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Showing posts with label EFCC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EFCC. 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 

EFCC Arrests Seven in Ogbomoso for Alleged Illegal Mining Activities in Ilorin

EFCC Arrests Seven in Ogbomoso for Alleged Illegal Mining Activities in Ilorin


Operatives of the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC have arrested seven suspects for offences bordering on illegal mining activities, and two others for offering N1.2million bribe to compromise the operatives of the Commission.

 

The arrest, which followed credible intelligence and days of surveillance, was carried out on Friday, May 24, 2024 at Ogbomosho, Oyo State. The suspects are Waliyu Abidoye, Abubakar Auwal, Abdulrauf Hakim, Sabiu Usman, Salihu Godwin, Dauda Mohammed and Olalekan Aremu.


At the point of arrest, five truckloads of assorted minerals suspected to be lepidolite, lithium and precious stone among others were recovered from the suspects.


Investigations revealed that the suspects were not licensed miners and did not have requisite authority to purchase and possess the minerals. They were also not paying royalties to the Federal and States Governments, as required by law.


The Commission also arrested two other persons, Faleti Waheed and Noah Olalekan who allegedly offered N1.2million bribe to the operatives in order to secure the release of one of the sized trucks.


The duo of Waheed and Olalekan approached the EFCC operatives at the point of arrest and negotiated to give them money in order to have their seized truck released. The officers played along and got the suspects arrested at the point of delivering the money.


The sum of N995,500 (Nine Hundred and Ninety-Five Thousand, Five Hundred Naira) only was recovered from Waheed who claimed to be a manager at a filling station in Ogbomosho while the sum of N201,000 (Two Hundred and One Thousand Naira) only was recovered from Olalekan who claimed to be a scavenger.


The suspects will be arraigned in court upon conclusion of ongoing investigations.

 

Source: EFCC 


Operatives of the Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC have arrested seven suspects for offences bordering on illegal mining activities, and two others for offering N1.2million bribe to compromise the operatives of the Commission.

 

The arrest, which followed credible intelligence and days of surveillance, was carried out on Friday, May 24, 2024 at Ogbomosho, Oyo State. The suspects are Waliyu Abidoye, Abubakar Auwal, Abdulrauf Hakim, Sabiu Usman, Salihu Godwin, Dauda Mohammed and Olalekan Aremu.


At the point of arrest, five truckloads of assorted minerals suspected to be lepidolite, lithium and precious stone among others were recovered from the suspects.


Investigations revealed that the suspects were not licensed miners and did not have requisite authority to purchase and possess the minerals. They were also not paying royalties to the Federal and States Governments, as required by law.


The Commission also arrested two other persons, Faleti Waheed and Noah Olalekan who allegedly offered N1.2million bribe to the operatives in order to secure the release of one of the sized trucks.


The duo of Waheed and Olalekan approached the EFCC operatives at the point of arrest and negotiated to give them money in order to have their seized truck released. The officers played along and got the suspects arrested at the point of delivering the money.


The sum of N995,500 (Nine Hundred and Ninety-Five Thousand, Five Hundred Naira) only was recovered from Waheed who claimed to be a manager at a filling station in Ogbomosho while the sum of N201,000 (Two Hundred and One Thousand Naira) only was recovered from Olalekan who claimed to be a scavenger.


The suspects will be arraigned in court upon conclusion of ongoing investigations.

 

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



Absence of Counsel, Defendant Stalls Arraignment in Alleged N178.8m Fraud in Jos

Absence of Counsel, Defendant Stalls Arraignment in Alleged N178.8m Fraud in Jos









The arraignment of Okewole Dayo, Bishop Katung Jonas, Dadin Kowa Microfinance Bank and Mamman Irmiya Jatau before Justice Sharon T. Ishaya of the Federal High Court, Jos, Plateau State was stalled on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 due to absence of counsel to the first defendant, Dayo as well as the absence of the fourth defendant, Jatau.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is prosecuting the quartet on 24-count charges that border on conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and money laundering to the  tune of N178,885,000 (One Hundred and Seventy-eight Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty -five Thousand Naira).


