EFCC charges 2 over alleged currency racketeering in Enugu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,  arraigned Nweke  Kelechi and Iroude Chibuzor before  a Federal High Court sitting in Enugu State.
Trial judge in the matter is Justice Mohammed Umar.
The defendants were arraigned on May 31, 2024, on a one-count charge bordering on operating a bureau de change business without requisite licence and currency racketeering.
The lone count charge reads: “That you, Iroude Chibuzor, Nweke  Kelechi and Anichebe Chioma Grace (now at large) sometime in May 2024 at Amadeo Event Centre, Oatlands Hotel in Enugu, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria did hawk the total sum of N850, 000, N200 and N100 denominations, issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21 (4) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 21 (1) of the same Act”.
The defendants pleaded “not guilty” when the charge was read to them.
Following their pleas, counsel to the EFCC, Michael Ani prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendants to be remanded at Enugu State Correctional facility.
However, defence counsel, Nnaedozie Emmanuel informed the court about a pending bail application for his clients but could not move the said application, as it was not ripe for hearing.
The matter was thereafter adjourned to June 6, 2024, for hearing of bail application while the defendants were remanded at Enugu prison.
The defendants were arrested by members of the Special Task Force attached to the Enugu Zonal Command of the EFCC on  May 26, 2024, during a sting operation around United Bank for Africa (UBA), ESBS, Enugu State, following days of surveillance and actionable intelligence.
During the sting operation, Chibuzor was initially arrested but thorough investigations revealed that he was working for Kelechi, who authorised him to sell new Naira notes.

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