called by the defence are the Chief Press Secretary to the Jigawa State Governor, Umar Kyare and the wife of the accused, Samira Aminu Sule.
At the last adjourned date, July 9, the court reserved ruling for July 12, after the parties had closed their cases and adopted their written addresses.
In convicting the accused person, the trial court held that the defence had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.