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Showing posts with label Court. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Court. Show all posts

Sextortion: FBI’s Witness Revealed How Defendant Demanded $200 From Late Victim

Sextortion: FBI’s Witness Revealed How Defendant Demanded $200 From Late Victim


Ayotunde Solademi, a Foreign Service National Investigator with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI and second prosecution witness, PW2, in the ongoing trial of Muideen Olamilekan Teslim, on Monday, May 27, 2024, told Justice Dehinde Dipeolu of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, how the defendant threatened to release the unclad pictures of his late victim, if he did not pay him the sum of $200( Two Hundred Dollars only).


Teslim is standing trial on a six-count charge bordering on possession of child pornography and sextortion brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.


One of the counts reads: “That you, Muideen Teslim Olamilekan (a.k.a joyamanda), on or about the 18th of April, 2022 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, intentionally had in your possession child pornography of a minor in your account [email protected] and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 23(1)(e) of the of Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act, 2015.”


He pleaded "not guilty" to the charges when they were read to him.


At the resumed sitting on Monday, Solademi, who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Bilkisu Buhari, told the court that the FBI and the EFCC, sometime in July 2023, conducted a joint operation code-named Operation Artemis, which focused on financial sextortion cases.


Solademi, in his testimony, said the Child Exploitation Operational Unit of the FBI, sometime in April 2023, was called to a case involving a 15-year-old American male, who was befriended by a supposedly 16-year-old female named Joy Amanda.


He added that “They were both chatting on a social media platform called Wink. The email address used by Joy Amanda on Wink is [email protected].


“When they both met on Wink, Joy Amanda sent some nude pictures to the victim and requested the victim to also send his nude pictures. The victim, believing that the pictures he received were from the person he was chatting with, then sent nude pictures of himself to Joy Amanda. After Joy Amanda received the pictures, he made a picture collage, sent back to the victim and threatened that he would share the picture with all the victim’s contacts if the victim doesn’t send $200.


“Joy Amanda told the victim to send the money through CashApp, PayPal or Apple Gift card and gave a username for these accounts. The user name was [email protected].”


In his further testimony, Solademi informed the court that while law enforcement officers were speaking to the victim in his house, a call came in through the victim’s phone, threatening the victim.


According to him, “the caller ID showed Joy Amanda. The person speaking on the other side had a male voice. He was threatening that if he didn’t send the money, the picture would be released to the contacts.


“Thirty minutes after law enforcement agents left the victim’s house, a call was pulled through to the law enforcement by the victim’s parent that the victim shot himself in the head because of the incessant threat he received from the so-called Joy Amanda and he died.”


Narrating the steps taken by the law enforcement officers during investigations, the PW2 further told the court that “Legal processes were served by the FBI to Wink, Google and WhatsApp. Wink provided the email associated with Joy Amanda as [email protected]. FBI then proceeded to serve legal processes on Google with the email address of Joy Amanda and the username that was provided for payment that is [email protected].


“The response from Gmail showed that the recovery email for Joy Amanda is a Glo phone number ending with 9664, while that of Muideen Teslim is an Airtel phone number ending with 5098.


“Google revealed that the IP address of Joy Amanda was coming from Nigeria. Likewise, WhatsApp responded that the phone number ended with 9664, a glo number.


“All the evidence and pictures were packaged into a petition and was submitted as one of the cases under Operation Artemis. “


Buhari, thereafter, asked the PW2 if he could identify the request from the office of the Legal Attache in the US consulate to prosecute under Nigerian Law written to the EFCC, as well as other evidence against the defendant.


The prosecution counsel applied to tender the same and they were admitted as exhibits.


When PW2 was asked to confirm certain details on the exhibits, he said,

“In Exhibit 7, the glo number attached to [email protected] is 08071489664, while the Airtel number attached to [email protected] is 08127015068.


“In Exhibit 6, the wallet number on the Opay account opening package of Muideen Teslim is 8071489664 and the BVN number is 22377813795


“In Exhibit 3, on the google account personal info, the email address is [email protected] and the phone number attached is 08071389664.”


He also confirmed the picture collage that Joy Amanda sent to the victim.


When asked during cross-examination by the defence counsel, A.J. Adejuwon, for the victim’s name, the witness said: “The name of the victim was withheld to protect the family's privacy. The victim stayed in Magnolia, U.S A., before his death.”


The witness also clarified that the explicit photos were not shared with the EFCC to prevent further distribution.


Upon discharge of PW2, Adejuwon applied before the court to file a no-case submission.


Justice Dipeolu adjourned the matter to July 4, 2024 for ruling on no-case submission.

 


Source: EFCC 


Ayotunde Solademi, a Foreign Service National Investigator with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI and second prosecution witness, PW2, in the ongoing trial of Muideen Olamilekan Teslim, on Monday, May 27, 2024, told Justice Dehinde Dipeolu of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, how the defendant threatened to release the unclad pictures of his late victim, if he did not pay him the sum of $200( Two Hundred Dollars only).


Teslim is standing trial on a six-count charge bordering on possession of child pornography and sextortion brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.


One of the counts reads: “That you, Muideen Teslim Olamilekan (a.k.a joyamanda), on or about the 18th of April, 2022 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, intentionally had in your possession child pornography of a minor in your account [email protected] and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 23(1)(e) of the of Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act, 2015.”


He pleaded "not guilty" to the charges when they were read to him.


At the resumed sitting on Monday, Solademi, who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Bilkisu Buhari, told the court that the FBI and the EFCC, sometime in July 2023, conducted a joint operation code-named Operation Artemis, which focused on financial sextortion cases.


Solademi, in his testimony, said the Child Exploitation Operational Unit of the FBI, sometime in April 2023, was called to a case involving a 15-year-old American male, who was befriended by a supposedly 16-year-old female named Joy Amanda.


He added that “They were both chatting on a social media platform called Wink. The email address used by Joy Amanda on Wink is [email protected].


“When they both met on Wink, Joy Amanda sent some nude pictures to the victim and requested the victim to also send his nude pictures. The victim, believing that the pictures he received were from the person he was chatting with, then sent nude pictures of himself to Joy Amanda. After Joy Amanda received the pictures, he made a picture collage, sent back to the victim and threatened that he would share the picture with all the victim’s contacts if the victim doesn’t send $200.


“Joy Amanda told the victim to send the money through CashApp, PayPal or Apple Gift card and gave a username for these accounts. The user name was [email protected].”


In his further testimony, Solademi informed the court that while law enforcement officers were speaking to the victim in his house, a call came in through the victim’s phone, threatening the victim.


According to him, “the caller ID showed Joy Amanda. The person speaking on the other side had a male voice. He was threatening that if he didn’t send the money, the picture would be released to the contacts.


“Thirty minutes after law enforcement agents left the victim’s house, a call was pulled through to the law enforcement by the victim’s parent that the victim shot himself in the head because of the incessant threat he received from the so-called Joy Amanda and he died.”


Narrating the steps taken by the law enforcement officers during investigations, the PW2 further told the court that “Legal processes were served by the FBI to Wink, Google and WhatsApp. Wink provided the email associated with Joy Amanda as [email protected]. FBI then proceeded to serve legal processes on Google with the email address of Joy Amanda and the username that was provided for payment that is [email protected].


“The response from Gmail showed that the recovery email for Joy Amanda is a Glo phone number ending with 9664, while that of Muideen Teslim is an Airtel phone number ending with 5098.


“Google revealed that the IP address of Joy Amanda was coming from Nigeria. Likewise, WhatsApp responded that the phone number ended with 9664, a glo number.


“All the evidence and pictures were packaged into a petition and was submitted as one of the cases under Operation Artemis. “


Buhari, thereafter, asked the PW2 if he could identify the request from the office of the Legal Attache in the US consulate to prosecute under Nigerian Law written to the EFCC, as well as other evidence against the defendant.


The prosecution counsel applied to tender the same and they were admitted as exhibits.


When PW2 was asked to confirm certain details on the exhibits, he said,

“In Exhibit 7, the glo number attached to [email protected] is 08071489664, while the Airtel number attached to [email protected] is 08127015068.


“In Exhibit 6, the wallet number on the Opay account opening package of Muideen Teslim is 8071489664 and the BVN number is 22377813795


“In Exhibit 3, on the google account personal info, the email address is [email protected] and the phone number attached is 08071389664.”


He also confirmed the picture collage that Joy Amanda sent to the victim.


When asked during cross-examination by the defence counsel, A.J. Adejuwon, for the victim’s name, the witness said: “The name of the victim was withheld to protect the family's privacy. The victim stayed in Magnolia, U.S A., before his death.”


The witness also clarified that the explicit photos were not shared with the EFCC to prevent further distribution.


Upon discharge of PW2, Adejuwon applied before the court to file a no-case submission.


Justice Dipeolu adjourned the matter to July 4, 2024 for ruling on no-case submission.

 


Source: EFCC 

How Benin Court Sends Three Oil Thieves to Jail

How Benin Court Sends Three Oil Thieves to Jail


Justice I. M. Sani of the Federal High Court, Warri on Tuesday May 21, 2024 convicted and sentenced the trio of John Ofuafo Stanley, Ogba Joseph and Samson E. Ogbevire to various jail terms for illegally dealing in petroleum products.


They were jailed after pleading guilty to a two-count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products alongside a vessel, TUG MV STEPH-1 upon arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.


One of the charge reads: That You JOHN OFUAFO STANLEY, OGBA JOSEPH and SAMSON .E. OGBEVIRE on or about the 6th July, 2023 at KFT Yard Edjeba, along NPA express way, Warri South Local Government of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: dealt in petroleum product to wit; unspecified quantity of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) which is not of a quality expected of the product and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised Edition), 2004 and punishable under section 1 (18)(a)(i) of the same Act.


The defendants pleaded guilty to the charges when they were read to them in court, prompting the prosecution counsel,  Francis Jirbo to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.  However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as they have become remorseful for their actions.


Justice Sani convicted and sentenced Stanley,  Joseph and Ogbevire to two years imprisonment for each of the two counts or an option of N300,000 on each of the counts.


 The judge also convicted the 4th defendant,  (TUG MV STEPH 1) to a fine of  N4,000, 0000 ( Four Million Naira million Naira only) in lieu of its final forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the EFCC.


The convicts’road to prison began following their arrest by officers of the Nigeria Navy Ship Delta, NNS Delta for illegal dealing in Petroleum products.  They were handed over to the Commission on November 21  2023 for further investigation and possible prosecution. 



Source: EFCC


Justice I. M. Sani of the Federal High Court, Warri on Tuesday May 21, 2024 convicted and sentenced the trio of John Ofuafo Stanley, Ogba Joseph and Samson E. Ogbevire to various jail terms for illegally dealing in petroleum products.


They were jailed after pleading guilty to a two-count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products alongside a vessel, TUG MV STEPH-1 upon arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.


One of the charge reads: That You JOHN OFUAFO STANLEY, OGBA JOSEPH and SAMSON .E. OGBEVIRE on or about the 6th July, 2023 at KFT Yard Edjeba, along NPA express way, Warri South Local Government of Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: dealt in petroleum product to wit; unspecified quantity of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) which is not of a quality expected of the product and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised Edition), 2004 and punishable under section 1 (18)(a)(i) of the same Act.


The defendants pleaded guilty to the charges when they were read to them in court, prompting the prosecution counsel,  Francis Jirbo to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.  However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as they have become remorseful for their actions.


Justice Sani convicted and sentenced Stanley,  Joseph and Ogbevire to two years imprisonment for each of the two counts or an option of N300,000 on each of the counts.


 The judge also convicted the 4th defendant,  (TUG MV STEPH 1) to a fine of  N4,000, 0000 ( Four Million Naira million Naira only) in lieu of its final forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the EFCC.


The convicts’road to prison began following their arrest by officers of the Nigeria Navy Ship Delta, NNS Delta for illegal dealing in Petroleum products.  They were handed over to the Commission on November 21  2023 for further investigation and possible prosecution. 



Source: EFCC

Alleged N1.2m US Visa Scam: American Businessman, Marco Ramirez Knows Fate Sept. 10

Alleged N1.2m US Visa Scam: American Businessman, Marco Ramirez Knows Fate Sept. 10


Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, adjourned till September 10, 2024 judgment in the alleged $1.2million US visa scam involving an American businessman, Marco Antonio Ramirez.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is prosecuting Ramirez alongside his companies, USA NOW LLC, Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA Now Energy Capital Group LP, for an alleged $1.2 million EB-5 visa scam.


The defendant allegedly obtained the money from his victims as processing fees for their investments in his company, USA Now Energy Capital Group LP, in the Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) United States of America Investor Programme, which would qualify them to be eligible for the issuance of USA Green Card.


The defendant, however, allegedly reneged on his promise.


He was initially arraigned on a 12-count charge, to which he pleaded "not guilty".


He was also re-arraigned by the EFCC on June 24, 2022 on an amended 16-count charge.


Count 13 of the amended charge reads: "Marco Antonio Ramirez, USA NOW LLC, Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP, and USA Now Energy Capital Group LP, between 5th February 2013 and 18th April 2013 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, dishonourably converted to your personal use the aggregate sum of $545,000 property of Godson Onyemaechi Echegile."


Count 14 reads: "Marco Antonio Ramirez, USA NOW LLC, and USA Now Energy Capital Group LP, between 12th July 2012 and 7th November 2012 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court , dishonourably converted to your personal use the aggregate sum of $314,800 property of Abubakar Umar Sadiq."


Count 15 reads: "Marco Antonio Ramirez, USA NOW LLC, and USA Now Energy Capital Group LP, between 19th February 2013 and 18th April 2013 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, dishonourably converted to your personal use the aggregate sum of $230,000 property of Abubakar Umar Sadiq."


Also, at Monday’s sitting, the trial Judge adjourned till September 10, 2024 for judgment in separate amended nine-count charge bordering on an alleged $368,698.24 fraud brought against the defendant.