Count two of the charge reads: “That you, OKEWOLE DAYO (Alias OKEWOLE DAVID DAYO)and BISHOP KATUNG JONAS being Secretary and Chairman of Covenant Fadama Cooperative Society, sometime in 2012, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did knowingly transferred the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira only) from Covenant Fadama Cooperative Society Account First Bank Account number 2003050001625 into Dadin Kowa Micro Finance Account; First Bank Account number 2016452671 which sum represent proceeds of unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011( As Amended by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2012) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act".


Count three reads: "That you DADIN KOWA MICRO FINANCE BANK LTD and MAMMAN IRMIYA JATAU sometime in 2012 in Jos within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, retained the sum of N50, 000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira only) in your First Bank plc account number 2016452671 owned and operated by you which sum you reasonably ought to have know represents proceeds of unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011( As Amended by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2012) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act".


Having noticed the absence of the first defendant’s counsel and the absence of the fourth defendant during the day’s proceeding, prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Buba informed the court that all the defendants were aware of the sitting, having been duly served hearing notices through their respective counsels. He therefore prayed for a bench warrant to be issued against the fourth defendant and a clarification from the first defendant as to who would represent him.


“My Lord, the defendants have been served hearing notice through their counsels, however, the fourth defendant is not in court today. In view of the absence of any formal communication to the court, explaining the absence of the fourth defendant,  we shall be humbly applying for the issuance of bench warrant against the fourth defendant, and also his sureties to be summoned to show cause why they should not forfeit their respective bonds that is before the court," he said.   He asked for a fresh arraignment date in addition.


In respect of the first defendant whose counsel was not in court, Buba prayed the court to find out from him if he intended to represent himself or needed to get another representation to avoid continued delay of the arraignment and subsequent trial.


Responding, G.G Aji, counsel to Jonas, the second defendant informed the court that the fourth defendant was absent in court having passed on. “On the absence of the fourth defendant, my lord, I can confirm to you that he is dead, I know him in person,” the counsel said.


After listening to the counsels, Justice Ishaya adjourned the matter till July 1, 2024 for arraignment and ordered the sureties of the fourth defendant to produce him in court  or  show course why they should not forfeit their bonds. 


The defendants are before the court following claims of some petitioners alleging that they formed a fraudulent cooperative society with which they fleece unsuspecting members of the public in Plateau State and beyond their resources. They were also alleged to have laundered the proceeds of their crime through investments in properties in Jos.



Source: EFCC









The arraignment of Okewole Dayo, Bishop Katung Jonas, Dadin Kowa Microfinance Bank and Mamman Irmiya Jatau before Justice Sharon T. Ishaya of the Federal High Court, Jos, Plateau State was stalled on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 due to absence of counsel to the first defendant, Dayo as well as the absence of the fourth defendant, Jatau.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is prosecuting the quartet on 24-count charges that border on conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and money laundering to the  tune of N178,885,000 (One Hundred and Seventy-eight Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty -five Thousand Naira).


Count two of the charge reads: “That you, OKEWOLE DAYO (Alias OKEWOLE DAVID DAYO)and BISHOP KATUNG JONAS being Secretary and Chairman of Covenant Fadama Cooperative Society, sometime in 2012, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did knowingly transferred the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira only) from Covenant Fadama Cooperative Society Account First Bank Account number 2003050001625 into Dadin Kowa Micro Finance Account; First Bank Account number 2016452671 which sum represent proceeds of unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011( As Amended by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2012) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act".


Count three reads: "That you DADIN KOWA MICRO FINANCE BANK LTD and MAMMAN IRMIYA JATAU sometime in 2012 in Jos within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, retained the sum of N50, 000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira only) in your First Bank plc account number 2016452671 owned and operated by you which sum you reasonably ought to have know represents proceeds of unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011( As Amended by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2012) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act".


Having noticed the absence of the first defendant’s counsel and the absence of the fourth defendant during the day’s proceeding, prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Buba informed the court that all the defendants were aware of the sitting, having been duly served hearing notices through their respective counsels. He therefore prayed for a bench warrant to be issued against the fourth defendant and a clarification from the first defendant as to who would represent him.


“My Lord, the defendants have been served hearing notice through their counsels, however, the fourth defendant is not in court today. In view of the absence of any formal communication to the court, explaining the absence of the fourth defendant,  we shall be humbly applying for the issuance of bench warrant against the fourth defendant, and also his sureties to be summoned to show cause why they should not forfeit their respective bonds that is before the court," he said.   He asked for a fresh arraignment date in addition.


