Wednesday , 26 June 2019
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Tag Archives: EFCC

AGF takes over Goje’s N25bn fraud case

The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) on Friday took over the case of alleged N25 billion fraud filed against former Gombe State Governor Danjuma Goje from the EFCC.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports in Jos that for almost eight years, the EFCC had been prosecuting the former governor until Friday.

The case, which is before Justice Babatunde Quadiri of Jos Federal High Court II, has even gone to the Jos Court of Appeal over the remaining two count charge out of 21 filed against him by EFCC.

The Appellate Court is yet to fix a date for the hearing of the appeal.

When the case up for an emergency hearing before Justice Quadiri, the EFCC Counsel,Mr Wahab Shittu, told Court that the agency was withdrawing from the case and handing it over the office of the Attorney-General for continuation.

“My Lord, this case was earlier adjourned for June 20 for continuation of hearing, but then we are here today on the latest development on the matter.

“We as EFCC counsels are withdrawing from the matter and handing it over to the office of the Attorney-General for continuation with the prosecution.

“As you can, in Court today is a State Counsel from the AG’F’s office to formally take over this case from us,“ Shittu declared.

Responding, Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN), did not object to the EFCC withdrawal and handing over of the case to the Attorney-General.

“My Lord we not objecting to the anti-graft withdrawal and handing over the prosecution to the AG’s office,“ Erokoro said.

Mr Pius Asika, Counsel from the office of the attorney general, however, announced his appearance for the case.

Asika then applied for an adjournment to enable him prepared for the case proper “having come into the matter today (Friday).

Justice Quadiri then adjourned to the case to June 21, 2019 for continuation of hearing.

EFCC to arraign woman who claimed snake swallowed N35m in Benue, five others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will on Friday arraign a controversial official of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Philomina Chishe and five others for trial over alleged N35million fraud.

Chieshe was alleged to have told operatives of the anti-graft commission that a snake swallowed the cash in question.

The other five officials facing trial are Samuel Umoru, Yakubu Jekada, Daniel Agbo, Priscilla Ogunsola, and Aliyu Yakubu.

All the suspects will be tried by Justice Peter Afen of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja,

A brief on the case reads: “Philomena, who is a JAMB official in Benue State, became popular when she made an outlandish claim that a mysterious snake swallowed about N35million cash arising from sale of e-JAMB cards in the state.

“The controversial JAMB official is being prosecuted by the EFCC on an eight-count charge, following her refusal to furnish the management of JAMB the true information on the financial status of JAMB e-cards supplied to the Benue Zonal office between 2014 and 2016.

“Instead of Philomena rendering account on the said N35million, being the shortfall of unremitted e-JAMB cards in connivance with other officials, she claimed that a mysterious snake swallowed the money.

“According to the EFCC, Philomena ought to know that the shortfall in the unremitted e-JAMB cards, which she claimed disappeared as a result of manipulation from the kingdom of darkness is false and untenable before the law.

“The commission added that the action of Philomena was contrary to section 139 (a) of the Penal Code Law.

“The commission has also arraigned another JAMB official, Labaran Tanko, on Tuesday while the defendant pleaded not guilty to the offence.”

The EFCC gave insights into how the fraud was uncovered and those involved.

Another document said: “The remittance of over N8billion by the Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede to the Federal Government as revenue led to the Forensic Investigation of Financial Activities of JAMB between 2010 and 2016 by Faithpro Consulting Auditing Associate (Financial and Management Consultants).

“The forensic investigators came up with N8.7billion shortfall within the same period which the EFCC has been investigating. There are about 15 suspects who may face trial in the first batch.”

According to the document, the fraud bordered on alleged diversion of revenue from the sales of e-facility cards and change of course cards.

Some of the states where the fraud was detected, include Benue, Nasarawa, Kano, Kogi, Plateau, Gombe, Yobe and Edo.

Some of the suspects under investigation, who may face trial, include Chise and Sale Umar(Benue); Labaran Tanko(Nasarawa); Daniel Agbo(Kogi), Yakubu Jekada(Plateau), Patricia Ogunsola and Cyril Izireim Imoukhuede(Edo); Murtala Abdul(Gombe); Aliyu Yakubu(Kano) among others.

Okorocha, Imo ex-governor not arrested – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has denied allegations that its operatives have arrested immediate past Governor of Imo, Rochas Okorocha.