One of the counts reads: "Marco Antonio Ramirez, USA NOW LLC, and USA Now Energy Capital Group LP, on or about the 26th day of July, 2013 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of $250,000 from Gabriel Ogie Edeoghon under the false representation that the sum was his investment in your company: USA NOW Energy Capital Group LP in the Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) United States of America Investor Programme, which investment would qualify him to be eligible to a USA Green Card, and which representation you knew to be false."


Another count reads: "Marco Antonio Ramirez, on or about the 5th day of March, 2014 at Lagos, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of $50,281.33 from Oludare Talabi, under the false representation that the said sum is to procure United States of America L1 VISA programme for him, which representation you knew to be false."


He also pleaded "not guilty" to the charges when they were read to him.


The proceedings had suffered several adjournments occasioned by the absence of the defence counsel, Lawal Pedro, SAN, and the inability of the defence to file its own final written addresses, even after the prosecution counsel, M.S. Owede and S.O. Daji, had filed theirs for the separate charges, respectively.


However, the adoption of the final written addresses eventually held on May 8, 2024.


Following the adoption, Justice Dada today adjourned till September 10, 2024 for judgment.

 


Source: EFCC




Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, adjourned till September 10, 2024 judgment in the alleged $1.2million US visa scam involving an American businessman, Marco Antonio Ramirez.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is prosecuting Ramirez alongside his companies, USA NOW LLC, Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA Now Energy Capital Group LP, for an alleged $1.2 million EB-5 visa scam.


The defendant allegedly obtained the money from his victims as processing fees for their investments in his company, USA Now Energy Capital Group LP, in the Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) United States of America Investor Programme, which would qualify them to be eligible for the issuance of USA Green Card.


The defendant, however, allegedly reneged on his promise.


He was initially arraigned on a 12-count charge, to which he pleaded "not guilty".


He was also re-arraigned by the EFCC on June 24, 2022 on an amended 16-count charge.


Count 13 of the amended charge reads: "Marco Antonio Ramirez, USA NOW LLC, Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP, and USA Now Energy Capital Group LP, between 5th February 2013 and 18th April 2013 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, dishonourably converted to your personal use the aggregate sum of $545,000 property of Godson Onyemaechi Echegile."


Count 14 reads: "Marco Antonio Ramirez, USA NOW LLC, and USA Now Energy Capital Group LP, between 12th July 2012 and 7th November 2012 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court , dishonourably converted to your personal use the aggregate sum of $314,800 property of Abubakar Umar Sadiq."


Count 15 reads: "Marco Antonio Ramirez, USA NOW LLC, and USA Now Energy Capital Group LP, between 19th February 2013 and 18th April 2013 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, dishonourably converted to your personal use the aggregate sum of $230,000 property of Abubakar Umar Sadiq."


Also, at Monday’s sitting, the trial Judge adjourned till September 10, 2024 for judgment in separate amended nine-count charge bordering on an alleged $368,698.24 fraud brought against the defendant.


One of the counts reads: "Marco Antonio Ramirez, USA NOW LLC, and USA Now Energy Capital Group LP, on or about the 26th day of July, 2013 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of $250,000 from Gabriel Ogie Edeoghon under the false representation that the sum was his investment in your company: USA NOW Energy Capital Group LP in the Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) United States of America Investor Programme, which investment would qualify him to be eligible to a USA Green Card, and which representation you knew to be false."


Another count reads: "Marco Antonio Ramirez, on or about the 5th day of March, 2014 at Lagos, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of $50,281.33 from Oludare Talabi, under the false representation that the said sum is to procure United States of America L1 VISA programme for him, which representation you knew to be false."


He also pleaded "not guilty" to the charges when they were read to him.


The proceedings had suffered several adjournments occasioned by the absence of the defence counsel, Lawal Pedro, SAN, and the inability of the defence to file its own final written addresses, even after the prosecution counsel, M.S. Owede and S.O. Daji, had filed theirs for the separate charges, respectively.


However, the adoption of the final written addresses eventually held on May 8, 2024.


Following the adoption, Justice Dada today adjourned till September 10, 2024 for judgment.

 


Source: EFCC



How EFCC Arraigns Forex Broker for Alleged N112m Fraud in Enugu

How EFCC Arraigns Forex Broker for Alleged N112m Fraud in Enugu


The Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arraigned one Daniel Chukwuka Koussou, a forex broker before Justice C. O. Ajah of the State High Court sitting in Independence Layout, Enugu State.

 

He was arraigned  on a one-count charge bordering on criminal conversion and stealing to the tune of N112, 800, 800. 00 (One Hundred and Twelve Million, Eight Hundred Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira).

 

The lone count charge reads; “That you, Daniel Chuwuka Koussou sometime in July 2022, in Enugu, Enugu State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit a felony to wit: stealing by fraudulently converting to your own use the sum of N112, 800, 800. 00 (One Hundred and Twelve Million, Eight Hundred Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira), property of Chinedu Igbokwe and thereby committed an offence”.

 

The offence is contrary to Section 342 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 30 of the Laws of Enugu State and punishable under Section 353 (1) of the same Law.

 

The defendant pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.

 

In view of his plea, counsel to the EFCC, Ahmad Yusuf Abdullahi prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded at Enugu State Correctional facility.

 

However, the defence counsel, Ogechukwu Agbo informed the court about a motion on notice for bail for her client.  Abdullahi vehemently opposed the said application on the grounds that “the defendant might jump bail considering the weight of the allegation my lord”.

 

After listening to both sides, Justice Ajah granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N50, 000, 000. 00 (Fifty Million Naira) and two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be resident within jurisdiction. They must swear an affidavit of means, show evidence of tax payment for the past three years, deposit two full size photographs, be public servants of not less than Grade Level 16 and they must be verified in writing by the prosecution.

 

The defendant was thereafter remanded at the Enugu State Correctional facility pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions.

 

 Koussou was arrested following claims of a petitioner who alleged that he sent $276, 000 to the defendant, a supposed agent for Providus Bank, to convert into Naira and return same.

 

According to the petitioner, on July 6, 2022, Providus Bank paid Koussou the full money in Naira but the defendant sent part-payment of N21, 759, 771 to him (the petitioner) and diverted the rest for his personal use.  All efforts made to get him to pay up proved abortive.

 

Source: EFCC 


The Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arraigned one Daniel Chukwuka Koussou, a forex broker before Justice C. O. Ajah of the State High Court sitting in Independence Layout, Enugu State.

 

He was arraigned  on a one-count charge bordering on criminal conversion and stealing to the tune of N112, 800, 800. 00 (One Hundred and Twelve Million, Eight Hundred Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira).

 

The lone count charge reads; “That you, Daniel Chuwuka Koussou sometime in July 2022, in Enugu, Enugu State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit a felony to wit: stealing by fraudulently converting to your own use the sum of N112, 800, 800. 00 (One Hundred and Twelve Million, Eight Hundred Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira), property of Chinedu Igbokwe and thereby committed an offence”.

 

The offence is contrary to Section 342 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 30 of the Laws of Enugu State and punishable under Section 353 (1) of the same Law.

 

The defendant pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.

 

In view of his plea, counsel to the EFCC, Ahmad Yusuf Abdullahi prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded at Enugu State Correctional facility.

 

However, the defence counsel, Ogechukwu Agbo informed the court about a motion on notice for bail for her client.  Abdullahi vehemently opposed the said application on the grounds that “the defendant might jump bail considering the weight of the allegation my lord”.

 

After listening to both sides, Justice Ajah granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N50, 000, 000. 00 (Fifty Million Naira) and two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be resident within jurisdiction. They must swear an affidavit of means, show evidence of tax payment for the past three years, deposit two full size photographs, be public servants of not less than Grade Level 16 and they must be verified in writing by the prosecution.

 

The defendant was thereafter remanded at the Enugu State Correctional facility pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions.

 

 Koussou was arrested following claims of a petitioner who alleged that he sent $276, 000 to the defendant, a supposed agent for Providus Bank, to convert into Naira and return same.

 

According to the petitioner, on July 6, 2022, Providus Bank paid Koussou the full money in Naira but the defendant sent part-payment of N21, 759, 771 to him (the petitioner) and diverted the rest for his personal use.  All efforts made to get him to pay up proved abortive.

 

Source: EFCC 

The implication of the Judgment: Famoodun lost in court — Osun Govt

The implication of the Judgment: Famoodun lost in court — Osun Govt


In the case of Prince Adegboyega Famoodun filed at the Federal High Court2, Osogbo, Osun State in Suit Number: FHC/OS/C5/61/2024 between Prince Adegboyega Famoodun and IGP & 10 Ors.


These are the prayers of Prince Famoodun before the Court: 


(a) A Declaration that the Applicant being a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and an indigene of Igbajo, Osun State he cannot be banished, removed or expelled from Igbajo forcefully by any of the Respondents.

(b) A Declaration that the Applicant is at liberty to remain in Igbajo or any other part of Osun State he desires and his right to freedom of movement cannot be curtailed or limited by any of the Respondents.

(c) An Order of Injunction restraining the Respondents from banishing, removing, ejecting and/ or expelling the Applicant from Igbajo Town or any other place in Osun State.

(d) An Order of Injunction restraining the Respondents, especially the 1st-4th Respondents, whether by themselves, or through their officers, agents, servants, privies and otherwise from inviting, interrogating, questioning, arresting, detaining, intimidating, arraigning, and/or harassing the Applicant as a result of his presence in Igbajo Town or any part of Osun State, particularly at the instigation, direction or prosecution of the 5th to 11th Respondents and/or in connection with or in respect of any enforcement of the White Paper of the 5th to 11th Respondents gazetted on the 25th day of January, 2024, but released to the general public on the 5th February, 2024.

(e) An Order of Injunction restraining the 1st to 4th Respondents whether by themselves or by their officers, agents, servants, privies and otherwise from intimating the Applicant or threatening to unlawfully interrogate, question, arrest, detain, arraign or harm the Applicant’s life and properties or any other manner infringe on the Fundamental rights of the Applicant and/or in connection with or in respect of any enforcement of the White Paper of the 5th to 11th Respondents gazetted on the 25th day of January, 2024 but released to the general public on the 5th day of February, 2024.

(f) A Declaration that the 5th to 11th Respondents publication of the Osun State Government White Paper gazetted on the 25th day of January, 2024 but made available to the general public on the 5th day of February, 2024 was done in breach of the Applicant’s rights to fair hearing guaranteed under section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (CFRN) (as amended) and therefore unconstitutional void and of no effect.

(g) A Declaration that the Applicant is entitled to the protection of his Fundamental rights to personal liberty, dignity of human person, fair hearing, freedom of peaceful assembly and association as well as his right to freedom of movement, all guaranteed under the CFRN.

(h) A Declaration that the proceedings of the Osun Government’s Chietaincy Review Committee, the Report published by the said Committee and the 5th - 11th Respondents’ acceptance of the Report of the Committee as it relates to the Applicant is unconstitutional and a nullity for being in breach of the Applicant’s right to fair hearing, hence liable to be set aside and nullified.

(I) An Order of the Honorable Court nullifying and setting aside the White Paper of the 5th to 11th Respondents gazetted on the 25th day January, 2024 but made available to the general public on 5th day of February, 2024 for being in utter breach of the Applicant’s right to fair hearing.

(J) An Order of Injunction restraining the Respondents, particularly the 5th to 11 Respondents, their agents, agencies, employees, privies, assigns, persons acting on their behalf and/or instruction, from enforcing the White Paper gazetted on the January, 2024 but released to the general public on the 5th February, 2024 for breach of the Applicant’s right to fair hearing.

(k) Cost of this application.

(l) Such further Order or Orders the Honorable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.


The Legal Issues involved.


1. The trial Court granted prayer A to E for Prince Adegboyega Famoodun.

2. The trial Court dismissed prayer F to L of Prince Adegboyega Famoodun and ordered that if Prince Adegboyega Famoodun committed any criminal offense, he should be arrested.


The implication of the Judgment:

The implication of the Judgement is that Prince Adegboyega Famoodun has failed woefully in the case, the impression given to Prince Adegboyega Famoodun by his team of Lawyers is that the Federal High Court will nullify the White Paper and return him back to the stool of Owa of Igbajo when they know fully well that the Federal High Court does not have jurisdiction over Chieftaincy Matters and they based Prince Adegboyega Famoodun case on this legal falsehood which formed the bases of prayer F to J which was dismissed by the trial Court.


The general public should know that there was never a time the Osun State Government is planning of banishing Prince Famoodun from Igbajo or to arrest him. He just want use this case if he succeeds to be parading himself as Owa of Igbajo when we have already have existing Owa of Igbajo, HRM Oba (Dr.) Ademola Makinde duly recognized by constituted authority and if Prince Famoodun does that, is highly Criminal in nature. I want the general public to disregard the fake news being peddled around by Prince Adegboyega Famoodun and his APC supporters. My best regards.


In the case of Prince Adegboyega Famoodun filed at the Federal High Court2, Osogbo, Osun State in Suit Number: FHC/OS/C5/61/2024 between Prince Adegboyega Famoodun and IGP & 10 Ors.


These are the prayers of Prince Famoodun before the Court: 


(a) A Declaration that the Applicant being a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and an indigene of Igbajo, Osun State he cannot be banished, removed or expelled from Igbajo forcefully by any of the Respondents.

(b) A Declaration that the Applicant is at liberty to remain in Igbajo or any other part of Osun State he desires and his right to freedom of movement cannot be curtailed or limited by any of the Respondents.

(c) An Order of Injunction restraining the Respondents from banishing, removing, ejecting and/ or expelling the Applicant from Igbajo Town or any other place in Osun State.