In respect of the first defendant whose counsel was not in court, Buba prayed the court to find out from him if he intended to represent himself or needed to get another representation to avoid continued delay of the arraignment and subsequent trial.


Responding, G.G Aji, counsel to Jonas, the second defendant informed the court that the fourth defendant was absent in court having passed on. “On the absence of the fourth defendant, my lord, I can confirm to you that he is dead, I know him in person,” the counsel said.


After listening to the counsels, Justice Ishaya adjourned the matter till July 1, 2024 for arraignment and ordered the sureties of the fourth defendant to produce him in court  or  show course why they should not forfeit their bonds. 


The defendants are before the court following claims of some petitioners alleging that they formed a fraudulent cooperative society with which they fleece unsuspecting members of the public in Plateau State and beyond their resources. They were also alleged to have laundered the proceeds of their crime through investments in properties in Jos.



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 

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 

EFCC Arrests 23 Suspected Internet Fraudsters in Enugu

EFCC Arrests 23 Suspected Internet Fraudsters in Enugu


Operatives of the Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have arrested twenty-three (23) suspected internet fraudsters in Enugu State.


The suspects were arrested on May 10, 2024 in Igboeze, Nsukka and Enugu metropolis following actionable intelligence concerning their alleged online criminal activities.


Items recovered from them include; three cars, mobile phones, laptops, one Point Of Sale (POS) machine and several incriminating documents.


They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded 


Source: EFCC


Operatives of the Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have arrested twenty-three (23) suspected internet fraudsters in Enugu State.


The suspects were arrested on May 10, 2024 in Igboeze, Nsukka and Enugu metropolis following actionable intelligence concerning their alleged online criminal activities.


Items recovered from them include; three cars, mobile phones, laptops, one Point Of Sale (POS) machine and several incriminating documents.


They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded 


Source: EFCC

EFCC Arrests 23 Suspected Internet Fraudsters in Ebonyi

EFCC Arrests 23 Suspected Internet Fraudsters in Ebonyi


Operatives of the Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC have arrested twenty-three (23) suspected internet fraudsters in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.


The suspects were arrested in the early hours of Thursday, May 2, 2024 following actionable intelligence on their suspected involvement in internet related activities.


Items recovered from them include one laptop and mobile phones.


The suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

 


Source: EFCC 


Operatives of the Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC have arrested twenty-three (23) suspected internet fraudsters in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.


The suspects were arrested in the early hours of Thursday, May 2, 2024 following actionable intelligence on their suspected involvement in internet related activities.


Items recovered from them include one laptop and mobile phones.


The suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

 


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. 

 

American International School, Abuja should be charged Along Yahaya Bello — Sowore

American International School, Abuja should be charged Along Yahaya Bello — Sowore


The human rights activist and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC Omoyele Sowore has said the American International School, Abuja, where the EFCC wanted former Kogi state governor Yahaya Bello and his former Chief of Staff, Ali Bello, laundered close to $ 1 million in the name of paying “future school fees” of their wards should be charged and prosecuted for money laundering instead of being allowed to refund the money.


In his words on x , formerly known as Twitter:

The American International School @AISAbuja, where fugitive former Kogi state governor Yahaya Bello @OfficialGYBKogi and his former Chief of Staff, Ali Bello, laundered close to $ 1 million in the name of paying “future school fees” of their wards should be charged and prosecuted for money laundering instead of being allowed to refund the money; 


this is the way the American justice system treats such cases on US soil, the @officialEFCC must also ensure the school discloses all such school fees paid by Politically Exposed Persons  (PEPs), 


I am sure there are a lot of discoveries that would be uncovered such that the school could be converted to a public school instead of its criminal connivance with financial criminals fleecing the Nigerian public across board, these must necessary apply to these ultra-expensive private schools in Nigeria. #RevolutionNow






The human rights activist and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC Omoyele Sowore has said the American International School, Abuja, where the EFCC wanted former Kogi state governor Yahaya Bello and his former Chief of Staff, Ali Bello, laundered close to $ 1 million in the name of paying “future school fees” of their wards should be charged and prosecuted for money laundering instead of being allowed to refund the money.