Reports had emerged Thursday that the commission arrested Okorocha and his wife, Nkechi.

Reacting to the report,  EFCC’s spokesman, Mr Tony Orilade told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday that the report “is fake”.

“The report is fake news, just disregard it,” he said.

Recently, the Commission’s Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu affirmed that the anti-graft agency was investigating the former governor who handed over leadership of the state to Emeka Ihedioha after his eight years tenure.

“Of course, we are doing a couple of checks and investigations here and there.

“We are investigating almost everybody,” the EFCC boss had said.

He noted that the commission had to get to a certain level before it could disclose any information about an ongoing investigation.

Magu explained that this was necessary to prevent any action that could jeopardise or interfere with the process of the inquiry.

EFCC arrests proprietor, students of Yahoo Yahoo training school

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal Office, has arrested the proprietor of a Yahoo Yahoo training school in Lagos, Frank Chinedu.

Chinedu, 22, was arrested alongside eight students of the unnamed training centre located at 14, Animashaun Street, Progressive Estate, Ojodu Berger, Lagos, while receiving lectures in internet fraud activities.

The students are: Ahmed Musa, 24; Desmond Eze, 29; Preye Kingsley, 23; Benjamin Irabor, 21; Benjamin Opah, 19; Akapo Prosper, 22; Innocent Paul, 20 and Olamide Edun, 20.

House where Yahoo Yahoo boys were arrested under investigation
House where Yahoo Yahoo boys were arrested under investigation

The suspected internet fraudsters were arrested under cover on May 22, 2019, following intelligence reports received by the Commission about their involvement in alleged criminal activities.

Items recovered from the suspects at the point of arrest include nine laptops, 16 mobile phones, an Airtel modem, Orange Wifi and one Toyota Camry with registration number EPE406FN.

The suspects will soon be charged to court.

N136m Fraud: Ex-NIMASA DG, Calistus Obi, to be sentenced June 3

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, has fixed June 3, 2019 to give sentence, following the conviction of a former acting Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Calistus Obi.

Obi was on May 23, 2019 convicted along with Alu Dimas, an aide to Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director-General of NIMASA. They were arraigned along with two companies, Grand Pact Limited and Global Sea Investment, on April 12, 2016, on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, conversion and money laundering to the tune of N136million (One Hundred and Thirty Six Million Naira).

Justice Olatoregun had found the first defendant guilty of counts five, six, seven and eight. The second defendant was also found guilty of counts two and four.

Consequently, Justice Olatoregun had adjourned the case till May 28, 2019 for counsel to address the court on sentencing.

At the resumed sitting, counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, argued that the defendants wasted the time of the court, so they did not qualify to enjoy the discretion of the court in not imposing the maximum sentence.

He said: “This is a time we must begin to make statements that send a signal to public servants and those entrusted with public funds not to betray the trust imposed on them as the court had found in this case.

“The first and second defendant converted the total sum of N111 million to their personal use, while the first, third, and fourth defendants converted the sum of N114 million to their personal use.

“The court has the power to order them to refund the money and compensate the Agency for the funds already utilised.

“We also urge the court to order the forfeiture to the Federal Government of the sum of N30 million recovered by the EFCC from the first defendant.”

Oyedepo also urged the court to order the forfeiture of a hotel, La Diva Hotel and Events Centre in Asaba, Delta State, belonging to the first defendant, to the Federal Government, adding that “Doing this will also send a warning signal to intending members of the public, who want to dip their hands into public funds.”

He further urged the court to make an order imposing a 100 percent fine on the third and fourth defendants, as contained in the provisions of sections 15(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Acts, ACJA, on corporate bodies found guilty of such allegations.

Counsel to the first convict, Mobolaji Kuti, urged the court to temper justice with mercy, saying, “My Lord, my client is a first time offender, with no past criminal records.”

Kuti further told the court that his client had been actively involved in public service in the country, including being a former chairman of a local government and a founder of a charity organisation.

Kuti further told the court that his client was in the EFCC detention for a month before being arraigned.

Counsel to the second defendant, Collins Ogbona, told the court that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against his client beyond reasonable doubt.

He said his client was just used as a conduit pipe for being a Personal Assistant to his boss in the Agency.