(d) An Order of Injunction restraining the Respondents, especially the 1st-4th Respondents, whether by themselves, or through their officers, agents, servants, privies and otherwise from inviting, interrogating, questioning, arresting, detaining, intimidating, arraigning, and/or harassing the Applicant as a result of his presence in Igbajo Town or any part of Osun State, particularly at the instigation, direction or prosecution of the 5th to 11th Respondents and/or in connection with or in respect of any enforcement of the White Paper of the 5th to 11th Respondents gazetted on the 25th day of January, 2024, but released to the general public on the 5th February, 2024.

(e) An Order of Injunction restraining the 1st to 4th Respondents whether by themselves or by their officers, agents, servants, privies and otherwise from intimating the Applicant or threatening to unlawfully interrogate, question, arrest, detain, arraign or harm the Applicant’s life and properties or any other manner infringe on the Fundamental rights of the Applicant and/or in connection with or in respect of any enforcement of the White Paper of the 5th to 11th Respondents gazetted on the 25th day of January, 2024 but released to the general public on the 5th day of February, 2024.

(f) A Declaration that the 5th to 11th Respondents publication of the Osun State Government White Paper gazetted on the 25th day of January, 2024 but made available to the general public on the 5th day of February, 2024 was done in breach of the Applicant’s rights to fair hearing guaranteed under section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (CFRN) (as amended) and therefore unconstitutional void and of no effect.

(g) A Declaration that the Applicant is entitled to the protection of his Fundamental rights to personal liberty, dignity of human person, fair hearing, freedom of peaceful assembly and association as well as his right to freedom of movement, all guaranteed under the CFRN.

(h) A Declaration that the proceedings of the Osun Government’s Chietaincy Review Committee, the Report published by the said Committee and the 5th - 11th Respondents’ acceptance of the Report of the Committee as it relates to the Applicant is unconstitutional and a nullity for being in breach of the Applicant’s right to fair hearing, hence liable to be set aside and nullified.

(I) An Order of the Honorable Court nullifying and setting aside the White Paper of the 5th to 11th Respondents gazetted on the 25th day January, 2024 but made available to the general public on 5th day of February, 2024 for being in utter breach of the Applicant’s right to fair hearing.

(J) An Order of Injunction restraining the Respondents, particularly the 5th to 11 Respondents, their agents, agencies, employees, privies, assigns, persons acting on their behalf and/or instruction, from enforcing the White Paper gazetted on the January, 2024 but released to the general public on the 5th February, 2024 for breach of the Applicant’s right to fair hearing.

(k) Cost of this application.

(l) Such further Order or Orders the Honorable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.


The Legal Issues involved.


1. The trial Court granted prayer A to E for Prince Adegboyega Famoodun.

2. The trial Court dismissed prayer F to L of Prince Adegboyega Famoodun and ordered that if Prince Adegboyega Famoodun committed any criminal offense, he should be arrested.


The implication of the Judgment:

The implication of the Judgement is that Prince Adegboyega Famoodun has failed woefully in the case, the impression given to Prince Adegboyega Famoodun by his team of Lawyers is that the Federal High Court will nullify the White Paper and return him back to the stool of Owa of Igbajo when they know fully well that the Federal High Court does not have jurisdiction over Chieftaincy Matters and they based Prince Adegboyega Famoodun case on this legal falsehood which formed the bases of prayer F to J which was dismissed by the trial Court.


The general public should know that there was never a time the Osun State Government is planning of banishing Prince Famoodun from Igbajo or to arrest him. He just want use this case if he succeeds to be parading himself as Owa of Igbajo when we have already have existing Owa of Igbajo, HRM Oba (Dr.) Ademola Makinde duly recognized by constituted authority and if Prince Famoodun does that, is highly Criminal in nature. I want the general public to disregard the fake news being peddled around by Prince Adegboyega Famoodun and his APC supporters. My best regards.

Two of a kind: BAT refused docking, Bello refuses to appear in Court

Two of a kind: BAT refused docking, Bello refuses to appear in Court


By Bolaji O. Akinyemi.



Leadership is often said to be by example, consequently, Leaders of tomorrow are mentees of Leaders on the stage of Today. In 2011, Yahaya Bello was just a 36 year old young politician watching the big political game from the side of the field. 4 years later, fortune smiled at Yahaya Adoza Bello, the cruelty of death's blow on Abubakar Audu gave room for the perversion of Party's constitution, country's constitution, the conscience of the judiciary and even common sense.


 Everything logical was traded to make APC new "sign-on" a first team shirt holder in the game of corruption. I have heard many commentators excusing the older politicians from the disgrace that Bello's saga constitutes to us as a nation, struggling to limit it to the immaturity of the youth for political leadership. 


Bello is not a conclusion that the Nigerian youths are "too young to run", but a proof of the fact that they might have been "too ruined" to reason correctly in leadership.



We are really not new to dramas relating to corruption, sometimes it is made to look like our politicians are in competition with Nollywood at entertaining the world.  Script written for our accused politicians and directed, maybe by their lawyers and their accomplices.


Deserving due diligence of thorough investigation is about 170 Governors, but just 58, made the "Looters list", which is  said to have emanated from EFCC according to an online platform; dockaysworld. Though EFCC has denied the information, unchecked propaganda may further ruin the chance of Olukoyede's EFCC if care is not taken. EFCC needs to take a stand against propaganda of this nature without denying the reality of our misadventures with looters whose total embezzlement  summed up for ₦2.187 trillion. This amount does not include properties seized worldwide or those currently being investigated, which may also amount to trillions.


With a trip across the South Eastern States, one is forced to ask if the region is part of Nigeria. But against the background of the total budget of the region for 2024 put at 2.29 trillion when compared with the looted 2.2 trillion for which EFCC is saddled to help us recover and the fact that T.A Orji and Sons; a company belonging to former Governor of Abia State top the EFCC list as the undisputed heavyweight looting champion of our common patrimony with just ₦551 bn, the next contender for the title is Yahaya Bello trailing far behind at a little over 80 billion. I am forced to conclude that MUCH MORE of the development of the region are in the pockets of their looters than with the Federal government's "marginalisation agenda" of  the region. 


Abia State ,from where Orji looted so much, is today lit up by a responsible government as the state with the best power supply in Nigeria. Our Governors and Local Government Chairmen should be held responsible for infrastructural development more than the Federal Government.


Back to the drama, unfortunately however are those who went out of line with their scripts but gave great interpretation of their role that earned them entertainers in their own rights. Let's begin with the former MD of NDDC, Daniel Pondie, who feigned fainting before the National Assembly, he is yet to be resuscitated to face the Committee and conclude his drama.


To Godswill Akpabio for whose sake the microphone was turned off during a Senate Session, he is back in the Senate and rewarded with a microphone. He gives the same at his discretion and determines who should speak and who should not. He is absolutely in control of the microphone switch, to turn it off and on. Nigerians were recently aggrieved by the issue of the  "padding" of 2024 budget.


 Unknown to many was the rumble in the Senate calling for the impeachment of the Senate President who was rumoured to have helped himself to a whopping 1.3 trillion under a sharing formula of the budget "pad" for which many Senators were angry. Would Akpabio change with an endorsement by the President for him to continue as the Senate President? Corruption, it appears doesn't mean what it means to Mr President, for which corrupt characters are having a free day in his Government, leaving EFCC as the most unfortunate agency of the Government from which too much is expected.


Few of our "looters-in- chief" convicted had their investigations initiated under the previous administration before APC, which includes; Tafa Balogun, the IGP who was nailed by Nuhu Ribadu,  an officer far junior to him but protected and supported by the then establishment to fight corruption. James Ibori, who like Yahaya Bello attempted to evade justice but met the long arm of the law in a far away country. He had served his term and is back in the country calling the shots politically in Delta State.


 The question is; can Yahaya run faster than Ibori? Even, our today's President was at a time out of line at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, docked at his first appearance in court but refused to enter the dock in the same court days later.


We need to determine what we want! Should prosecution be for those who are out of line with the law of the country and out of order with the constitution on how things should be done or do we leave the narrative for what it is in the perspective of the public and the international community?


Our courts have become amphitheaters of great comedy and our Judges jesters on the benches, seating in decisions of matters of life and death. Existential Issues are ruled for entertaining pieces of drama as our Lords temporal, so pleases!



For the failure of the judiciary and the increasing possibility of purchase of justice, our politicians have been emboldened to hide successfully behind a finger and misinform the public to curry their sentiments. Should I remind us of Fayose's orthopaedic collar worn upside down, to a neck, I can bet nothing happened to him!


Was the President out of line with the law of Nigeria and out of order on how things should be done while he served as the Governor of Lagos State? The answer should come from the CCB Tribunal.


At the CCB Tribunal sometimes in October 2011, as reported by

Sahara Reporters, former Governor of Lagos state and the then leader of Nigeria’s Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN),   Bola Ahmed Tinubu, mounted a "legal obstacle" against his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal [CCT] for allegedly operating 16 foreign bank accounts between 1999 and 2007 when he was Governor of Lagos State.


Former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was docked on 21st September 2011 returned to Court a month later on October 2011 seemingly armed with a drama script as he mounted a" legal obstacle" against his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal [CCT] for allegedly operating 16 foreign bank accounts between 1999 and 2007 when he was Governor of Lagos State as he refused to enter the Dock.



At the dramatic hearing, not only did the former Governor vigorously refuse to take his place in the dock, he filed a preliminary objection challenging the competence of the charge and the jurisdiction of the Tribunal on the grounds that it lacks the territorial jurisdiction to venture into the charge.


His counsel, Wole Olanikpekun, urged the court to decline its jurisdiction to proceed with the matter and to quash all the three-count charges against Tinubu. 


When the matter was called, the former Governor, who had scores of supporters on hand, refused to step into the dock.  


The situation indicated a new strategy for Tinubu. When he was arraigned two months before, on September 21, 2011, he willingly entered the dock and stayed there for about three hours.  Pictures of the ACN chieftain looking forlorn in the dock thereafter made the rounds and stunned many observers, as it must have done Tinubu and his lawyers when they later saw them.   


His refusal to enter the dock, which is necessary before a plea can be entered, marked a clear departure from that experience. 


Citing legal authorities, Mr. Olanikpekun objected to the invitation of the tribunal’s chairman, Justice Umar Yakubu for Mr. Tinubu to step into the dock, arguing that until his client was arraigned before the court, he could not be put in the dock.


He told Justice Yakubu, “My lord, with due respect, I will be objecting to the request by the accused to enter the dock. Was it right for the court to command an accused person to go into the dock when he has not been arraigned? Besides, he is challenging the competence of the charge. The objection is on the legality or validity of the charge.”


Responding, the prosecutor, Alex Aigbe Izinyon SAN, submitted that the accused person should be deemed as being absent from court as his being in the courtroom did not translate into his presence in court unless he took his place in the dock and his plea taken.  But he conceded to Mr. Olanikpekun that the accused does not need to be in court before his application challenging the jurisdiction of the court could be argued.


Still, said Mr. Izinyon, “When he has not taken his plea, but is in court, he must be in the dock to show his presence in court.


Mr. Olanikpekun argued that the charges are nebulous and empty, and do not disclose any prima facie case against Mr. Tinubu.  He also argued that the Bureau breached the condition precedent principle when it refused to invite his client to its office to hear from him, as it had done with other former governors, before preferring charges against him.


“What the Bureau has done is like putting something on nothing. Neither the Bureau nor the Chairman has invited the accused person in relation to the three-count charge as stipulated in section 3 of the Code of Conduct Act,” he said, adding that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.”


Mr. Olanikpekun described the charges against Mr. Tinubu as “speculative” and amounted to hearsay under Sections 115, 116 and 117 of the Evidence Act in view of the fact that the prosecution did not disclose the name of the informant.


The defence counsel said the CCB Tribunal was an abuse of court process as a similar case with the same subject matter initiated against the accused person was still subsisting at the Court of Appeal, and dismissed the contention of the prosecution that the case has been withdrawn.  He said a withdrawal of the charges has to be by means of a formal pronouncement of the court and not a mere letter of withdrawal as the one paraded by the prosecution.


Finally, Mr. Olanipekun challenged the territorial competence of the court in Abuja as the appropriate venue is Lagos where the alleged offence was committed.


“In a criminal trial, the law is that the court must seat at the place where the alleged offence was committed,” he said. “There is no law that says the tribunal must seat in Abuja over the matter.”


Dr. Izinyon SAN urged the Tribunal to throw out the objections of the defence and proceed with the trial of the accused person, insisting that a prima facie case has been established against Mr. Tinubu and that the court is competent to hear it.

 

Drawing the attention of the court to Section 17 of the Code of Conduct Act, he stressed that a nominee, trustee or any agent of a public officer may be deemed to have committed an offence adding that at this stage, it is premature to say that the charges are defective.”


With reference to the defence’s argument concerning an abuse of court process, Mr. Izinyon said the earlier charges against Mr. Tinubu were withdrawn by the Attorney General of the Federation using his powers under Section 174 of the amended 1999 constitution, and urged the court to reject the argument.


On the issue of non-fulfillment of conditional precedence, Mr. Izinyon SAN said the Bureau had the discretion as to whether or not to invite people to make statements before it. 


Finally, on the subject of jurisdiction, Izinyon SAN argued that the Tribunal was clothed with federal jurisdiction and can therefore conduct its sittings in any part of the country.


The Tribunal reserved until November 30, 2011 its decision as to whether or not it has territorial jurisdiction to try Mr. Tinubu.  On that day, it would also announce its verdict on Tinubu’s application to quash the three-count charge preferred against him by the Federal Government.


Finally on November 30, 2011, the court ruled that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, but before quashing the charges, the court dismissed the motion by the former governor's legal team challenging its jurisdiction to hear the case.


Many rulings in our courts leave the "unlearned" public with questions only learned friends and colleagues can answer. Can a court accused of lacking jurisdiction rule in its own case? Can it affirm and assert its authority and go ahead to dismiss the case against it to pave way to rule in favour of the client of the legal team that challenged its authority?