In his words on x , formerly known as Twitter:

The American International School @AISAbuja, where fugitive former Kogi state governor Yahaya Bello @OfficialGYBKogi and his former Chief of Staff, Ali Bello, laundered close to $ 1 million in the name of paying “future school fees” of their wards should be charged and prosecuted for money laundering instead of being allowed to refund the money; 


this is the way the American justice system treats such cases on US soil, the @officialEFCC must also ensure the school discloses all such school fees paid by Politically Exposed Persons  (PEPs), 


I am sure there are a lot of discoveries that would be uncovered such that the school could be converted to a public school instead of its criminal connivance with financial criminals fleecing the Nigerian public across board, these must necessary apply to these ultra-expensive private schools in Nigeria. #RevolutionNow





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

EFCC Arrests Nine Suspected Internet Fraudsters in Port Harcourt

EFCC Arrests Nine Suspected Internet Fraudsters in Port Harcourt


Operatives of the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have arrested seven suspected internet fraudsters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.


They were arrested following actionable intelligence on their suspected involvement in internet-related offences.  


Items recovered from them include different brands of mobile devices, laptops, two cars and several incriminating documents in their possession.


They will soon be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

 

Source: EFCC 


Operatives of the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have arrested seven suspected internet fraudsters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.


They were arrested following actionable intelligence on their suspected involvement in internet-related offences.  


Items recovered from them include different brands of mobile devices, laptops, two cars and several incriminating documents in their possession.


They will soon be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

 

Source: EFCC 

How Yahaya Bello paid the tuition fee for his children from the 2025 session through the 2031 session

How Yahaya Bello paid the tuition fee for his children from the 2025 session through the 2031 session

Ex Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello paid the tuition fee for his children from the 2025 session through the 2035 session.

Yahaya Bello paid $845,000 for five children to attend the American International School of Abuja. It’s paid in advance until 2035 pic.twitter.com/BfEOP3hTnH

— Senator Dino Melaye. (SDM) (@_dinomelaye) April 26, 2024

Some of the receipts of the $845,000 (Over 1 Billion naira, which he withdrew from Kogi state bank account) school fees paid by Yahaya Bello to American International School of Abuja.


Yahaya Bello signed a contract with the American International School of Abuja to prepay $845,000 in school fees. However, EFCC asked American International School of Abuja to forward the $845,000 school fees paid by Yahaya Bello. They offer to refund £760, 000 of the said amount. 


See the attached documents, all fees settled until the children graduate from the school!







Source: Social media 

Ex Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello paid the tuition fee for his children from the 2025 session through the 2035 session.

Yahaya Bello paid $845,000 for five children to attend the American International School of Abuja. It’s paid in advance until 2035 pic.twitter.com/BfEOP3hTnH

— Senator Dino Melaye. (SDM) (@_dinomelaye) April 26, 2024

Some of the receipts of the $845,000 (Over 1 Billion naira, which he withdrew from Kogi state bank account) school fees paid by Yahaya Bello to American International School of Abuja.


Yahaya Bello signed a contract with the American International School of Abuja to prepay $845,000 in school fees. However, EFCC asked American International School of Abuja to forward the $845,000 school fees paid by Yahaya Bello. They offer to refund £760, 000 of the said amount. 


See the attached documents, all fees settled until the children graduate from the school!







Source: Social media 

Court Adjourns Hearing on Binance Executive’s Bail Application

Court Adjourns Hearing on Binance Executive’s Bail Application


Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 adjourned hearing on the bail application of Binance Holdings Limited  and its executive, Tigran Gambaryan till May 17, 2024.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is prosecuting Gambaryan alongside Binance Holdings Ltd and Nadeem Anjarwalla, (currently at large) on five-count charges bordering on alleged tax evasion, currency speculation and money laundering to tune of $34,400,000 (Thirty-Four Million, Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).


The court had on Thursday, April 18, 2024 adjourned trial till Tuesday for prosecution counsel, Mr Ekele Eheanacho to respond to a bail application filed by the defence counsel, Mark Mordi (SAN).  


At Tuesday’s  proceedings, Mordi argued that the court had the power to grant bail to the defendant and impose conditions to ensure his presence in court.