Ogbona, who said his client was kept in the EFCC custody for three months, therefore, urged the Judge to temper justice with mercy.

He added that “if my client is found guilty, I pray my Lord to pronounce a non-custodian sentence.”

Consequently, Justice Olatoregun directed all parties to forward any necessary citations regarding their addresses to the court.

“I will like to adjourn one more to consider the issues raised by both parties,” the Judge said, and ordered that the convicts should be remanded in prison till the next adjourned date.

How I spent alleged N400m loot – Metuh

Olisa Metuh, the former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, on Tuesday, told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, how he spent an alleged N400 million traced to him as proceed of money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

According to Metuh, while testifying before Justice Okon Abang, said “We leased an office through the late Chief Tony Anenih, amounting to N25million. He requested for cash payment and over N21Million was made in cheque in his name and delivered to him. The office was fully furnished with state -of –the- art -computers, internet facility, two brand new generators and staff had 24-hours access to the office daily”.

He further revealed that N37million was used for media engagements and meetings with editors in Nigeria, adding that expenditures on analysts, content developers, core staff and support staff hired for the purpose of the assignment amounted to N13million, “while CNC connect one of the consulting firms came to N7million”, he said.

He also revealed that workshops and perception management campaign cost N23million and that N10million was spent on new media, while the production of materials, appearances on radio and other media services gulped N15million.

According to Metuh who is the first defendant in the matter, the cost of security, transportation, hotel allowances amongst others amounted to N47million. He said that the total amount spent in the South- south zone was N55million, while the Northern zone, handled by the late Tony Anene amounted to N97million with an additional N1.4million which was used for procurement of public address systems.

Metuh further told the court that the amount spent in the South-east region amounted to N40.4million, while honorarium for different recruited persons cost N200, 000 each adding that there were 57 of them.

While concluding his witness, Metuh said that a total sum of N421million was expended on supposed national assignment, as contained in exhibits before the court.

Recall that Metuh is being prosecuted by the, EFCC, for allegedly receiving N400million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, in 2014 to run advocacy campaign for former President Goodluck Jonathan ahead of the 2015 general elections.

During the continuation of his trial today, which had suffered many adjournments, Metuh accused the EFCC of engaging in media frenzy since his arrest in 2015. He added that he refused to provide a list which contains names of those he gave monies while executing the national assignment given to him by the former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“The whole issue borders on the investigation activities of EFCC, they requested that I provide the names of those I disbursed the monies to, I refused to discuss that with them, because I knew it was going to be a subject of media frenzy,” he said.

He said his story attracted several malicious newspaper headlines, adding further that the headlines presented him to be the one who embezzled the alleged N400m security funds.

While being led in evidence, the defendant denied making any payment through one Nneka Ararume (staff of ARM Pension) to Kabiru Ibrahim, a Bureau De Change operator. This was in response to the allegation that he gave $1m (One Million United States Dollar) to the BDC operator for the purpose of investment. Both had testified as prosecution witnesses before today’s trial.

“I did not make any payment of $1m to Kabiru Ibrahim through Nneka Ararume. Ararume has never acted as my agent in this transaction or any other, she is a staff of ARM”, he added.

Meanwhile, at the last sitting on May 24, 2019, the defendant during his examination stated that the national assignment given to him by Goodluck Jonathan has nothing to do with his party activities.

He further informed the court that it wasn’t his first time of executing a national assignment for a president adding that he was also able to execute a national assignment for former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Justice Abang there after adjourned the matter to June10 and 11, for cross-examination of the witness.

Zamfara SSG’s brother arrested with ‘N60m cash’ in car boot

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arrested one Murtala Muhammad said to be the younger brother of Abdullahi Shinkafi, secretary to the Zamfara state government, with N60 million in the boot of his car.

In a statement, the commission said its Sokoto zonal command arrested Muhammad following intelligence report.

The anti-graft agency disclosed that he was nabbed at 45 Igala housing estate, off byepass road, Gusau, Zamfara state by operatives of the commission.

EFCC officials with the Zamfara SSG brother
EFCC officials with the Zamfara SSG brother

“Items recovered from him at the point of arrest include one Black Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Jeep with registration number DKA 67 PX Kaduna loaded with four bags of ‘Ghana Must Go’ containing one thousand Naira notes of fifteen million naira each, totaling to sixty million naira,” the statement read.