Mr Tinubu's camp, which has all along blamed his trial on political witch-hunting and challenged the jurisdiction of the court erupted in spontaneous celebration moment after the judgement was pronounced by the court lacking "jurisdiction".


Will Bello's refusal to appear in court like Tinubu's refusal to be docked finally end in celebration? Not the EFCC, no matter how hard the agency tries, the best they can achieve is to provide nails but hammer with which Bello can be nailed is still with our jaundiced judiciary. The fate of Bello therefore, only time will tell!


Ours is a very dramatic society! Leadership examples are there for young Yahaya Bello to follow and the precedences are overwhelming our justice system.


Except a sacrificial example is made to the end that no one is above the law to restore the dignity of the lady of the law, the symbol of justice; I don't see how we hope to fight the enemy of our nation identified by Prof Wole Soyinka as an hydra headed monster!


Our salvation seems to lie with the one who said; "for this purpose I was born, to be the President of Nigeria. Will he be like others before him who understood the purpose of their lives and gave themselves as sacrifice for it? If we agree that Tinubu was born for the salvation of Nigeria and liberation of Africa; could it be that the path that destiny had chosen for Mr President is that of becoming the sacrifice for our emancipation? Will Tinubu apply for the withdrawal of his immunity and become an example to all that no man should be above the law? This is the most noble path to end our judicial drama and bring lesser mortals past and present to accountability. A difficult path, but will the President choose it to save our nation from corruption?


­Dr. Bolaji O. Akinyemi is an Apostle and Nation Builder. He is The President, Voice of His Word Ministries and Convener Apostolic Round Table, BoT Chairman, Project Victory Call Initiative, AKA PVC Naija. He is a strategic Communicator and the C.E.O, Masterbuilder Communications.


Email:[email protected]

Facebook: Bolaji Akinyemi.

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By Bolaji O. Akinyemi.



Leadership is often said to be by example, consequently, Leaders of tomorrow are mentees of Leaders on the stage of Today. In 2011, Yahaya Bello was just a 36 year old young politician watching the big political game from the side of the field. 4 years later, fortune smiled at Yahaya Adoza Bello, the cruelty of death's blow on Abubakar Audu gave room for the perversion of Party's constitution, country's constitution, the conscience of the judiciary and even common sense.


 Everything logical was traded to make APC new "sign-on" a first team shirt holder in the game of corruption. I have heard many commentators excusing the older politicians from the disgrace that Bello's saga constitutes to us as a nation, struggling to limit it to the immaturity of the youth for political leadership. 


Bello is not a conclusion that the Nigerian youths are "too young to run", but a proof of the fact that they might have been "too ruined" to reason correctly in leadership.



We are really not new to dramas relating to corruption, sometimes it is made to look like our politicians are in competition with Nollywood at entertaining the world.  Script written for our accused politicians and directed, maybe by their lawyers and their accomplices.


Deserving due diligence of thorough investigation is about 170 Governors, but just 58, made the "Looters list", which is  said to have emanated from EFCC according to an online platform; dockaysworld. Though EFCC has denied the information, unchecked propaganda may further ruin the chance of Olukoyede's EFCC if care is not taken. EFCC needs to take a stand against propaganda of this nature without denying the reality of our misadventures with looters whose total embezzlement  summed up for ₦2.187 trillion. This amount does not include properties seized worldwide or those currently being investigated, which may also amount to trillions.


With a trip across the South Eastern States, one is forced to ask if the region is part of Nigeria. But against the background of the total budget of the region for 2024 put at 2.29 trillion when compared with the looted 2.2 trillion for which EFCC is saddled to help us recover and the fact that T.A Orji and Sons; a company belonging to former Governor of Abia State top the EFCC list as the undisputed heavyweight looting champion of our common patrimony with just ₦551 bn, the next contender for the title is Yahaya Bello trailing far behind at a little over 80 billion. I am forced to conclude that MUCH MORE of the development of the region are in the pockets of their looters than with the Federal government's "marginalisation agenda" of  the region. 


Abia State ,from where Orji looted so much, is today lit up by a responsible government as the state with the best power supply in Nigeria. Our Governors and Local Government Chairmen should be held responsible for infrastructural development more than the Federal Government.


Back to the drama, unfortunately however are those who went out of line with their scripts but gave great interpretation of their role that earned them entertainers in their own rights. Let's begin with the former MD of NDDC, Daniel Pondie, who feigned fainting before the National Assembly, he is yet to be resuscitated to face the Committee and conclude his drama.


To Godswill Akpabio for whose sake the microphone was turned off during a Senate Session, he is back in the Senate and rewarded with a microphone. He gives the same at his discretion and determines who should speak and who should not. He is absolutely in control of the microphone switch, to turn it off and on. Nigerians were recently aggrieved by the issue of the  "padding" of 2024 budget.


 Unknown to many was the rumble in the Senate calling for the impeachment of the Senate President who was rumoured to have helped himself to a whopping 1.3 trillion under a sharing formula of the budget "pad" for which many Senators were angry. Would Akpabio change with an endorsement by the President for him to continue as the Senate President? Corruption, it appears doesn't mean what it means to Mr President, for which corrupt characters are having a free day in his Government, leaving EFCC as the most unfortunate agency of the Government from which too much is expected.


Few of our "looters-in- chief" convicted had their investigations initiated under the previous administration before APC, which includes; Tafa Balogun, the IGP who was nailed by Nuhu Ribadu,  an officer far junior to him but protected and supported by the then establishment to fight corruption. James Ibori, who like Yahaya Bello attempted to evade justice but met the long arm of the law in a far away country. He had served his term and is back in the country calling the shots politically in Delta State.


 The question is; can Yahaya run faster than Ibori? Even, our today's President was at a time out of line at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, docked at his first appearance in court but refused to enter the dock in the same court days later.


We need to determine what we want! Should prosecution be for those who are out of line with the law of the country and out of order with the constitution on how things should be done or do we leave the narrative for what it is in the perspective of the public and the international community?


Our courts have become amphitheaters of great comedy and our Judges jesters on the benches, seating in decisions of matters of life and death. Existential Issues are ruled for entertaining pieces of drama as our Lords temporal, so pleases!



For the failure of the judiciary and the increasing possibility of purchase of justice, our politicians have been emboldened to hide successfully behind a finger and misinform the public to curry their sentiments. Should I remind us of Fayose's orthopaedic collar worn upside down, to a neck, I can bet nothing happened to him!


Was the President out of line with the law of Nigeria and out of order on how things should be done while he served as the Governor of Lagos State? The answer should come from the CCB Tribunal.


At the CCB Tribunal sometimes in October 2011, as reported by

Sahara Reporters, former Governor of Lagos state and the then leader of Nigeria’s Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN),   Bola Ahmed Tinubu, mounted a "legal obstacle" against his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal [CCT] for allegedly operating 16 foreign bank accounts between 1999 and 2007 when he was Governor of Lagos State.


Former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was docked on 21st September 2011 returned to Court a month later on October 2011 seemingly armed with a drama script as he mounted a" legal obstacle" against his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal [CCT] for allegedly operating 16 foreign bank accounts between 1999 and 2007 when he was Governor of Lagos State as he refused to enter the Dock.



At the dramatic hearing, not only did the former Governor vigorously refuse to take his place in the dock, he filed a preliminary objection challenging the competence of the charge and the jurisdiction of the Tribunal on the grounds that it lacks the territorial jurisdiction to venture into the charge.


His counsel, Wole Olanikpekun, urged the court to decline its jurisdiction to proceed with the matter and to quash all the three-count charges against Tinubu. 


When the matter was called, the former Governor, who had scores of supporters on hand, refused to step into the dock.  


The situation indicated a new strategy for Tinubu. When he was arraigned two months before, on September 21, 2011, he willingly entered the dock and stayed there for about three hours.  Pictures of the ACN chieftain looking forlorn in the dock thereafter made the rounds and stunned many observers, as it must have done Tinubu and his lawyers when they later saw them.   


His refusal to enter the dock, which is necessary before a plea can be entered, marked a clear departure from that experience. 


Citing legal authorities, Mr. Olanikpekun objected to the invitation of the tribunal’s chairman, Justice Umar Yakubu for Mr. Tinubu to step into the dock, arguing that until his client was arraigned before the court, he could not be put in the dock.


He told Justice Yakubu, “My lord, with due respect, I will be objecting to the request by the accused to enter the dock. Was it right for the court to command an accused person to go into the dock when he has not been arraigned? Besides, he is challenging the competence of the charge. The objection is on the legality or validity of the charge.”


Responding, the prosecutor, Alex Aigbe Izinyon SAN, submitted that the accused person should be deemed as being absent from court as his being in the courtroom did not translate into his presence in court unless he took his place in the dock and his plea taken.  But he conceded to Mr. Olanikpekun that the accused does not need to be in court before his application challenging the jurisdiction of the court could be argued.


Still, said Mr. Izinyon, “When he has not taken his plea, but is in court, he must be in the dock to show his presence in court.


Mr. Olanikpekun argued that the charges are nebulous and empty, and do not disclose any prima facie case against Mr. Tinubu.  He also argued that the Bureau breached the condition precedent principle when it refused to invite his client to its office to hear from him, as it had done with other former governors, before preferring charges against him.


“What the Bureau has done is like putting something on nothing. Neither the Bureau nor the Chairman has invited the accused person in relation to the three-count charge as stipulated in section 3 of the Code of Conduct Act,” he said, adding that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.”


Mr. Olanikpekun described the charges against Mr. Tinubu as “speculative” and amounted to hearsay under Sections 115, 116 and 117 of the Evidence Act in view of the fact that the prosecution did not disclose the name of the informant.


The defence counsel said the CCB Tribunal was an abuse of court process as a similar case with the same subject matter initiated against the accused person was still subsisting at the Court of Appeal, and dismissed the contention of the prosecution that the case has been withdrawn.  He said a withdrawal of the charges has to be by means of a formal pronouncement of the court and not a mere letter of withdrawal as the one paraded by the prosecution.


Finally, Mr. Olanipekun challenged the territorial competence of the court in Abuja as the appropriate venue is Lagos where the alleged offence was committed.


“In a criminal trial, the law is that the court must seat at the place where the alleged offence was committed,” he said. “There is no law that says the tribunal must seat in Abuja over the matter.”


Dr. Izinyon SAN urged the Tribunal to throw out the objections of the defence and proceed with the trial of the accused person, insisting that a prima facie case has been established against Mr. Tinubu and that the court is competent to hear it.

 

Drawing the attention of the court to Section 17 of the Code of Conduct Act, he stressed that a nominee, trustee or any agent of a public officer may be deemed to have committed an offence adding that at this stage, it is premature to say that the charges are defective.”


With reference to the defence’s argument concerning an abuse of court process, Mr. Izinyon said the earlier charges against Mr. Tinubu were withdrawn by the Attorney General of the Federation using his powers under Section 174 of the amended 1999 constitution, and urged the court to reject the argument.


On the issue of non-fulfillment of conditional precedence, Mr. Izinyon SAN said the Bureau had the discretion as to whether or not to invite people to make statements before it. 


Finally, on the subject of jurisdiction, Izinyon SAN argued that the Tribunal was clothed with federal jurisdiction and can therefore conduct its sittings in any part of the country.


The Tribunal reserved until November 30, 2011 its decision as to whether or not it has territorial jurisdiction to try Mr. Tinubu.  On that day, it would also announce its verdict on Tinubu’s application to quash the three-count charge preferred against him by the Federal Government.


Finally on November 30, 2011, the court ruled that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, but before quashing the charges, the court dismissed the motion by the former governor's legal team challenging its jurisdiction to hear the case.


Many rulings in our courts leave the "unlearned" public with questions only learned friends and colleagues can answer. Can a court accused of lacking jurisdiction rule in its own case? Can it affirm and assert its authority and go ahead to dismiss the case against it to pave way to rule in favour of the client of the legal team that challenged its authority?


Mr Tinubu's camp, which has all along blamed his trial on political witch-hunting and challenged the jurisdiction of the court erupted in spontaneous celebration moment after the judgement was pronounced by the court lacking "jurisdiction".


Will Bello's refusal to appear in court like Tinubu's refusal to be docked finally end in celebration? Not the EFCC, no matter how hard the agency tries, the best they can achieve is to provide nails but hammer with which Bello can be nailed is still with our jaundiced judiciary. The fate of Bello therefore, only time will tell!


Ours is a very dramatic society! Leadership examples are there for young Yahaya Bello to follow and the precedences are overwhelming our justice system.


Except a sacrificial example is made to the end that no one is above the law to restore the dignity of the lady of the law, the symbol of justice; I don't see how we hope to fight the enemy of our nation identified by Prof Wole Soyinka as an hydra headed monster!


Our salvation seems to lie with the one who said; "for this purpose I was born, to be the President of Nigeria. Will he be like others before him who understood the purpose of their lives and gave themselves as sacrifice for it? If we agree that Tinubu was born for the salvation of Nigeria and liberation of Africa; could it be that the path that destiny had chosen for Mr President is that of becoming the sacrifice for our emancipation? Will Tinubu apply for the withdrawal of his immunity and become an example to all that no man should be above the law? This is the most noble path to end our judicial drama and bring lesser mortals past and present to accountability. A difficult path, but will the President choose it to save our nation from corruption?


­Dr. Bolaji O. Akinyemi is an Apostle and Nation Builder. He is The President, Voice of His Word Ministries and Convener Apostolic Round Table, BoT Chairman, Project Victory Call Initiative, AKA PVC Naija. He is a strategic Communicator and the C.E.O, Masterbuilder Communications.


Email:[email protected]

Facebook: Bolaji Akinyemi.