"My lord, we have an application filed on April 4, 2024, supported by a 17-paragraph affidavit. We rely on all depositions found in the affidavit. There are four reasons why my lord should grant us bail. Pursuant to Section 157 and 52 of ACJA, my Lord has the power to grant bail. It is not a capital offence or felony," Mordi said.


However, Eheanacho opposed the bail application, stating that the defendant is a flight risk. "The defendant attempted to obtain a new passport, which he claimed was stolen, and this was a suspicious act given the proximity to his colleague's escape from custody. We cannot risk granting him bail, especially since he is not attached to any community in Nigeria," he said.


Arguing further, Iheanacho stated that "the fact that the passport of the defendant is with the complainant does not guarantee that he will remain in Nigeria, because the defendant is not only an American citizen but also an Armenian citizen by birth. We are urging the honourable court to refuse the application and instead remand him in EFCC custody to ensure his safety and prevent potential flight risk.”


In response to this, Mordi argued that the defendant posed no flight risk and that the prosecution was not certain that the defendant has an Armenian passport, adding that “Moreover, there is no Armenian Embassy in Nigeria that issues or prints passports."


After listening to the submissions, the court adjourned the matter till May 17, 2024, for ruling on the bail application. 

 



Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 adjourned hearing on the bail application of Binance Holdings Limited  and its executive, Tigran Gambaryan till May 17, 2024.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is prosecuting Gambaryan alongside Binance Holdings Ltd and Nadeem Anjarwalla, (currently at large) on five-count charges bordering on alleged tax evasion, currency speculation and money laundering to tune of $34,400,000 (Thirty-Four Million, Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).


The court had on Thursday, April 18, 2024 adjourned trial till Tuesday for prosecution counsel, Mr Ekele Eheanacho to respond to a bail application filed by the defence counsel, Mark Mordi (SAN).  


At Tuesday’s  proceedings, Mordi argued that the court had the power to grant bail to the defendant and impose conditions to ensure his presence in court.


"My lord, we have an application filed on April 4, 2024, supported by a 17-paragraph affidavit. We rely on all depositions found in the affidavit. There are four reasons why my lord should grant us bail. Pursuant to Section 157 and 52 of ACJA, my Lord has the power to grant bail. It is not a capital offence or felony," Mordi said.


However, Eheanacho opposed the bail application, stating that the defendant is a flight risk. "The defendant attempted to obtain a new passport, which he claimed was stolen, and this was a suspicious act given the proximity to his colleague's escape from custody. We cannot risk granting him bail, especially since he is not attached to any community in Nigeria," he said.


Arguing further, Iheanacho stated that "the fact that the passport of the defendant is with the complainant does not guarantee that he will remain in Nigeria, because the defendant is not only an American citizen but also an Armenian citizen by birth. We are urging the honourable court to refuse the application and instead remand him in EFCC custody to ensure his safety and prevent potential flight risk.”


In response to this, Mordi argued that the defendant posed no flight risk and that the prosecution was not certain that the defendant has an Armenian passport, adding that “Moreover, there is no Armenian Embassy in Nigeria that issues or prints passports."


After listening to the submissions, the court adjourned the matter till May 17, 2024, for ruling on the bail application. 

 


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

Nigeria's Immigration Service, EFCC Declared Ex—Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello Wanted

Nigeria's Immigration Service, EFCC Declared Ex—Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello Wanted

 Following the EFCC fail attempt to arrest the immediate past governor of Kogi state Yahaya Bello in Abuja and subsequently declared him wanted. Another institution of the state, Nigeria's Immigration Service has also declared him wanted.

See the letter by the immigration service:


EFCC:



 Following the EFCC fail attempt to arrest the immediate past governor of Kogi state Yahaya Bello in Abuja and subsequently declared him wanted. Another institution of the state, Nigeria's Immigration Service has also declared him wanted.

See the letter by the immigration service:


EFCC:



OPINION: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐅𝐂𝐂, 𝐁𝐨𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐤𝐲, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧

OPINION: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐅𝐂𝐂, 𝐁𝐨𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐤𝐲, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧

By Dr. Ugo Egbujo 



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)  must choose its fights sensibly. An Ijele doesn’t go about dancing at babies’ birthday parties just to be noticed. The EFCC must leave some jobs for local Police DPOs. So, it can focus on serious financial crimes. This gbegboro attitude inhibits specialisation. More importantly, the EFCC must never forget that it wrestles against principalities and powers against whom it needs the confidence of the masses. Seeking to clean cobwebs while elephants freely defecate in the room is self-deceit. 