“One single barrel gun, one locally made revolver pistol, 25 rounds of cartridges and 12 rounds of 12.9mm live ammunition. He will be charged to court as soon as investigation is completed.”

Court acquits Jonathan’s cousin of $40m fraud charges

An Abuja federal high court has discharged and acquitted Robert Azibaola, a cousin of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, of the $40 million laundering charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Azibaola was charged alongside Stella, his wife, and their company, One Plus Holdings Nigeria Limited for the alleged diversion of $40 million meant for the supply of tactical communication kits for special forces.

The money was allegedly transferred from the account of the office of Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the domiciliary account of their company.

Delivering judgement on Monday, Nnamdi Dimgba, the judge, ruled that no credible evidence was given to establish the allegation of money laundering against Azibaola.

He noted that the prosecutor should have produced Dasuki as a witness.

“That the EFCC and the prosecutor cried more than the bereaved,” the judge held.

“That the prosecutor has not been able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the 2-count charge against the defendant.

“The defendant is hereby discharged and acquainted and not guilty.”

During the trial, the anti-graft agency had called 10 witnesses and tendered 27 documents before the court, after which it closed its case on January 23.

Chris Uche, counsel to Azibaola, then filed a no-case submission to dismiss the charge against his clients.

Uche said the prosecution had failed to establish a nexus between the defendant and the alleged offence.

Share listing: EFCC raids MTN Nigeria head office

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Friday raided the MTN Nigeria head office in Falomo Ikoyi Lagos, shutting down all activities in the Complex, BusinessDay is reporting.

Although the reason for the raid could not be ascertained at the time of reporting, sources say members of the anti-graft agency stormed the telco’s head office, stopping all activities for alleged fraudulent financial activities pertaining to the company’s recent listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

“I believe the EFCC was informed that MTN was manipulating figures and also, maybe because of fraud pertaining to the company’s listing,” the source said.

MTN Nigeria was listed at a total of 20, 354,513,050 at N90 per share on May 16, after the company had completed all the necessary steps required by the NSE for listing which led to the approval.

On the day of the listing, MTN Nigeria was reported to have emerged as the second largest company on the nation’s bourse after Dangote Cement with a market capitalisation of N1.83 trillion.

BusinessDay said it contacted Funso Aina, MTN’s Public Relations Officer, who neither denied nor admitted that the company was raided, but said: “We will send out a statement to that effect very soon.

MTN share price had skyrocketed since its listing a week ago amid complaints that the shares were not available for sale to retail investors creating a pressure on demand and upward price movement.

MTN  share price soared to N149 per share on Friday but lost N9 to close at N140 and investors took quick profits.

EFCC arrests Covenant University IT staff for stealing N180m

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has confirmed the arrest of a member of staff of the Information Technology department of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State,  for allegedly diverting N180m school fees belonging to the school.

The EFCC’s acting Head, Media and Publicity, Tony Orilade,  in a text message to  one of our correspondents  said, “I  can confirm that  a Covenant University staff has been  with us for some days now over an alleged case of stealing reported by the Chancellor of the school.”

The diversion of the money was said to have taken years before the university discovered his alleged fraud.

The Chancellor of the university and Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo, reportedly described the suspect’s lifestyle as “riotous”.

The suspect was said to have bought some flashy cars, which he allegedly kept in a mansion he bought with part of the stolen money at  Lekki, Lagos,  despite having a house in the school where he lives with his wife.

The Punch

EFCC arrests health ministry workers over yellow fever card racketeering

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested four officials of Port Health Service of the Federal Ministry of Health in Benin City, Edo State over alleged e-yellow fever travel card racketeering.

The EFCC’s Acting Head, Media, and Publicity, Tony Orilade, in a statement on Saturday, said the Benin zonal office of the commission had, on Tuesday, arrested the suspects in a sting operation, after a petition.

Orilade said the petitioner had alleged that her aged mother, who was to travel to Europe, visited the Benin Office of Port Health Service to procure the e-yellow fever travel card, but, rather than lead her through the proper procedure, she was convinced to pay N10,000 to obtain the card instantly.

He added that, while boarding her flight at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, it was discovered that the e-yellow card did not have the Remita Retrieval Receipt Reference Identity.