X: Bolaji O Akinyemi

Instagram: bolajioakinyemi

Phone: +2348033041236

Alleged $6bn Fraud: Agunloye Loses Bid to Stop Prosecution

Alleged $6bn Fraud: Agunloye Loses Bid to Stop Prosecution

Agunloye

Justice Jude Onwueguzie of the Federal Capital Territory High, FCT, Court, sitting in Apo, Abuja on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 dismissed a preliminary objection brought by ex-minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye challenging the powers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to prosecute him. 

 

Agunloye is facing prosecution by the EFCC on seven-count charges bordering on suspected fraudulent Mambilla Power Project contract award to the tune of $6billion (Six Billion US Dollars).

 

On February 8, 2024, Agunloye had through his counsel, Adeola Adedipe (SAN) filed a motion challenging the powers of the EFCC to investigate and prosecute him as well as that of the jurisdiction of the court to try him.


In response, prosecution counsel Abba Muhammed filed a counter affidavit, dated February 22, 2024, where he dismissed Agunloye’s motion as incompetent and offensive to the provisions of Section 115(2) of the Evidence Act.


Delivering ruling on Wednesday, Justice Onwuegbuzie struck out Agunloye’s motion for lack of merit and held that Section 6 and 7 of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004 gave the Commission investigative and prosecutorial powers to cause investigation into any act of economic and financial crimes.


“On issues of whether the EFCC has the statutory power to investigate and prosecute before a court of  competent jurisdiction,  I have considered the application of the defence and the respondent, and I hold that the EFCC is charged with the investigation and prosecution of all economic and financial crimes including, contract scams, money laundering, advance fee fraud etc,   including the investigation and enforcement of all economic and financial crimes laws, also cause investigation to weather an individual or company, or anybody is likely to commit any crime. Since the instant charges brought against the defendant are economic and financial crimes in nature, the motion brought by the defendant lacks merit and is  hereby dismissed,” the judge ruled.


Regarding the legitimacy of the prosecution fiat the Commission obtained from the Office of the Auditor-General rather than that of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF),   the judge held that any other state, authority or person was eligible to institute criminal prosecution in the absence of the AGF.


“Even if the charge has no seal of the Attorney-General of the Federation,  that does not stop the potency of the charge, as the Attorney-General may decide on any member of his department he wishes to delegate his powers  to carry out his duties by law,” he said.


He adjourned the matter till May 30, 2024 for continuation of trial.


Source: EFCC 

Agunloye

Justice Jude Onwueguzie of the Federal Capital Territory High, FCT, Court, sitting in Apo, Abuja on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 dismissed a preliminary objection brought by ex-minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye challenging the powers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to prosecute him. 

 

Agunloye is facing prosecution by the EFCC on seven-count charges bordering on suspected fraudulent Mambilla Power Project contract award to the tune of $6billion (Six Billion US Dollars).

 

On February 8, 2024, Agunloye had through his counsel, Adeola Adedipe (SAN) filed a motion challenging the powers of the EFCC to investigate and prosecute him as well as that of the jurisdiction of the court to try him.


In response, prosecution counsel Abba Muhammed filed a counter affidavit, dated February 22, 2024, where he dismissed Agunloye’s motion as incompetent and offensive to the provisions of Section 115(2) of the Evidence Act.


Delivering ruling on Wednesday, Justice Onwuegbuzie struck out Agunloye’s motion for lack of merit and held that Section 6 and 7 of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004 gave the Commission investigative and prosecutorial powers to cause investigation into any act of economic and financial crimes.


“On issues of whether the EFCC has the statutory power to investigate and prosecute before a court of  competent jurisdiction,  I have considered the application of the defence and the respondent, and I hold that the EFCC is charged with the investigation and prosecution of all economic and financial crimes including, contract scams, money laundering, advance fee fraud etc,   including the investigation and enforcement of all economic and financial crimes laws, also cause investigation to weather an individual or company, or anybody is likely to commit any crime. Since the instant charges brought against the defendant are economic and financial crimes in nature, the motion brought by the defendant lacks merit and is  hereby dismissed,” the judge ruled.


Regarding the legitimacy of the prosecution fiat the Commission obtained from the Office of the Auditor-General rather than that of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF),   the judge held that any other state, authority or person was eligible to institute criminal prosecution in the absence of the AGF.


“Even if the charge has no seal of the Attorney-General of the Federation,  that does not stop the potency of the charge, as the Attorney-General may decide on any member of his department he wishes to delegate his powers  to carry out his duties by law,” he said.


He adjourned the matter till May 30, 2024 for continuation of trial.


Source: EFCC 

Naira Abuse: Court Adjourns Cubana’s Trial till June 5

Naira Abuse: Court Adjourns Cubana’s Trial till June 5


Justice  Kehinde Ogundare of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday,  May 2,  2024 adjourned further hearing in the trial of   Pascal Okechukwu, a.k.a. Cubana Chief till June 5,  2024.

Okejukwu was arraigned on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 by the EFCC on a three-count charge bordering on abuse of the Naira.


One of the counts reads: That you, Okechukwu Pascal, on 13th February, 2024, at Eko Hotel Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, while dancing during a social event, tampered with funds in the denomination of N500(Five Hundred Naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying, thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act, 2007.”


Another count reads: “That you, Okechukwu Pascal, sometime in 2020, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, during a social event tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 (Five Hundred Naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying same for two hours and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act, 2007.”


At the resumed sitting of the court on Thursday, , Okechukwu  through his lawyer, Chikaosolu Ojukwu, SAN, told the court about a plan of his client to enter a plea bargain with the EFCC.


Ojukwu also sought to withdraw his  earlier preliminary objection filed on April 24, 2024, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the charge. "In the interest of justice, we are urging the court to strike out the motion because the prosecution has not responded to it,” he said.


The prosecution counsel did not oppose the withdraw of the application.


Consequently, Justice Ogundare struck out the application, having been withdrawn by the defence, and also  adjourned the case till June 5, 2024.


Source: EFCC 


Justice  Kehinde Ogundare of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday,  May 2,  2024 adjourned further hearing in the trial of   Pascal Okechukwu, a.k.a. Cubana Chief till June 5,  2024.

Okejukwu was arraigned on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 by the EFCC on a three-count charge bordering on abuse of the Naira.


One of the counts reads: That you, Okechukwu Pascal, on 13th February, 2024, at Eko Hotel Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, while dancing during a social event, tampered with funds in the denomination of N500(Five Hundred Naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying, thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act, 2007.”


Another count reads: “That you, Okechukwu Pascal, sometime in 2020, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, during a social event tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 (Five Hundred Naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying same for two hours and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act, 2007.”


At the resumed sitting of the court on Thursday, , Okechukwu  through his lawyer, Chikaosolu Ojukwu, SAN, told the court about a plan of his client to enter a plea bargain with the EFCC.


Ojukwu also sought to withdraw his  earlier preliminary objection filed on April 24, 2024, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the charge. "In the interest of justice, we are urging the court to strike out the motion because the prosecution has not responded to it,” he said.


The prosecution counsel did not oppose the withdraw of the application.


Consequently, Justice Ogundare struck out the application, having been withdrawn by the defence, and also  adjourned the case till June 5, 2024.


Source: EFCC 

EFCC Arraigns Four for Alleged Obstruction of Justice in Kaduna

EFCC Arraigns Four for Alleged Obstruction of Justice in Kaduna


The Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Wednesday, April, 24, 2024 arraigned four suspects  before Justice A.A Bello of the Kaduna State High Court, Kaduna.


They were docked for alleged obstruction of lawful duty and assault against officers of the Commission. 

 


The Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Wednesday, April, 24, 2024 arraigned four suspects  before Justice A.A Bello of the Kaduna State High Court, Kaduna.


They were docked for alleged obstruction of lawful duty and assault against officers of the Commission. 

 

Court Sends Nine Internet Fraudsters to Jail in Benin City

Court Sends Nine Internet Fraudsters to Jail in Benin City


Nine internet fraudsters were on Tuesday and Wednesday April 23 & 24, 2024 convicted and sentenced to various jail terms by Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of the Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City.


The convicts are Andrew Ayakanmi Joshua, Obazee Marvellous, Osiobe Joshua, Osariemen Favour, Edosa Ovbokhan, Emmanuel Eramiokhare, Cyril Osagie, Stephen Okiosi Osaiwe and Muhammed Mudesiru Hussein


They were jailed after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence, possession of fraudulent documents, retention of proceeds of crime upon arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.


The charge against Eramiokhare reads: “That you Emmanuel Eiramiokhae (m) sometime between 1st January 1

2019 and 4th April, 2024 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did retain the aggregate sum of N97,392,707.75 (Ninety Seven Million, Three Hundred and Ninety two thousand, Seven Hundred and Seven Naira, Seventy five kobo) knowing that same represent proceeds of Godstime (your chairman) criminal conduct to wit: cybercrime and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17 (a) Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 17(b) of the same Act.



All the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges when they were read to them in court, prompting the prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Faisal and Salihu Ahmed, to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as they have become remorseful for their actions.

 

Justice Ikponmwonba on Tuesday April 22, 2024 sentenced the trio of Eramiokhae, Joshua and Favour to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each while the duo of Ayakanmi Joshua and Obazee Marvellous bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 each. On Wednesday April 23, 2024, the judge convicted and sentenced Ovbokhan to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000, Hussein bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 while the duo of Osaiwe and Osagie were sentenced to community service.


The judges ordered the convicts to forfeit their phones, laptops, balances in their various bank accounts, being instruments and proceeds of crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria. All the convicts are to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour henceforth.


The convicts' road to the Correctional Centre began for the convicts following their arrest by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the Commission based on actionable intelligence regarding their involvement in computer -related fraud. They were charged to court and convicted.


Source: EFCC 


Nine internet fraudsters were on Tuesday and Wednesday April 23 & 24, 2024 convicted and sentenced to various jail terms by Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of the Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City.


The convicts are Andrew Ayakanmi Joshua, Obazee Marvellous, Osiobe Joshua, Osariemen Favour, Edosa Ovbokhan, Emmanuel Eramiokhare, Cyril Osagie, Stephen Okiosi Osaiwe and Muhammed Mudesiru Hussein


They were jailed after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence, possession of fraudulent documents, retention of proceeds of crime upon arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.


The charge against Eramiokhare reads: “That you Emmanuel Eiramiokhae (m) sometime between 1st January 1

2019 and 4th April, 2024 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did retain the aggregate sum of N97,392,707.75 (Ninety Seven Million, Three Hundred and Ninety two thousand, Seven Hundred and Seven Naira, Seventy five kobo) knowing that same represent proceeds of Godstime (your chairman) criminal conduct to wit: cybercrime and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17 (a) Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 17(b) of the same Act.



All the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges when they were read to them in court, prompting the prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Faisal and Salihu Ahmed, to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as they have become remorseful for their actions.

 

Justice Ikponmwonba on Tuesday April 22, 2024 sentenced the trio of Eramiokhae, Joshua and Favour to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each while the duo of Ayakanmi Joshua and Obazee Marvellous bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 each. On Wednesday April 23, 2024, the judge convicted and sentenced Ovbokhan to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000, Hussein bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 while the duo of Osaiwe and Osagie were sentenced to community service.


The judges ordered the convicts to forfeit their phones, laptops, balances in their various bank accounts, being instruments and proceeds of crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria. All the convicts are to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour henceforth.


The convicts' road to the Correctional Centre began for the convicts following their arrest by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the Commission based on actionable intelligence regarding their involvement in computer -related fraud. They were charged to court and convicted.


Source: EFCC 

Bobrisky and tax reforms in Nigeria

Bobrisky and tax reforms in Nigeria

 

By

abiodun KOMOLAFE


Bobrisky

The  charade of Nigeria is never-ending! Only recently, one of Nigeria’s best-known cross-dressers, Idris Okuneye, alias Bobrisky, was arrested on charges of abusing banknotes. He was later convicted and sentenced to six months in prison. Not long after, popular socialite, Pascal Okechukwu, aka Cubana Chief Priest, was also arrested for alleged naira abuse and he’s already being prosecuted. Nigerians wait to see how events unfold!


In the considered opinion of this writer, jailing Bobrisky is, to say the least, amusing! It’s too pedestrian! As things stand, Nigeria’s revenue target reportedly stands at N18 trillion. Of course, that’s pathetic! Where things work, the target should be nothing less than N50 trillion. So, the country needs revenue, certainly not by Nollywood sideshows but by passing an Unexplained Source of Income Act.


For God’s sake, why pick Bobrisky and what does the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ((EFCC) want from him? Well, if the arrest was to teach the self-styled cross-dresser some lessons of life, then, that’s a different story. Otherwise, it was a mere distraction and whoever mooted the ideas in the first place did not deserve our claps.


If we are talking about the debasement of the naira and what ought not, what the EFCC needs is not whether people spray money or not. Yes, Bobrisky was spraying naira! But what happens next? In other climes, Bobrisky would never be banned for disdainfully soothing his ego. In countries like the United Kingdom and Sweden for example, if one goes to an ‘Owambe’ party and spices it up recklessly with pounds or euros, that’s one’s business! If one even likes, one can invite King Sunny Ade and ‘Professor Master General’ Kollington Ayinla to England to treat one’s audience to the melodious tunes of ‘Ijo Yoyo’. Nobody cares! But the consequence is that a tax bill awaits one immediately the party is over! In other words, what the government does is to invoke the Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) 2017. By implication, the Nigerian government doesn’t need to pass a law restraining the people from ‘spraying’ naira notes. It only needs to ask some pertinent questions relating to the defaulter’s sources of wealth vis-à-vis his or her tax returns. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s government agencies are either too lazy or are not sincerely interested in generating revenue for the government.