The EFCC has recently set up a task force to prevent the abuse of the Nigerian currency, the naira. The focus of this task force has been on preventing celebrities and, perhaps, the public from spraying the naira at social events, as the EFCC sees this as a form of irreparable damage to the currency. Although the law is in place to preserve currency notes and save reprinting costs, the EFCC has taken it to be a serious financial crime. If lawmakers had trained their focus on stopping the display of exhibitionism or money worship in order to prevent the spread of lasciviousness and reset societal values rather than mere naira abuse, the people would have been happy. However, enforcing laws against harmless cultural practices portrays law enforcement as bereft of a critical sense of priorities.


In the United States, celebrities spray money on strippers. So, spraying cash on people isn’t such a universal crime as the EFCC’s preoccupation with it suggests. In Igbo land, if a grandma dances, she has to be sprayed cash. Putting the money in her bag or pocket drains the ritual of the ceremony. If that damages the naira, then the quality of the notes needs improvement to meet significant cultural uses. Money is more than a sterile medium of exchange. We used to have pseudo-plastic notes in the past. But this new meddlesome law also forbids the throwing of coins. So, the primary motivation for the prohibition can’t even be mutilation because it’s so non-discriminating. Now, the EFCC wastes its time and scarce resources pursuing young men and women spraying their hard-earned naira on their friends and relatives while indicted criminal suspects occupy ministerial positions at the nation’s capital


An institution with limited resources ought to define its priorities soberly. While the EFCC was running around Borisky, Yahaya Bello, who likes to call his narcissistic self White Lion, was still at large. If the EFCC was thinking of the Broken Windows Theory, then it should have focused on the obscene display of wealth, not the spraying of naira, which almost all poor and decent people in Nigeria do anyway. Now, Bobrisky is in prison after pleading guilty as a first offender, but Yahaya Bello can’t be arrested.


He wasn’t arrested a couple of days ago because after the EFCC laid a siege on the house where he refuged, the policemen protecting the man at large shut out the EFCC violently. That wasn’t the peak of the absurdity. While the EFCC agents were languishing in helplessness under the angry sun, a governor stormed the cordoned area with thugs and gained easy entrance into the house. The humiliated EFCC men watched like schoolboys. Such life-sucking impotence. All these happened a stone’s throw from the seat of power. The godson shoved the EFCC aside and whisked away his godfather from the trembling hands of the timid law. Sheer movie stuff. Blockbuster gangsterism. 


After the EFCC chickened away in peace, it issued a press release. In that gutless release, it couldn’t dare to be specific let alone name names. In that statement that reeked of abject impotence, it found the verve to warn the public that in future, it would deal decisively with people who employed thugs to disrupt or obstruct its operations. A governor might have immunity, but does his immunity permit him to handcuff EFCC agents or commit criminal offences while law enforcement agents watch?


His immunity doesn’t confer anything on all the aides and security agents who may choose to assist him in committing the crime before newsmen.The next day was court sitting. Yahaya bello was still at large. The EFCC said they could be forced to invite the military to assist them. What more do they want to suffer? However, that statement was a naked indictment of the police and DSS. Granted, both can’t often handle bandits, but should a chicken-hearted white lion hiding in the Government House in Lokoja require military intervention too?


The helpless EFCC has declared the man wanted, begging the public to help track the man. The public is supposed to find the man the EFCC had in its claws and let a baby governor snatch away? The public should find a man being protected by the state. The world is watching. The Attorney General could have struck while it was hot in Abuja. But he dilly-dallied. A firm pronouncement from the Chief Law Officer to the police and DSS would have drained courage from the lawless governor.


When the Attorney General woke up from slumber the next day, he preached that citizens must always submit themselves to law enforcement agents when needed. He called no names. He issued no public orders. Tepidly, he said the world would have no respect for the country if governors started to act like wild animals. Such preposterous lukewarmness. Tomorrow, we will attend an African Union meeting and expect respect. He should remind the president that foreign investors are watching the spectacle of the travesty of the rule of law.


