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Tag Archives: EFCC

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 know.as 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.”

EFCC launches fresh probe against Saraki

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

According to THISDAY, the anti-graft agency is investigating Saraki’s earnings during his time as governor of Kwara state.

Saraki governed the state between 2003 and 2011 before proceeding to the senate.

In a letter quoted by THISDAY, the EFCC said it is investigating Saraki over “an alleged case of conspiracy, abuse of office, misappropriation of public funds, theft, and money laundering” involving him.

The letter said to have been addressed to the permanent secretary, Kwara government house and dated April 26, directed the state government to release details of all of Saraki’ salaries, allowances, estacode and payments received as governor.

The letter signed by Isyaku Sharu, EFCC zonal head, reads: “In view of the above, you are kindly requested to furnish us with the full details of all his entitlements to include but not limited to emoluments, allowances, estacodes, other fringe benefits and severance package while he held sway as the Executive Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

“This request is made pursuant to Section 38 (1) & (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and Section 21 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.”

The probe comes less than a year after the supreme court cleared Saraki of allegations of false assets declaration instituted against him by the federal government.

The EFCC had testified against Saraki during the trial.

EFCC charges Bauchi governor-elect with accepting gratification

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a criminal charge against Bauchi State governor-elect, Senator Bala Mohammed, at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.

He was charged with accepting gratification in form of a house valued at N550million on No 2599 & 2600 Cadastral Zone, AO4 Asokoro District, Abuja, from Aso Savings & Loans Plc in 2014.

The commission, through prosecuting counsel Mr Wahab Shittu, said the alleged gratification was accepted as reward by Mohammed “for performing your official duties”.

The alleged offence, EFCC said, is contrary to Section 18 (b) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and punishable under Section 18 (d).

Among the six-count charge is an allegation that the governor-elect made a false statement to an EFCC investigating officer, Ishaya Dauda, that he acquired the Cadastral Zone property through a mortgage facility from Aso Savings & Loans.

Mohammed was also accused of failing to make full disclosure of his property on 54, Mike Akhigbe Street, Jabi, Abuja in the course of filing his asset declaration form at the EFCC.

The commission said the offence is contrary to Section 27 (3) (a) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (3) (c).

The prosecution also accused Mohammed of failing to declare a property on Agwan Sarki Kaduna in Kaduna State.

EFCC said the governor-elect made a false declaration that a property on CITEC Kwara House 5, AP Street, Mbora, Abuja belongs to him.

The commission said the property actually belongs to Abubakar Abdu Mohammed.

EFCC said Mohammed, in 2014, “did use your office and position to confer corrupt and undue advantage upon your associates by allocating four numbers of fully detached duplexes and eleven numbers semi-detached duplexes valued at N314million only through the Presidential Tax Force on Sale of Government Houses to them…”

The alleged offence contravenes the Section 19 of the ICPC Act 2000.

A source said Mohammed will be arraigned on Monday in Court 26, FCT High Court, Maitama.

The charge is numbered CR/177/17.

Mohammed won election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

EFCC arrests ponzi scheme operator who ‘defrauded Nigerians of N7bn’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Babagana Dalori, chief executive officer of Galaxy Transportation and Construction Services Limited, for allegedly defrauding Nigerians through a ponzi scheme.

The commission said 27,400 Nigerians lost N7 billion through fake promises of high returns on their investment in Dalori’s companies.

In a statement, Tony Orilade, EFCC spokesman, said Dalori was discovered to have initially paid investors 200 per cent interest on their deposits in his companies.

He said the suspect later reduced the interest to 135 per cent “before the scheme crashed in 2018.”

“Dalori, who is currently undergoing interrogation in the Commission, had incorporated the firm in 2012 with one tricycle (Keke NAPEP), which through pool investments by members of the public later boasted of 50 tricycles,” the statement read.

“The entrepreneur later diversified into other business ventures while promising mouth-watering returns to investors.

“To suck as many unsuspecting victims into his ponzi net, Dalori engaged in massive advertisements on radio and television, including a production of a movie by A-list Nollywood actors, which aimed at convincing members of the public to invest in his companies.”

The anti-graft said a victim lamented the frustrations of unsuspecting investors who can no longer get their funds back.

According to the victim, “at the moment, he has used the investors money to incorporate different entities without getting their consent. He now has Galaxy Global Energy Concept Ltd, Galaxy Miners Concept Ltd, Galaxy Global Farms, Galaxy Computers, Galaxy Block Making Factory, Galaxy Hospital and Galaxy Hotel.”

The commission accused Dalori of committing a criminal act, saying all bank accounts belonging to his company have since been frozen.

Last year, EFCC cracked down on a similar ponzi scheme shortly after the shut down of Mavrodi Mondial Movement (MMM).

EFCC beams searchlight on JAMB over N8.7bn fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched into a probe of the cash inflow and outflow of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) between 2010 and 2016.

The anti-graft agency wants to get to the root of an alleged N8.7billion fraud in the board. Fifteen suspects have already been shortlisted for trial.

Among them are some zonal heads and state coordinators. One of the suspects facing trial is a female accountant, Philomena Chise, whose sensational claim that a snake swallowed N36 million raked in from the sales of e-facility cards rocked the nation.

Chise later told EFCC operatives that the said N36 miilion was disbursed as an I-Owe-You advance to cash-strapped staff.

The N8.7billion alleged fraud is said to have predated the present JAMB management, led by Prof. Ishaq Oloyede.

A document detailing the alleged fraud says the large sum was revenue from sales of e-facility cards and change of course cards which ended in private pockets.