If we are serious about fighting corruption in Nigeria, what we need is not some showboating. Nigeria doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel! So, instead of running round and round in circles, wasting so much time doing nothing, what’s needed is a surgical operation on the economy. The real issue is that Nigerians are not paying taxes and that’s why they are always ‘spraying’ money rashly. If we have the Unexplained Source of Income Act in Nigeria, which we ought to have had about 30 or 40 years ago, no Bob would have attempted to risk his waist on our naira notes because he perfectly understood the consequences. 


This brings us to another sideshow a la Yahaya Bello! The fact that the immediate past governor of Kogi State is evading arrest from lawful authorities is symptomatic of a country without functional laws; and that’s unacceptable! It is because it has happened and nothing ever happened thereafter that it is now happening, because nothing will eventually happen! After all, once upon a time in Nigeria’s chequered history, one Nyesom Wike shielded one Rotimi Amaechi from lawful arrest and nothing happened! So, what’s the big deal? Could we have contemplated the former Governor of Wisconsin in the USA evading arrest? Even former President Donald Trump submitted himself to investigation and he’s currently having his day in court. So, who is Yahaya Bello and what’s special about the ‘ta-ta-ta-ta’ inventor? Shouldn’t Nigeria, at least, for once, be spared of pantomimes fooling around?


Remember Alphonse Gabriel Capone, aka Scarface, the American gangster, businessman and boss of the ‘Chicago Outfit’! Remember also Eliot Ness, the brilliant, incorruptible American Prohibition agent and leader of ‘The Untouchables’! In his time, Capone killed a lot of people, including the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, but he didn’t leave any trace that could lead to his arrest for murder. He was also making millions of dollars without declaring tax returns. On Ness’s advice, Capone’s accountant was dragged into the case. On October 18, 1931, Capone was convicted after trial and jailed for income tax evasion, not murder, on November 24, 1931.


The heart of the matter is that these are tax issues! So, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) should have asked Bello the sources of his wealth vis-à-vis his tax returns. Pure and simple! In sane climes, the EFCC itself should be nothing more than a desk in the police force, just like the Fraud Office in England; and Nigeria would have been spared the rigour of the creation and duplication of the functions in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies. As a matter of fact, the Fraud Office operatives are more technically competent than the EFCC can ever be!


At a time like this, it’s better Nigeria faces the real issue; and the real issue is that super-rich Nigerians have not been paying taxes. Let’s face it, the day Nigeria gets serious, she will catch up with the developed nations within 15 years. For instance, the EFCC is accusing Bobrisky and Cubana of naira debasement, there are lots of wedding activities across the country, even as we speak. Has the EFCC prepared its operatives for the onerous task of even arresting prospective naira abusers? Has the Commission ever asked how some Nigerians get brand new, untouched notes while those who run legitimate accounts are starved of even the old ones? If one may also ask, how do our Point of Sale (PoS) system operators source the wares for their ventures?


 President Bola Tinubu is the head of the government. Again, this where he has to act before things get out of hand! If he truly wants to reform the country, this is the time to do so. But if he wants business to continue as usual, then good luck to him and good luck to Nigeria! So far, so good, a lot of his policies are right and are on the right path! Definitely, the criminal subsidy removal is painful; he should have thought about it better and come up with better ideas about how to mitigate its effects! The merging of the foreign exchange rates was also traumatizing. But it should be applauded! At least, the naira is now coming down and the speculators now know how far they can go! Going forward, let Tinubu go the whole hog! From the look of things, Nigeria is a one-party state, as most of the National Assembly members are from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which makes his job easier. Therefore, let the president lobby the National Assembly to enact the Unexplained Source of Income Bill, modeled on the UWOs which was introduced into the United Kingdom legislation under the 201 Criminal Finances Act. 


Except we want to be economical with the truth, tax evasion is feasible when the system allows for it! All the more reason Tinubu should empower the FIRS by making it the pivotal figure in revenue generation. Those who earn more should pay more and the charade of over-taxing the poor to pay the rich should come to an end. With the passage of the Unexplained Source of Income Act, the government will generate more revenue, especially from those who are currently evading taxes. It is really annoying that Nigeria keeps taxing the poor while ‘blessing’ the rich with tax holidays.


May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!


 _●[email protected];_ 

 _●08098614418 - SMS only._ 



Source: The Nation

 

By

abiodun KOMOLAFE


Bobrisky

The  charade of Nigeria is never-ending! Only recently, one of Nigeria’s best-known cross-dressers, Idris Okuneye, alias Bobrisky, was arrested on charges of abusing banknotes. He was later convicted and sentenced to six months in prison. Not long after, popular socialite, Pascal Okechukwu, aka Cubana Chief Priest, was also arrested for alleged naira abuse and he’s already being prosecuted. Nigerians wait to see how events unfold!


In the considered opinion of this writer, jailing Bobrisky is, to say the least, amusing! It’s too pedestrian! As things stand, Nigeria’s revenue target reportedly stands at N18 trillion. Of course, that’s pathetic! Where things work, the target should be nothing less than N50 trillion. So, the country needs revenue, certainly not by Nollywood sideshows but by passing an Unexplained Source of Income Act.


For God’s sake, why pick Bobrisky and what does the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ((EFCC) want from him? Well, if the arrest was to teach the self-styled cross-dresser some lessons of life, then, that’s a different story. Otherwise, it was a mere distraction and whoever mooted the ideas in the first place did not deserve our claps.


If we are talking about the debasement of the naira and what ought not, what the EFCC needs is not whether people spray money or not. Yes, Bobrisky was spraying naira! But what happens next? In other climes, Bobrisky would never be banned for disdainfully soothing his ego. In countries like the United Kingdom and Sweden for example, if one goes to an ‘Owambe’ party and spices it up recklessly with pounds or euros, that’s one’s business! If one even likes, one can invite King Sunny Ade and ‘Professor Master General’ Kollington Ayinla to England to treat one’s audience to the melodious tunes of ‘Ijo Yoyo’. Nobody cares! But the consequence is that a tax bill awaits one immediately the party is over! In other words, what the government does is to invoke the Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) 2017. By implication, the Nigerian government doesn’t need to pass a law restraining the people from ‘spraying’ naira notes. It only needs to ask some pertinent questions relating to the defaulter’s sources of wealth vis-à-vis his or her tax returns. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s government agencies are either too lazy or are not sincerely interested in generating revenue for the government.


If we are serious about fighting corruption in Nigeria, what we need is not some showboating. Nigeria doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel! So, instead of running round and round in circles, wasting so much time doing nothing, what’s needed is a surgical operation on the economy. The real issue is that Nigerians are not paying taxes and that’s why they are always ‘spraying’ money rashly. If we have the Unexplained Source of Income Act in Nigeria, which we ought to have had about 30 or 40 years ago, no Bob would have attempted to risk his waist on our naira notes because he perfectly understood the consequences. 


This brings us to another sideshow a la Yahaya Bello! The fact that the immediate past governor of Kogi State is evading arrest from lawful authorities is symptomatic of a country without functional laws; and that’s unacceptable! It is because it has happened and nothing ever happened thereafter that it is now happening, because nothing will eventually happen! After all, once upon a time in Nigeria’s chequered history, one Nyesom Wike shielded one Rotimi Amaechi from lawful arrest and nothing happened! So, what’s the big deal? Could we have contemplated the former Governor of Wisconsin in the USA evading arrest? Even former President Donald Trump submitted himself to investigation and he’s currently having his day in court. So, who is Yahaya Bello and what’s special about the ‘ta-ta-ta-ta’ inventor? Shouldn’t Nigeria, at least, for once, be spared of pantomimes fooling around?


Remember Alphonse Gabriel Capone, aka Scarface, the American gangster, businessman and boss of the ‘Chicago Outfit’! Remember also Eliot Ness, the brilliant, incorruptible American Prohibition agent and leader of ‘The Untouchables’! In his time, Capone killed a lot of people, including the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, but he didn’t leave any trace that could lead to his arrest for murder. He was also making millions of dollars without declaring tax returns. On Ness’s advice, Capone’s accountant was dragged into the case. On October 18, 1931, Capone was convicted after trial and jailed for income tax evasion, not murder, on November 24, 1931.


The heart of the matter is that these are tax issues! So, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) should have asked Bello the sources of his wealth vis-à-vis his tax returns. Pure and simple! In sane climes, the EFCC itself should be nothing more than a desk in the police force, just like the Fraud Office in England; and Nigeria would have been spared the rigour of the creation and duplication of the functions in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies. As a matter of fact, the Fraud Office operatives are more technically competent than the EFCC can ever be!


At a time like this, it’s better Nigeria faces the real issue; and the real issue is that super-rich Nigerians have not been paying taxes. Let’s face it, the day Nigeria gets serious, she will catch up with the developed nations within 15 years. For instance, the EFCC is accusing Bobrisky and Cubana of naira debasement, there are lots of wedding activities across the country, even as we speak. Has the EFCC prepared its operatives for the onerous task of even arresting prospective naira abusers? Has the Commission ever asked how some Nigerians get brand new, untouched notes while those who run legitimate accounts are starved of even the old ones? If one may also ask, how do our Point of Sale (PoS) system operators source the wares for their ventures?


 President Bola Tinubu is the head of the government. Again, this where he has to act before things get out of hand! If he truly wants to reform the country, this is the time to do so. But if he wants business to continue as usual, then good luck to him and good luck to Nigeria! So far, so good, a lot of his policies are right and are on the right path! Definitely, the criminal subsidy removal is painful; he should have thought about it better and come up with better ideas about how to mitigate its effects! The merging of the foreign exchange rates was also traumatizing. But it should be applauded! At least, the naira is now coming down and the speculators now know how far they can go! Going forward, let Tinubu go the whole hog! From the look of things, Nigeria is a one-party state, as most of the National Assembly members are from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which makes his job easier. Therefore, let the president lobby the National Assembly to enact the Unexplained Source of Income Bill, modeled on the UWOs which was introduced into the United Kingdom legislation under the 201 Criminal Finances Act. 


Except we want to be economical with the truth, tax evasion is feasible when the system allows for it! All the more reason Tinubu should empower the FIRS by making it the pivotal figure in revenue generation. Those who earn more should pay more and the charade of over-taxing the poor to pay the rich should come to an end. With the passage of the Unexplained Source of Income Act, the government will generate more revenue, especially from those who are currently evading taxes. It is really annoying that Nigeria keeps taxing the poor while ‘blessing’ the rich with tax holidays.


May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!


 _●[email protected];_ 

 _●08098614418 - SMS only._ 



Source: The Nation

Alleged N80.2 Fraud: How EFCC Serves Ex—governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello Through His Counsel

Alleged N80.2 Fraud: How EFCC Serves Ex—governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello Through His Counsel


Former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Adoza Bello was on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 served his charges through his counsel, Abdulwahab Muhammad (SAN) after Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja ruled that the defendant should be served through his counsel, especially as he failed to appear before the court, yet again.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is prosecuting 

Yahaya Bello alongside his Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19-count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N80, 246, 470,089.88k (Eight Billion, Two Hundred and Forty-six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eighty-nine Naira, Eighty-eighty Kobo).


At Tuesday’s sitting, Bello’s counsel, Adeola Adedipe (SAN) prayed the court to quash the arrest warrant granted the Commission against Bello, arguing that Tuesday’s substituted service to the defendant through his counsel Abdulwahab Muhammad (SAN) has invalidated the arrest warrant.


"The court is expected to do justice at all times. A warrant of arrest cannot be hanging on Bello's neck when we are in this court. It appears to us that the defendant will not get justice because the court granted a warrant of arrest before service,” he said.


However, prosecution counsel, Kemi Piniero (SAN) in response, urged the court to decline hearing on any motion from Bello's legal team until the defendant is physically present in court for his arraignment.


"The stage we are in now is to determine the whereabouts of the defendant. He cannot be in his house while the trial proceeds without him coming here to take his plea. My Lord, this is a criminal matter not a civil matter, he must come and take his plea. It is a matter of over N80 billion. All these applications by the defendant are to prevent his arraignment and frustrate the commencement of trial," he said. 


After hearing both counsels, Justice Nwite adjourned ruling on the defence’s application, seeking a revocation of the arrest warrant on Bello till May 10, 2024.

 


Source: EFCC


Former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Adoza Bello was on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 served his charges through his counsel, Abdulwahab Muhammad (SAN) after Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja ruled that the defendant should be served through his counsel, especially as he failed to appear before the court, yet again.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is prosecuting 

Yahaya Bello alongside his Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19-count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N80, 246, 470,089.88k (Eight Billion, Two Hundred and Forty-six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eighty-nine Naira, Eighty-eighty Kobo).


At Tuesday’s sitting, Bello’s counsel, Adeola Adedipe (SAN) prayed the court to quash the arrest warrant granted the Commission against Bello, arguing that Tuesday’s substituted service to the defendant through his counsel Abdulwahab Muhammad (SAN) has invalidated the arrest warrant.


"The court is expected to do justice at all times. A warrant of arrest cannot be hanging on Bello's neck when we are in this court. It appears to us that the defendant will not get justice because the court granted a warrant of arrest before service,” he said.


However, prosecution counsel, Kemi Piniero (SAN) in response, urged the court to decline hearing on any motion from Bello's legal team until the defendant is physically present in court for his arraignment.


"The stage we are in now is to determine the whereabouts of the defendant. He cannot be in his house while the trial proceeds without him coming here to take his plea. My Lord, this is a criminal matter not a civil matter, he must come and take his plea. It is a matter of over N80 billion. All these applications by the defendant are to prevent his arraignment and frustrate the commencement of trial," he said. 


After hearing both counsels, Justice Nwite adjourned ruling on the defence’s application, seeking a revocation of the arrest warrant on Bello till May 10, 2024.

 


Source: EFCC

Court Jails 20 Internet Fraudsters in Benin City

Court Jails 20 Internet Fraudsters in Benin City


The Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,  on Wednesday and Thursday April 17 &18, 2024  secured the conviction and sentence of 20 internet fraudsters before Justices Efe Ikponmwonba and M. Itsueli of the Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City.