This atrocious precedent took place under the presidency’s nose. Many thought that naked disruption of EFCC operations by other law enforcement agents had ended with Buhari. If it had been some Bobrisky rather than the revered Bobkogi who mobilised thugs to evade that arrest, the security agencies would have remembered they had breached presidential security. Rightly, but belatedly, the policemen attached to Yahaya Bello have been withdrawn, but when will they be prosecuted? After all, we are only a generator republic and not yet a plantain republic. 


The EFCC must choose its fights wisely. Some bemused young people are now planning to switch to spraying dollars at social events. That could mean more naira chasing the dollar. Some laws only exist to be part of the general legal architecture. And there are others, that must attract attention and venom. The EFCC’s greatest existential problem is corrupt politicians.  However, it appears the agency has an exceptionally elastic capacity to absorb humiliation from powerful politicians.


Often, the public looks away with disinterest not just because the EFCC likes to make up by chasing small fries, but after the EFCC went through the roof to arrest Rochas and charge him, the then Federal Attorney General hijacked the case from the EFCC.  That gradual and steady emasculation of the EFCC by big politicians has been quickened by Ododo. He knows he will suffer no consequences. Last year, an ex-governor publicly ridiculed the EFCC chairman who had fingered him for corruption. That ex-governor is now a minister. The EFCC lingers on his filthy files.


How does the EFCC feel when it goes against relatively innocuous offenders while those who have embezzled the state into penury swagger about in the corridors of power and thump their noses at it? Bobrisky went to prison at the speed of light. Bobkogi is still at large. When he is eventually arraigned, he might appear in a lion-skinned attire. His lawyers will secure his bail despite his having shown that he is a flight risk. Then he will return to Kogi to a hero’s welcome, drums beating, and women dancing under the sun, all arranged by his godson, Ododo. Most of the policemen withdrawn from him will return with him to Kogi for the triumphant homecoming. They might even receive awards from the state. We live right in a circus. Aristotle said, “At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice, he is the worst.”


The EFCC must reassess its priorities to prevent politicians from turn the eagle into a chicken, a scaveger for small things.

By Dr. Ugo Egbujo 



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)  must choose its fights sensibly. An Ijele doesn’t go about dancing at babies’ birthday parties just to be noticed. The EFCC must leave some jobs for local Police DPOs. So, it can focus on serious financial crimes. This gbegboro attitude inhibits specialisation. More importantly, the EFCC must never forget that it wrestles against principalities and powers against whom it needs the confidence of the masses. Seeking to clean cobwebs while elephants freely defecate in the room is self-deceit. 


The EFCC has recently set up a task force to prevent the abuse of the Nigerian currency, the naira. The focus of this task force has been on preventing celebrities and, perhaps, the public from spraying the naira at social events, as the EFCC sees this as a form of irreparable damage to the currency. Although the law is in place to preserve currency notes and save reprinting costs, the EFCC has taken it to be a serious financial crime. If lawmakers had trained their focus on stopping the display of exhibitionism or money worship in order to prevent the spread of lasciviousness and reset societal values rather than mere naira abuse, the people would have been happy. However, enforcing laws against harmless cultural practices portrays law enforcement as bereft of a critical sense of priorities.


In the United States, celebrities spray money on strippers. So, spraying cash on people isn’t such a universal crime as the EFCC’s preoccupation with it suggests. In Igbo land, if a grandma dances, she has to be sprayed cash. Putting the money in her bag or pocket drains the ritual of the ceremony. If that damages the naira, then the quality of the notes needs improvement to meet significant cultural uses. Money is more than a sterile medium of exchange. We used to have pseudo-plastic notes in the past. But this new meddlesome law also forbids the throwing of coins. So, the primary motivation for the prohibition can’t even be mutilation because it’s so non-discriminating. Now, the EFCC wastes its time and scarce resources pursuing young men and women spraying their hard-earned naira on their friends and relatives while indicted criminal suspects occupy ministerial positions at the nation’s capital


An institution with limited resources ought to define its priorities soberly. While the EFCC was running around Borisky, Yahaya Bello, who likes to call his narcissistic self White Lion, was still at large. If the EFCC was thinking of the Broken Windows Theory, then it should have focused on the obscene display of wealth, not the spraying of naira, which almost all poor and decent people in Nigeria do anyway. Now, Bobrisky is in prison after pleading guilty as a first offender, but Yahaya Bello can’t be arrested.