The statement read, “She was subsequently compelled to get a proper one at the airport with the sum of N2,000. Based on the petition, the Benin zonal office of the EFCC sent two operatives to Port Health Service office in Benin, who pretended to have genuinely requested the e-yellow fever card.

“Unaware that they were EFCC operatives, the Port Health Service staff requested N7,000 as payment for each card. On payment of the amount, the EFCC operatives were issued with the cards instantly. The e-yellow fever travel card is officially N2,000.

“The illicit transaction made EFCC operatives swoop on Port Health Service office on Tuesday morning, arresting four of its officials. The arrested officials will be arraigned in court as soon as investigations are completed.”

EFCC files 11 charges against musician Naira Marley

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has preferred 11 charges bordering on fraud against upcoming musician, Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, for alleged credit card fraud.

The musician effectively risks seven years in jail if found guilty, as Section 33 (2) which he was accused of breaching, reads: “Any person who uses: a counterfeit access device; an unauthorised access device; an access device issued to another person; resulting in a loss or gain commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not more than seven years or a fine of not more than N5,000,000.00 and forfeiture of the advantage or value derived from his act.

The charges with suit number FHC/L/178C/19 were filed before a Lagos State High Court.

Some of the credit cards, according to the EFCC, bore the names- Nicole Louise Malyon, and Timea Fedorne Tatar.

The alleged crimes were in contravention of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the Cyber Crimes Act.

The charges read in part, “That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (still at large), on or about the 11th day of December 2018, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to use Access card 42658840359191132 issued to persons other than you in a bid to obtain gain and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27(1)(b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 33(2) of the Same Act.

“That you, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (still at large), on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, with intent to defraud possessed, counterfeit card 4921819410257431 issued to Timea Fedorne Tatar and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 33(9) of Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015.”

The artiste has been enmeshed in controversy in the last one month following his decision to openly support online fraud commonly called ‘Yahoo Yahoo.’

He was arrested last Friday along with four others, including his bosom friend, Zlatan Ibile.

Suspected Yahoo boys set attack dog on EFCC operatives

Detectives from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office got a dose of ‘corruption fighting back’ when suspected internet criminals also Yahoo boys, unleashed a dangerous dog on them in order to resist arrest.

Upon receipt of intelligence reports and launch of preliminary investigations into their alleged illegal activities, officers of the Commission stormed the suspects’ hideout at Agara area of Ibadan, Oyo State, at the early hours of Wednesday 15 May.

Instead of allowing them in, after proper introduction, one of the suspects instructed the guard to release the attack dog on the operatives.

This, however, failed to win as the officers were able to neutralise the animal and carry out extensive search on the apartment and effect arrest of the suspects.

Internet scammer who damaged his phone to prevent access by EFCC

Again, out of desperation to conceal useful information that could help the Commission in their investigation, one of the suspects smashed his android phone with the intention to destroy the gadget and deny access to the data therein.

The attempt equally failed as the operatives took possession of the broken phone, which is currently with the forensic unit, where analysis is being carried out to obtain data from it.

The second-in-command to the zonal head, Bright Igeleke, who led the operation, described the experience as part of the ‘hazards of the job’.

Suspects arrested in the operation are: Paul Afolabi, Balogun Ibrahim Adebayo, Izu Ibobo Chukwunalu, Abe Tolulope, Onifade Gidion Idowu, Komolafe Tosin and Igwe Kinsley Otuu.

Similarly, operatives from the zone earlier in the week arrested four other suspects over their alleged involvement in cyber-related offences.

The suspects are Adebisi Adewale Michael and Olowolayemo Olakunle Quddus, Opaaje Oluwatobi Isiah and Itowe Kelvin Olutayo. They are now under interrogation, and are giving useful information to the operatives in the quest to unravel the extent of their illegal activities.

Information obtained from them so far reveals that they used the internet to defraud unsuspecting victims while posing online as white ladies and foreign military officers.

At the point of their arrest, a Lexus car, iPhones, other brands of phones and International Passports were recovered from them.

All the arrested suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

EFCC stalls N6.9bn alleged fraud trial of Fayose

A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Tuesday, adjourned until May 21, the ongoing criminal trial of former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, facing N6.9 billion fraud charges.

The trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, had stood down the case for one hour, to await the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), when it was first called at 1.00p.m.

After the court and defence counsel had waited for one hour and prosecutor still did not show up, the court adjourned the case until May 21, for continuation of trial.