The convicts are: Blessing Daniel, Kingsley Okoroafor, Amos Ohwofa, Eromosele Victory, Oba Nicholas Destiny, Lucky Osaro, Edema Emmanuel John, Obazee Precious, Akinyemi Seun, Ufumwen Victor, Enoch Ehigiator, Adurotimi Olakunle Justin, Oserei Clinton and Oserei Abraham.


Others are Obazee Gabriel, Richard Godfrey Obazee, Ricard Israel, Paul O. Endurance, Destiny Ajimi and Ejiwe Blessing Julius


They were jailed after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence, possession of fraudulent documents upon arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the  EFCC.


The charge against Ajimi reads:

That you Destiny Ajimi (M) on or about 4th April, 2024 in Benin City, Edo State, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did have in your possession documents which you knew or ought to have known contain a false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 read together with 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.


The charge against Julius reads: “That you Ejiwe Blessing Julius(M) on or about 4th April, 2024 in Benin City, Edo State, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did have in your possession documents which you knew or ought to have known contain a false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 read together with 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.


All the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges when they were read to them in court, prompting the prosecution counsel, F. A. Jirbo. I.K Agwai and K.Y. Bello, to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as they have become remorseful for their actions.

 

Justice Ikponmwonba  on April 17, sentenced the trio of  Ohwofa,  Daniel and Julius to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each while Akinyemi Seun bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000.  Justice Ituseli convicted the trio of Eromosele Victory, Obi Nicholas Destiny and Lucky Osaro to two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 each while Kingsley Okarafor, Destiny Ajimi and Edema Emmanuel John bagged three years imprisonment or a  fine of N100,000.


On Thursday April 18, Justice Ikponmwonba convicted 10 of the defendants -  Precious, Victor,  Ehigiator,  Justin, Clinton,  Abraham, Gabriel, Obazee, Israel and Endurance to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 each.


The judges ordered the convicts to forfeit their phones, laptops,  balances in their various bank accounts and three vehicles - Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and a Toyota Camry being instruments and proceeds of crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria. All the convicts are to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour henceforth.


The convicts’ road to the prison began following their arrest by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the Commission based on actionable intelligence regarding their involvement in computer- related fraud.


Source: EFCC 


The Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,  on Wednesday and Thursday April 17 &18, 2024  secured the conviction and sentence of 20 internet fraudsters before Justices Efe Ikponmwonba and M. Itsueli of the Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City.

The convicts are: Blessing Daniel, Kingsley Okoroafor, Amos Ohwofa, Eromosele Victory, Oba Nicholas Destiny, Lucky Osaro, Edema Emmanuel John, Obazee Precious, Akinyemi Seun, Ufumwen Victor, Enoch Ehigiator, Adurotimi Olakunle Justin, Oserei Clinton and Oserei Abraham.


Others are Obazee Gabriel, Richard Godfrey Obazee, Ricard Israel, Paul O. Endurance, Destiny Ajimi and Ejiwe Blessing Julius


They were jailed after pleading guilty to one-count separate charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence, possession of fraudulent documents upon arraignment by the Benin Zonal Command of the  EFCC.


The charge against Ajimi reads:

That you Destiny Ajimi (M) on or about 4th April, 2024 in Benin City, Edo State, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did have in your possession documents which you knew or ought to have known contain a false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 read together with 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.


The charge against Julius reads: “That you Ejiwe Blessing Julius(M) on or about 4th April, 2024 in Benin City, Edo State, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did have in your possession documents which you knew or ought to have known contain a false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 read together with 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.


All the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges when they were read to them in court, prompting the prosecution counsel, F. A. Jirbo. I.K Agwai and K.Y. Bello, to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, counsel to the defendants pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as they have become remorseful for their actions.

 

Justice Ikponmwonba  on April 17, sentenced the trio of  Ohwofa,  Daniel and Julius to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each while Akinyemi Seun bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000.  Justice Ituseli convicted the trio of Eromosele Victory, Obi Nicholas Destiny and Lucky Osaro to two years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 each while Kingsley Okarafor, Destiny Ajimi and Edema Emmanuel John bagged three years imprisonment or a  fine of N100,000.


On Thursday April 18, Justice Ikponmwonba convicted 10 of the defendants -  Precious, Victor,  Ehigiator,  Justin, Clinton,  Abraham, Gabriel, Obazee, Israel and Endurance to three years imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 each.


The judges ordered the convicts to forfeit their phones, laptops,  balances in their various bank accounts and three vehicles - Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and a Toyota Camry being instruments and proceeds of crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria. All the convicts are to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour henceforth.


The convicts’ road to the prison began following their arrest by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the Commission based on actionable intelligence regarding their involvement in computer- related fraud.


Source: EFCC 

Why EFCC Declares Yahaya Bello Wanted

Why EFCC Declares Yahaya Bello Wanted


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, April 18,  2024 declared a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Adoza Bello wanted in connection with an alleged money laundering ..

 

Alleged N80.2billion Money Laundering

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, April 18, 2024 arraign a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Adoza Bello before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.


He was arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite alongside three other suspects, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19- count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N80, 246, 470, 088.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eight Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo).


Bello’s arraignment is coming on the heels of a warrant of arrest and enrolment order granted the EFCC by the court on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. 


Count one of the charges reads: That you, Yahaya Adoza Bello, Ali Bello, Dauda Suliman, and Abdulsalam Hudu( Still at large), sometime, in February, 2016, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to convert the total sum of N80, 246,470, 088.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eight Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo), which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended”.

 

Count 17 of the charges read: “That you Yahaya Bello between 26th July 2021 to 6th April 2022 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court aided E-Traders International Limited to conceal the aggregate sum of N3, 081, 804,654.00 (Three Billion, Eighty One Million Eight Hundred and Four Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty Four Naira) in account number 1451458080 domiciled in Access BankPlc, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a), 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

 

Count 18 of the charges reads: “That you Yahaya Adoza Bello sometime in November 2021 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly procured E-Traders international Limited to transfer the aggregate sum of $570,330.00 (Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty Dollars) to account number 4266644272 domiciled in TD Bank, United States of America which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15( 3) of the same Act”.

 

The Commission’s attempt to execute the Warrant of Arrest lawfully obtained against Bello met stiff resistance on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. The security cordon around the former governor’s residence in Abuja was breached by the current Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo who ensured that the suspect was spirited away in his official vehicle. As a responsible law enforcement agency, the EFCC exercised restraint in the face of the provocation, waiting for his arraignment on Thursday, April 18, 2024.


It is needful to state that Bello is not above the law and would be brought to justice as soon as possible.



 


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, April 18,  2024 declared a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Adoza Bello wanted in connection with an alleged money laundering ..

 

Alleged N80.2billion Money Laundering

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, April 18, 2024 arraign a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Adoza Bello before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.


He was arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite alongside three other suspects, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19- count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N80, 246, 470, 088.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eight Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo).


Bello’s arraignment is coming on the heels of a warrant of arrest and enrolment order granted the EFCC by the court on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. 


Count one of the charges reads: That you, Yahaya Adoza Bello, Ali Bello, Dauda Suliman, and Abdulsalam Hudu( Still at large), sometime, in February, 2016, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to convert the total sum of N80, 246,470, 088.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eight Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo), which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended”.

 

Count 17 of the charges read: “That you Yahaya Bello between 26th July 2021 to 6th April 2022 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court aided E-Traders International Limited to conceal the aggregate sum of N3, 081, 804,654.00 (Three Billion, Eighty One Million Eight Hundred and Four Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty Four Naira) in account number 1451458080 domiciled in Access BankPlc, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a), 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

 

Count 18 of the charges reads: “That you Yahaya Adoza Bello sometime in November 2021 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly procured E-Traders international Limited to transfer the aggregate sum of $570,330.00 (Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty Dollars) to account number 4266644272 domiciled in TD Bank, United States of America which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15( 3) of the same Act”.

 

The Commission’s attempt to execute the Warrant of Arrest lawfully obtained against Bello met stiff resistance on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. The security cordon around the former governor’s residence in Abuja was breached by the current Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo who ensured that the suspect was spirited away in his official vehicle. As a responsible law enforcement agency, the EFCC exercised restraint in the face of the provocation, waiting for his arraignment on Thursday, April 18, 2024.


It is needful to state that Bello is not above the law and would be brought to justice as soon as possible.



 

Alleged N4.8bn Fraud: Court Adjourns Cletus Ibeto's Case till May 27 — EFCC

Alleged N4.8bn Fraud: Court Adjourns Cletus Ibeto's Case till May 27 — EFCC

Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Monday, April 15, 2024, adjourned the alleged N4.8 billion fraud brought against a businessman, Chief Cletus Ibeto, till May 27, 2024.

The matter, which was initially before Justice I.O. Ijelu, of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, suffered several adjournments due to the absence of the defendant to take his plea with respect to the 10-count charges raised against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. 

 

He was charged alongside his companies, Ibeto Energy Development Company and Odoh Holdings Ltd.

 

Ibeto had approached the appellate court , following the bench warrant issued against him by Justice Ijelu pending his arraignment. The defendant, through his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, had also approached the appellate court, challenging the jurisdiction of the High Court to hear the matter.

 

At the resumed sitting on Monday, defence counsel, Adebayo Oshodi, prayed the court to withdraw the application for stay of proceedings, pending the determination of the appeal and the one challenging the court’s jurisdiction filed by Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN.

 

He also told court that he had filed a notice of preliminary objection, challenging the jurisdiction of the court, and prayed the court to allow him to move the application. 

 

However, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacob, SAN, opposed the application on the grounds that the defendant had filed an appeal on the same issue before the Lagos Division of Court of Appeal. He also told the court that the appellate court had yet to decide on it.

 

He also informed the court that the defendant, in his bid for out-of-court settlement, had repaid the sum of N2 billion in installments to the Commission.

 

After listening to both parties, Justice Ogala ruled that hearing the defendant's application would amount to nothing because the same issue “is currently pending before the appellate court.”

 

 

The Judge further held “There is nothing to sway me to hear it in a hurry. The defendant is not here. The court of appeal will sit on it. I will not waste time writing a ruling, while the case is still pending at the Appeal Court. If there was nothing in the Court of Appeal, I would have heard the application.”

 

Consequently, Justice Ogala adjourned the matter till May 27, 2024.

 

The Judge further directed the parties to notify the Court on the outcome of appeal, which has been fixed for May 7, 2024, at the appellate court.



Source: EFCC

Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Monday, April 15, 2024, adjourned the alleged N4.8 billion fraud brought against a businessman, Chief Cletus Ibeto, till May 27, 2024.

The matter, which was initially before Justice I.O. Ijelu, of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, suffered several adjournments due to the absence of the defendant to take his plea with respect to the 10-count charges raised against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. 

 

He was charged alongside his companies, Ibeto Energy Development Company and Odoh Holdings Ltd.

 

Ibeto had approached the appellate court , following the bench warrant issued against him by Justice Ijelu pending his arraignment. The defendant, through his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, had also approached the appellate court, challenging the jurisdiction of the High Court to hear the matter.

 

At the resumed sitting on Monday, defence counsel, Adebayo Oshodi, prayed the court to withdraw the application for stay of proceedings, pending the determination of the appeal and the one challenging the court’s jurisdiction filed by Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN.

 

He also told court that he had filed a notice of preliminary objection, challenging the jurisdiction of the court, and prayed the court to allow him to move the application. 

 

However, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacob, SAN, opposed the application on the grounds that the defendant had filed an appeal on the same issue before the Lagos Division of Court of Appeal. He also told the court that the appellate court had yet to decide on it.

 

He also informed the court that the defendant, in his bid for out-of-court settlement, had repaid the sum of N2 billion in installments to the Commission.

 

After listening to both parties, Justice Ogala ruled that hearing the defendant's application would amount to nothing because the same issue “is currently pending before the appellate court.”

 

 

The Judge further held “There is nothing to sway me to hear it in a hurry. The defendant is not here. The court of appeal will sit on it. I will not waste time writing a ruling, while the case is still pending at the Appeal Court. If there was nothing in the Court of Appeal, I would have heard the application.”

 

Consequently, Justice Ogala adjourned the matter till May 27, 2024.

 

The Judge further directed the parties to notify the Court on the outcome of appeal, which has been fixed for May 7, 2024, at the appellate court.



Source: EFCC

EFCC Denies Stopping Service of Charges on Binance Chief

EFCC Denies Stopping Service of Charges on Binance Chief


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, wishes to react to a news report in a leading national newspaper entitled: “EFCC Stopped Service of Charges on Binance Chief, FIRS Alleges”. The report is untrue, misleading and removed from the facts before the court.


At no time did the court bailiff approach the EFCC to serve any of the Binance executives in its custody with a charge. At the last sitting of the court, counsel to the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Moses Ideh, did not lodge such a complaint before the court. He only told the court that the Service was yet to serve the defendants.  


The Commission, therefore, finds the news item preposterous and embarrassing. The public is enjoined to ignore it entirely.

 



Source: EFCC


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, wishes to react to a news report in a leading national newspaper entitled: “EFCC Stopped Service of Charges on Binance Chief, FIRS Alleges”. The report is untrue, misleading and removed from the facts before the court.


At no time did the court bailiff approach the EFCC to serve any of the Binance executives in its custody with a charge. At the last sitting of the court, counsel to the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Moses Ideh, did not lodge such a complaint before the court. He only told the court that the Service was yet to serve the defendants.  


The Commission, therefore, finds the news item preposterous and embarrassing. The public is enjoined to ignore it entirely.

 



Source: EFCC

How Man Bags Jail Term for Currency Racketeering in Lagos

How Man Bags Jail Term for Currency Racketeering in Lagos


The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 secured the conviction and sentencing of one Fabian John Itafor before Justice Kehinde Ogundare of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos for an offence bordering on currency racketeering. 