He wasn’t arrested a couple of days ago because after the EFCC laid a siege on the house where he refuged, the policemen protecting the man at large shut out the EFCC violently. That wasn’t the peak of the absurdity. While the EFCC agents were languishing in helplessness under the angry sun, a governor stormed the cordoned area with thugs and gained easy entrance into the house. The humiliated EFCC men watched like schoolboys. Such life-sucking impotence. All these happened a stone’s throw from the seat of power. The godson shoved the EFCC aside and whisked away his godfather from the trembling hands of the timid law. Sheer movie stuff. Blockbuster gangsterism. 


After the EFCC chickened away in peace, it issued a press release. In that gutless release, it couldn’t dare to be specific let alone name names. In that statement that reeked of abject impotence, it found the verve to warn the public that in future, it would deal decisively with people who employed thugs to disrupt or obstruct its operations. A governor might have immunity, but does his immunity permit him to handcuff EFCC agents or commit criminal offences while law enforcement agents watch?


His immunity doesn’t confer anything on all the aides and security agents who may choose to assist him in committing the crime before newsmen.The next day was court sitting. Yahaya bello was still at large. The EFCC said they could be forced to invite the military to assist them. What more do they want to suffer? However, that statement was a naked indictment of the police and DSS. Granted, both can’t often handle bandits, but should a chicken-hearted white lion hiding in the Government House in Lokoja require military intervention too?


The helpless EFCC has declared the man wanted, begging the public to help track the man. The public is supposed to find the man the EFCC had in its claws and let a baby governor snatch away? The public should find a man being protected by the state. The world is watching. The Attorney General could have struck while it was hot in Abuja. But he dilly-dallied. A firm pronouncement from the Chief Law Officer to the police and DSS would have drained courage from the lawless governor.


When the Attorney General woke up from slumber the next day, he preached that citizens must always submit themselves to law enforcement agents when needed. He called no names. He issued no public orders. Tepidly, he said the world would have no respect for the country if governors started to act like wild animals. Such preposterous lukewarmness. Tomorrow, we will attend an African Union meeting and expect respect. He should remind the president that foreign investors are watching the spectacle of the travesty of the rule of law.


This atrocious precedent took place under the presidency’s nose. Many thought that naked disruption of EFCC operations by other law enforcement agents had ended with Buhari. If it had been some Bobrisky rather than the revered Bobkogi who mobilised thugs to evade that arrest, the security agencies would have remembered they had breached presidential security. Rightly, but belatedly, the policemen attached to Yahaya Bello have been withdrawn, but when will they be prosecuted? After all, we are only a generator republic and not yet a plantain republic. 


The EFCC must choose its fights wisely. Some bemused young people are now planning to switch to spraying dollars at social events. That could mean more naira chasing the dollar. Some laws only exist to be part of the general legal architecture. And there are others, that must attract attention and venom. The EFCC’s greatest existential problem is corrupt politicians.  However, it appears the agency has an exceptionally elastic capacity to absorb humiliation from powerful politicians.


Often, the public looks away with disinterest not just because the EFCC likes to make up by chasing small fries, but after the EFCC went through the roof to arrest Rochas and charge him, the then Federal Attorney General hijacked the case from the EFCC.  That gradual and steady emasculation of the EFCC by big politicians has been quickened by Ododo. He knows he will suffer no consequences. Last year, an ex-governor publicly ridiculed the EFCC chairman who had fingered him for corruption. That ex-governor is now a minister. The EFCC lingers on his filthy files.


How does the EFCC feel when it goes against relatively innocuous offenders while those who have embezzled the state into penury swagger about in the corridors of power and thump their noses at it? Bobrisky went to prison at the speed of light. Bobkogi is still at large. When he is eventually arraigned, he might appear in a lion-skinned attire. His lawyers will secure his bail despite his having shown that he is a flight risk. Then he will return to Kogi to a hero’s welcome, drums beating, and women dancing under the sun, all arranged by his godson, Ododo. Most of the policemen withdrawn from him will return with him to Kogi for the triumphant homecoming. They might even receive awards from the state. We live right in a circus. Aristotle said, “At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice, he is the worst.”


The EFCC must reassess its priorities to prevent politicians from turn the eagle into a chicken, a scaveger for small things.

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 

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