Fayose was arraigned on an 11 counts charge, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Oct. 22, 2018, alongside a company, Spotless Investment Ltd.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges, and the court had granted him bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.

EFCC opened the case for the prosecution on Nov. 19, 2018 and is still leading evidence.

At the last adjourned date on May 10, the prosecutor had sought for an adjournment of the case, after it informed the court that its 13th witness, Adewale Aladegbola, had proved “hostile” in his testimony.

In spite of objections to the application for adjournment by defence, the court had granted the prosecution an adjournment to enable it decide and bring its proper application before the court,  in relation to the hostile witness.

When the case was called on Tuesday, Messrs Ola Olanipekun (SAN) and Olalekan Ojo (SAN) had respectively announced appearances for the defendants.

Defence then informed the court that the prosecutor was absent and had not written any letter to them, and had urged the court to stand down the case for some time, to enable prosecutor attend court.

The matter was however, adjourned, after the stand down, yielded not result.

At the last date, the 13th witness for the prosecution, Adewale Aladegbola, had introduced himself as a former driver of a Bullion Van in Zenith bank, Ado-Ekiti branch as at 2015.

He had told the court that his area of duty was cash picking and in absence of cash to pick, he works in the marketing section.

When asked about the vehicles he used for his job, he had said he uses two vehicles namely: a Bullion Van and an Escort Van.

The prosecutor had then asked the witness to tell the court what transpired on April 16, 2015 in relation to cash operation in the bank and in response, the witness had said:

“I don’t have any operation; more so, the Bullion Van which I was using was grounded on that date,”

When asked to tell the court what transpired between him and one Alfa named Oputu Okiemute, he had said that he got to know the said Alfa in August.

“He told me about the cash they had picked and that we need to cover up as if we had gone to pick it up officially, and I asked him what do you want me to do now as you said I was not aware,” he had said

It was at this point, that the prosecutor informed the court that the witness was departing from the contents of his extra judicial statement made to the EFCC, and had sought an adjournment.

In the charge, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele were said to have on June 17, 2014, taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion, for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti State, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars, (about N1.8 billion) from the then Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution and which sum exceeded the amount allowed by law.

He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his Zenith bank account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which sum he ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain in their accounts, the aggregate sums of N851 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Besides, the defendant was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

The accused was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million, to acquire a property in Abuja, in the name of his elder sister Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also forms crime proceeds.

The offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011.

Court rejects EFCC’s request to investigate Oshiomole

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has lost out an effort seeking to charge the national chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Adams Oshiomole with corruption.

Justice Anwill Chikere of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday threw out the suit while ruling on the preliminary objection filed by Oshiomhole.

The APC national chairman had asked the court to dismiss the suit, arguing that the plaintiff lacked the legal right to institute the action.

Justice Anwili agreed with the counsel to the All Progressives Congress chairman , Mrs Uju Chukwura, that Section 6 of the EFCC Act mandates the Commission to investigate and prosecute any allegation of financial anomalies, she, however, noted that in Oshiomole’s case, the suit is statute barred.

She added the plantiff failed to seek judicial review within the stipulated three months window and only approached the court 18 months later.

Former Bayelsa State HoS testifies in Patience Jonathan’ $8.1m, N9.2bn asset forfeiture case

The trial in a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC seeking the final forfeiture of $8.1m and N9.2billion linked to former first Lady Dame patience Jonathan took another dimension today when former head of service in Bayelsa state Mr Fraser Ogboru testified before justice Mojisola Olatoregun of Federal high court Lagos.

In his testimony, Ogboru who claimed to have retired from Bayelsa State Civil Service on 31st December, 2014, told the court that he had knew Mrs. Jonathan when her husband was a Deputy Governor.

He claimed he was still in service when Mrs. Jonathan was appointed a permanent secretary.

While being cross-examined by EFCC’s lawyer, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness said he did not know when the former first lady stopped collecting salary as a permanent secretary.

Former Senior Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on domestic affairs, Dr. Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, also testified on Monday and stated while been cross exermined by EFCC counsel Mr. Rotimi that he did not know the content of six bags delivered to him by ADC to former president Jonathan.

Dudafa also denied  being used by a former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, to launder money.