He was arraigned on a one- count charge.

The count reads: “That you, Fabian John Itafor on or about the 24th day of February. 2024 at Leisure Event Center, Wale Olateju Street, Victoria Island, in Lages within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court hawked the sum of N347,000.00 (Three Hundred and Forty-seven Naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21(4)l of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007."


He pleaded “guilty” to the charge when it was read to him.


Following his guilty plea,   prosecuting counsel, A.S. Wara  called on Jude Owolabi, an operative of the EFCC, to review the facts of the case.


Owolabi told the court that the defendant was arrested on February 24, 2024 , hawking naira notes at Leisure Event Center, Wale Olateju Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.


 "His arrest followed credible intelligence received by the Commission," he said. According to him, ATM cards, a POS machine, N347,000, $1 and 5 euros were recovered from him at the point of arrest.


“In his statement, he confessed that he was into money racketeering and hawking of Naira notes," he said. Defence counsel, Kolapo Gbadamosi, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy by granting him a non-custodial sentence or an option of fine.

Justice Ogundare convicted and sentenced him to three months community service with an option of fine of N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira Only).


The Judge also ordered that the POS machine, N347,000, $1 and 5euro recovered from him at the point of arrest  be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

 

Itafor bagged his imprisonment by flouting extant laws against Naira mutilation.  


Specifically,  he was arrested for hawking new Naira notes for commercial purposes.  


He was later prosecuted and convicted.

 

Source: EFCC 


The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 secured the conviction and sentencing of one Fabian John Itafor before Justice Kehinde Ogundare of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos for an offence bordering on currency racketeering. 


He was arraigned on a one- count charge.

The count reads: “That you, Fabian John Itafor on or about the 24th day of February. 2024 at Leisure Event Center, Wale Olateju Street, Victoria Island, in Lages within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court hawked the sum of N347,000.00 (Three Hundred and Forty-seven Naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21(4)l of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007."


He pleaded “guilty” to the charge when it was read to him.


Following his guilty plea,   prosecuting counsel, A.S. Wara  called on Jude Owolabi, an operative of the EFCC, to review the facts of the case.


Owolabi told the court that the defendant was arrested on February 24, 2024 , hawking naira notes at Leisure Event Center, Wale Olateju Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.


 "His arrest followed credible intelligence received by the Commission," he said. According to him, ATM cards, a POS machine, N347,000, $1 and 5 euros were recovered from him at the point of arrest.


“In his statement, he confessed that he was into money racketeering and hawking of Naira notes," he said. Defence counsel, Kolapo Gbadamosi, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy by granting him a non-custodial sentence or an option of fine.

Justice Ogundare convicted and sentenced him to three months community service with an option of fine of N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira Only).


The Judge also ordered that the POS machine, N347,000, $1 and 5euro recovered from him at the point of arrest  be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

 

Itafor bagged his imprisonment by flouting extant laws against Naira mutilation.  


Specifically,  he was arrested for hawking new Naira notes for commercial purposes.  


He was later prosecuted and convicted.

 

Source: EFCC 

EFCC: Makurdi Court Jails Five Internet Fraudsters

EFCC: Makurdi Court Jails Five Internet Fraudsters


Justices M.S.Abubakar and R.J. Egbe of the Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, Benue State have convicted and sentenced five internet fraudsters to various jail terms.


The convicts: Ibi Shedrach Suurshter, Onazi Moses Oche, Innocent Ochola and Teseer Mnenge and Agbo Lawrence were jailed after pleading guilty to one- count separate charges upon their arraignment by the Makurdi Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.


The charge against Oche reads:  “That you Onazi Moses Oche sometime in 2022 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud used an access device issued to one Solomon Onuwa resulting from an aggregate gain of  N2,345.000.00 to yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary and punishable under Section 33(2)(c) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015”.


Upon their arrangements,   the convicts pleaded guilty when the charges were read to them.   Consequently the facts of the cases were reviewed and incriminating documents tendered in evidence before the court, following which prosecuting counsel, A.S Idris, prayed the court to sentence them accordingly.

 

After listening to all counsels,  Justice Abubakar convicted and sentenced  Suurshater to one year imprisonment with an option of N400,000.00 (Four Hundred Thousand Naira)  as fine.


Oche was convicted and sentenced to one year imprisonment with an option of N600,000.00 ( Six Hundred Thousand Naira) as fine.


Also,  the judge convicted and sentenced Ochola to two  years imprisonment with an option of fine of  N1,000,000,00 ( One Million Naira). Terseer Mnenge was also convicted and sentenced to one year imprisonment with an option of N200,000 fine.


The fifth convict,  Agbo was convicted and sentenced by Justice Egbe.


 He bagged one year imprisonment with an option of N200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) as fine.


The two judges further ordered them to forfeit all their phones, being proceeds of crime, to the government.


All the convicts started their journey to the Correctional Centre when they were arrested for internet-related offences.  They were investigated individually and prosecuted.








 

Source: EFCC


Justices M.S.Abubakar and R.J. Egbe of the Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, Benue State have convicted and sentenced five internet fraudsters to various jail terms.


The convicts: Ibi Shedrach Suurshter, Onazi Moses Oche, Innocent Ochola and Teseer Mnenge and Agbo Lawrence were jailed after pleading guilty to one- count separate charges upon their arraignment by the Makurdi Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.


The charge against Oche reads:  “That you Onazi Moses Oche sometime in 2022 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud used an access device issued to one Solomon Onuwa resulting from an aggregate gain of  N2,345.000.00 to yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary and punishable under Section 33(2)(c) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015”.


Upon their arrangements,   the convicts pleaded guilty when the charges were read to them.   Consequently the facts of the cases were reviewed and incriminating documents tendered in evidence before the court, following which prosecuting counsel, A.S Idris, prayed the court to sentence them accordingly.

 

After listening to all counsels,  Justice Abubakar convicted and sentenced  Suurshater to one year imprisonment with an option of N400,000.00 (Four Hundred Thousand Naira)  as fine.


Oche was convicted and sentenced to one year imprisonment with an option of N600,000.00 ( Six Hundred Thousand Naira) as fine.


Also,  the judge convicted and sentenced Ochola to two  years imprisonment with an option of fine of  N1,000,000,00 ( One Million Naira). Terseer Mnenge was also convicted and sentenced to one year imprisonment with an option of N200,000 fine.


The fifth convict,  Agbo was convicted and sentenced by Justice Egbe.


 He bagged one year imprisonment with an option of N200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) as fine.


The two judges further ordered them to forfeit all their phones, being proceeds of crime, to the government.


All the convicts started their journey to the Correctional Centre when they were arrested for internet-related offences.  They were investigated individually and prosecuted.








 

Source: EFCC

Diverted N1.2bn was for Ekiti Security, not Election Funds -Witness

Diverted N1.2bn was for Ekiti Security, not Election Funds -Witness

Fayose

Aliyu Muhammed Abdulmukadaddas, 14th prosecution witness, PW14  in the trial of Abiodun Agbele, ex-aide of former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 told Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, that the sum of N1,219,000,000.00 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Nineteen Million Naira) transferred by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from the account of the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) under Colonel Sambo Dasuki was to address security matters in Ekiti State and not to finance elections.


Led in his testimony by prosecution counsel Wahab Shittu, SAN, Abdulmukadaddas, a retired staff of the CBN who posted the money disclosed that he was familiar with Sylvan McNamara Nigeria Limited's  Diamond Bank account 0026223114 where the lodgment was made.  


“We have paid N200 million to the company through a Diamond Bank account. We have paid N200billion to the company, N700million, N100billion, N255million to 0026223114 Diamond Bank account among other payments,” he said.


Under cross-examination by defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, the witness disclosed that the CBN verifies payments before lodgment is made. “All the payment has to be verified, and the verification is on the receiving account, and we must verify if it is okay before posting, and in this case it was okay, that was why we posted.”


Agbele is standing trial on 24 amended charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N1.219 billion paid into the Diamond Bank account of Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd.


Former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, had on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, told Justice Dimgba that the Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd Diamond Bank account 0026223114 was created by one Taiwo Kareem for warehousing funds to deal with the issue of Boko Haram in Lagos, however, the lodgments into the account were allegedly spent on electoral matters by Fayose with the aid of Agbele. 


An earlier witness and former CEO of Zenith Bank, Peter Amangbo informed the court while being cross- examined by Ojo that the airlifting of the N1.219 billion cash from Lagos Airport to Akure Airport and to Zenith Bank Akure was based on the instructions of the management of the bank.


Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter till May 2 and 3, 2024 for continuation of trial. 


Source: EFCC 

Fayose

Aliyu Muhammed Abdulmukadaddas, 14th prosecution witness, PW14  in the trial of Abiodun Agbele, ex-aide of former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 told Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, that the sum of N1,219,000,000.00 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Nineteen Million Naira) transferred by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from the account of the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) under Colonel Sambo Dasuki was to address security matters in Ekiti State and not to finance elections.


Led in his testimony by prosecution counsel Wahab Shittu, SAN, Abdulmukadaddas, a retired staff of the CBN who posted the money disclosed that he was familiar with Sylvan McNamara Nigeria Limited's  Diamond Bank account 0026223114 where the lodgment was made.  


“We have paid N200 million to the company through a Diamond Bank account. We have paid N200billion to the company, N700million, N100billion, N255million to 0026223114 Diamond Bank account among other payments,” he said.


Under cross-examination by defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, the witness disclosed that the CBN verifies payments before lodgment is made. “All the payment has to be verified, and the verification is on the receiving account, and we must verify if it is okay before posting, and in this case it was okay, that was why we posted.”


Agbele is standing trial on 24 amended charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N1.219 billion paid into the Diamond Bank account of Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd.


Former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, had on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, told Justice Dimgba that the Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd Diamond Bank account 0026223114 was created by one Taiwo Kareem for warehousing funds to deal with the issue of Boko Haram in Lagos, however, the lodgments into the account were allegedly spent on electoral matters by Fayose with the aid of Agbele. 


An earlier witness and former CEO of Zenith Bank, Peter Amangbo informed the court while being cross- examined by Ojo that the airlifting of the N1.219 billion cash from Lagos Airport to Akure Airport and to Zenith Bank Akure was based on the instructions of the management of the bank.


Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter till May 2 and 3, 2024 for continuation of trial. 


Source: EFCC 

EFCC Arraigns Three former Bankers, One Other for N15.9m Fraud in Enugu

EFCC Arraigns Three former Bankers, One Other for N15.9m Fraud in Enugu


The Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 arraigned three former bankers, Ogbu Kingsley Ibekwem, Nwagbara Chidimma and Uwaezuoke Raymond and Chidubem Angela Mgbeke before Justice Mohammed Garba Umar of the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu State.


They were arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy and stealing to the tune of N15, 944, 100. 00 (Fifteen Million, Nine Hundred and Forty-four Thousand, One Hundred Naira).


One of the counts reads: “That you, Ogbu Kingsley Ibekwe and Chidubem Angela Mgbeke sometimes in January 2023 in Onitsha, Anambra State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit; retaining the sum of N7, 996, 800. 00 ( Seven Million, Nine Hundred and Ninety-six Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira) meant for evacuation to the Central Bank of Nigeria and property of Access Bank Plc Nottidge Branch, Onitsha which you knew or ought to have known to be proceeds of an unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 21 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022 and punishable under Section 20 (b)”.


They pleaded “not guilty” when the charges were read to them. In view of their pleas, counsel to the EFCC , Ahmad Yusuf Abdullahi, prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendants to be remanded at Enugu State Correctional facility.  Defence counsel, O. O. Orji, however,  informed the court of a bail application already placed before it. 


Justice Umar thereafter adjourned the matter to May 22, 2024 for trial. The defendants were remanded at the EFCC custody pending the hearing of bail application.


Ibekwem, Chidimma and Raymond  were handed over to the EFCC on February 22, 2023  by Access Bank plc for pilfering N15, 944, 100. 00   before it was evacuated to the bullion unit of the bank for subsequent movement to the Central Bank of Nigeria. They were former staff of the Nottidge branch of the bank in  Onitsha, Anambra State.


Source: EFCC 


The Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 arraigned three former bankers, Ogbu Kingsley Ibekwem, Nwagbara Chidimma and Uwaezuoke Raymond and Chidubem Angela Mgbeke before Justice Mohammed Garba Umar of the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu State.


They were arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy and stealing to the tune of N15, 944, 100. 00 (Fifteen Million, Nine Hundred and Forty-four Thousand, One Hundred Naira).


One of the counts reads: “That you, Ogbu Kingsley Ibekwe and Chidubem Angela Mgbeke sometimes in January 2023 in Onitsha, Anambra State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit; retaining the sum of N7, 996, 800. 00 ( Seven Million, Nine Hundred and Ninety-six Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira) meant for evacuation to the Central Bank of Nigeria and property of Access Bank Plc Nottidge Branch, Onitsha which you knew or ought to have known to be proceeds of an unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 21 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022 and punishable under Section 20 (b)”.


They pleaded “not guilty” when the charges were read to them. In view of their pleas, counsel to the EFCC , Ahmad Yusuf Abdullahi, prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendants to be remanded at Enugu State Correctional facility.  Defence counsel, O. O. Orji, however,  informed the court of a bail application already placed before it. 


Justice Umar thereafter adjourned the matter to May 22, 2024 for trial. The defendants were remanded at the EFCC custody pending the hearing of bail application.


Ibekwem, Chidimma and Raymond  were handed over to the EFCC on February 22, 2023  by Access Bank plc for pilfering N15, 944, 100. 00   before it was evacuated to the bullion unit of the bank for subsequent movement to the Central Bank of Nigeria. They were former staff of the Nottidge branch of the bank in  Onitsha, Anambra State.


Source: EFCC 

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