He told Justice Mojisola Olatoregun that all the funds in an account linked to a firm, Globus Integrated Services Ltd, were cash gifts given to the former First Lady during her husband tenure as Nigeria’s president.

“I was not procured by the family of Dame Patience Jonathan to conceal proceeds of unlawful activities and by virtue of being the former special assistant on domestic affairs to the erstwhile president and the 1st respondent (Mrs. Jonathan), I was informed by the 1st respondent that the funds in the firm’s account are cash gifts that were given to her while she was the first lady”, Dudafa said.

The witness also denied that he was aware that a bag he received on behalf of Dr. Jonathan from one, Col. Adegbe, in the course of his duties contained $47 million which was allegedly removed from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the instruction of a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki.

The South West Zonal Coordinator of an NGO, Women for Change Initiative, Chief Mrs. Kate Onyechere had earlier testified in the matter.

While being cross-examined by EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, Chief Mrs. Kate Onyechere explained the rationale behind the founding of the Women for Change Initiative by Mrs. Jonathan.
She also revealed the various sources through which the Initiative get fund to carry out its activities.

“The Initiative was formed by Mrs. Jonathan as a normal Non-governmental organization. The main thing is empowerment. We empower Nigerian women across 36 states. We have zonal, states and local government coordinators.

“We organized luncheon and receive donations across states to get funds. We also write private individuals to donate. Even, the coordinators also make donations”, she said.

The witness further revealed that Mrs. Jonathan was unanimously adopted by the trustees and coordinators of the Initiative as the sole signatory to its accounts.

While being cross-examined by Oyedepo, the witness named four individuals as Trustees of Women for Change Initiative.

They are; Dr. Chidinma, Mrs. Josephine, Mrs. Jonathan and Mrs. Yemisi Oyewole.

Justice Olatoregun adjourned further hearing in the matter to 24th May, 2019 by 11am..

EFCC arrests musician, Naira Marley

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reportedly arrested Afeez Fashola, Nigerian singer better known as Naira Marley.

The ‘Japa’ singer was arrested in Lagos on May 10, which happened to be his birthday.

EFCC spokesman Tony Orilade confirmed that the musician was being held for alleged cyber crime offences along with some others.

Naira Marley has been in the news recently for advocating the cause of internet fraudsters.

During an Instagram live session in April, he had urged Nigerians to pray for internet fraudsters (Yahoo boys) “as they are crucial to the circulation of money in the economy.”

“All you guys, all the money in your pockets, all the money you spend, you think it’s the government that is making the money go round? You better sit down and pray for yahoo boys. If dem stop yahoo, the money would not pass you guys,” he said.

“The money will go like this, from Obasanjo to Tinubu, from Tinubu to Mr Japa, you think me I need Yahoo? I make money from my music.”

The comments had elicited various responses with Ruggedman saying “Bro, do not disrespect the black race and the enslaved by trying to justify cybercrime with slavery’.”

“If you have issues with slavery, start a movement and fight whoever you think owns slaves. Because, as far as I’m concerned, people who did died ages ago. Right now, you stealing people’s hard-earned money—both foreigners and Nigerians—does not justify yahoo-yahoo.

“I’m not stopping you from doing yahoo-yahoo if you want to do it. I have friends that do it, some are in jail for it. I’m not judging. But the thing is do not try to make it look good to young people because a crime remains a crime!”

On Thursday, the singer released the video of his single ‘Am I a Yahoo Boy?’.

EFCC arrests lawmaker, 6 internet fraudsters in Kwara

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin zonal office, says it has arrested a member of the Kwara house of assembly (name withheld), for alleged N4 million fraud.

Isyaku Sharu, the commission’s zonal head, disclosed this in an interview with NAN in Ilorin on Thursday.

According to him, the legislator was arrested over alleged cheating, obtaining by false pretence and money laundering involving about N4 million.

He said that the lawmaker had sometimes in 2015 sold some plots of land to six retired teachers, prior to his political ambition.

“The lawmaker also issued receipts to the land buyers with the name of a company, which does not exist,” Sharu said.

“The complainants, Mary Kolade, Ezekiel Babatunde, Felicia Adebiyi, Grace Awolola, Julius Omole and Abiodun Balogun alleged that the suspect sold many plots of land to them, claiming to be the owner.

“They, however, later discovered that the land belonged to the Federal Ministry of Land and Housing.

“After paying about N4 million to the lawmaker, they decided to survey the plots of land so as to put their survey number on the deed of transfer between them.

“They then discovered through the officials of the Kwara State Ministry of Land and Housing that the land belonged to the Federal Ministry of Land and Housing.

“They were also barred from constructing anything on the land. All efforts made by the retirees to retrieve their money from the Kwara State House of Assembly member proved abortive.”

Sharu said that the commission also arrested six suspected internet fraudsters and recovered from them some cars, laptops, different types of phones and charms, among other items.

He said that two of the suspected fraudsters were arrested at the Ilorin International Airport while trying to board a plane in order to run away.

According to the zonal head, all the arrested persons will remain in the EFCC custody until they are charged to court.

Fowler says EFCC probing FIRS staff over fraudulent payments

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched a probe into the activities of some staff of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Babatunde Fowler, FIRS chairman, confirmed the development on Wednesday saying the probe borders on alleged cases of irregularities concerning duty tour allowance (DTA).

“On the DTA (Duty Tour Allowance), it was claimed that some staff applied for and were granted, allowances to travel for official trips. Some are alleged not to have travelled for the number of days, for which they were slated. The EFCC is looking into that,” he said.

“Sometimes, it is good to have a third party investigate matters like this instead of having a staff investigate another staff. An investigation by a third party is more objective. FIRS has since taken steps to remediate this.

“The EFCC will soon complete its investigation. Anybody found guilty will be dealt with through our administrative process.”

Fowler also dismissed claims that taxpayers’ money has gone missing.

He explained that all taxes are paid directly into the account of federation account through the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“The FIRS does not have access to taxpayers money. Its operations are funded by an appropriation of the national assembly through monthly remittances by the federation accounts allocation committee (FAAC),” he said.

Fowler added that FIRS acknowledges the statutory rights and responsibilities of anti-corruption agencies and other government agencies such as the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), State Security Services, SSS to inquire into the operations of the Service.

The FIRS chairman promised that FIRS would continue to give access to agencies with statutory rights adding that invitations of officials of the service by EFCC, the Police, SSS and ICPC to shed light financial transactions are not uncommon.

EFCC launches yet another probe against Saraki

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched a fresh probe against Senate President Bukola Saraki.

The probe, which comes a week after the commencement of an earlier probe against Saraki, was announced on Tuesday.

In a statement, Yusuph Olaniyonu, spokesman to the senate president, said the anti-graft agency wrote to the clerk of the senate “late last week”, requesting among other things details of contracts from 2015 till date.

The letter said to have been signed by Mohammed Umar Abba, director of operations at EFCC, requested: “the Certified True Copies of the following: i) All Cash Books, Payment Vouchers, Contract Award Letters, Evidence of Contract Bidding, Agreement and Certificate of Contract Completion from 2015 to date. ii) Certified True Copies of all Financial Retirement made within the same period. iii) Any other information that may assist the Commission in its investigation.”

The EFCC had in a letter dated April 26, and addressed to the permanent secretary, Kwara state government house, requested details of Saraki’s emuluments during his time as governor of Kwara state between 2003 and 2011.

Olaniyonu, however, faulted the new probe, saying it is the first time such a letter is written to the office of the senate president “at the twilight of the tenure of the national assembly indicating hostile investigation along these lines.”

“None of his predecessors got such ‘exclusive’ treatment in which their office was investigated by state officials seeking to nail them at all cost,” he said.

“What EFCC does not know is that all the issues they are seeking to probe in the office of the Senate President are handled by the National Assembly Management, that is the bureaucracy of the federal legislature.

“The Senate President has nothing to do with such issues. However, in the eagerness and desperation to nail Dr. Saraki, they ignored even the basic facts upon which the entire investigation rests.”

The spokesman to the senate president also accused the EFCC of singling Saraki out “for persistent investigation”, adding that the fresh investigations are signs of witch-hunt.

“This new investigation into his activities as Governor of Kwara State is a repeat performance. The EFCC is fishing for evidence that they did not get in the past investigations which has spanned almost nine years,” he said.

“To single out one individual for persistent investigation can only be logically and plausibly interpreted to be a witch-hunt. This is definitely no fight against corruption. It is a battle waged against a ‘political enemy’. It is a ‘label to damage’ plot.”