“The remittance of over N8billion by 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),” it says.

“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.”

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.

The report adds “In Benue, out of the expected revenue of N124, 180,00 from e-facility cards, only N88,700,000 was remitted leaving a balance of N35.48million.

“The JAMB office in the state also received 10,210 change of course cards and instead of remitting N8, 025,000, about N7million was paid into the designated account. About N1,025,000 is missing till date.

“Although JAMB’s preliminary findings claimed that Chise confessed that a snake swallowed the N36m unremitted cash, she told the EFCC detectives that the shortfall was an I-Owe-You advance to cash-strapped staff that are yet to refund same.”

Employees in Yobe State claimed to have “lost sales records because of attacks on Damaturu by Boko Haram.”

The story is similar in Edo State “where N26,400,000 is missing. Out of the expected revenue from e-facility cards of about N123, 933,000, only N97,533,000 was paid into the relevant account.”

In Gombe, about N40, 004,000 sales revenue was realized but only N29, 073,000 was remitted leaving a balance of N10,269,000.”

“An officer in Kano, in his efforts to cover up for 20,000 unaccounted cards worth N20million, cut carbon papers in the form of e-facility cards and returned these cards as unused.”

The document revealed findings on Nasarawa State where an officer claimed to have lost over N24,037,000 cards in a road crash.

The document added: “Investigation revealed that Mr. Labaran Tanko was the JAMB State Coordinator of Lafia Office, Nasarawa State between 2011 and 2016.

“Investigation revealed that within the period of his tenure, Nasarawa State Office revealed a total of 24,882 e-facility cards out of which 24,037 were unsold while 845 were sold at the rate of N1,000 each. The expected revenue was N845,000 realized and remitted to JAMB.

“However he claimed that the remaining 23,147 cards got burnt in an accident he had along Lafia-Akwanga Expressway while 890 cards were missing.

“Meanwhile, contrary to his submission, forensic evidence obtained from the IT Unit of JAMB showed that the cards were sold and utilized by candidates within Nasarawa State and its environs.

“This forensic evidence showed the name, phone number and purpose for which the cards were used. The expected revenue from the claimed burnt/missing cards was N24,037,000. The revenue from the cards, which were actually sold and utilized based on forensic evidence, was never remitted to JAMB.

“Also investigation revealed that 2,000 CBT cards were supplied to Nasarawa State Office which were never sold. Rather, the State Coordinator claimed that the said 2,000 CBT cards were among the cards that got burnt in road accident along Lafia-Akwanga Expressway.

Contrary to the claim, investigation recovered forensic evidence which showed that the cards were actually not burnt but utilized by candidates within Nasarawa State and its environs. This forensic evidence further revealed the details of candidates hat used the cards, such as name, phone number and purpose for which the cards were used.

“Further investigation revealed that 4, 589 change of course cards were supplied to Nasarawa State Office of which they sold 1,426 at the rate of N2,500 each while 3, 163 cards were unused and same was remitted to JAMB. However, the State Coordinator claimed that the remaining 3,163 cards got burnt in the same road accident. Forensic evidence, however, proved otherwise.”

Courts grants Ofili-Ajumogobia N10m bail

The federal high court sitting in Lagos has granted a N10 million bail to Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a former judge.

Ofili-Ajumogobia was re-arraigned before Rilwan Aikawa, her ex-colleague, where she pleaded not guilty to 18 counts bothering on unlawful enrichment, taking property unlawfully, corruption, forgery and giving false information.

The former judge was first arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before an Ikeja high court in 2016, but on Tuesday, Hakeem Oshodi, a judge, had struck out the corruption charges against her and Godwin Obla, a co-defendant, on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit.

However, the former judge was immediately re-arrested by operatives of the EFCC in the court premises and a fresh criminal charge was filed against her.

In her ruling on Thursday, Aikawa ordered the former judge to submit her passport to the deputy chief registrar of the court on or before 6pm.

She said Ofili-Ajumogobia must fulfill the bail conditions within 10 days or it will be revoked.

“I take judicial notice of the Easter holiday and grant bail in the sum of N10m, with one surety in like sum who must have landed property in Lagos,” Aikawa said.

“The surety must not be below grade level 16 in the federal or state civil service. The defendant must deposit her passport with the deputy chief registrar of the court at or before 6.00p.m. today.

“The defendant shall endeavor to fulfill the conditions within 10-days or the bail will be revoked.

“She shall be released to her lead counsel, Wale Akoni (SAN), pending the fulfillment of the other conditions or the expiration of 10 days, whichever comes first.”

Aikawa also issued summons to compel Obla to appear before the court.

“For the second defendant, an order is hereby made for issuance of summons compelling Godwin Obla to appear before the court on the May 15, for the purpose of trial,” the judge ruled.

Earlier, Rotimi Oyedepo,  EFCC’s lead counsel, had called the attention of the judge to a pending charge against Obla and his absence, saying every attempt made to inform Obla of the pending charge proved abortive.

Oyedepo urged the court to give an order compelling Obla to appear before the court on the next adjourned date.

The case was adjourned till May 15 for trial.

EFCC: Why we re-arrested Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it re-arrested Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a former judge of the federal high court, in order to file a fresh criminal charge against her.

Ofili-Ajumogobia was surrounded by operatives of the commission at the court premises on Tuesday after Hakeem Oshodi, judge of a Lagos high court, struck out corruption charges against her.

In his ruling, Oshodi struck out the 31-count charge bordering on an alleged perversion of the course of justice, unlawful enrichment and forgery filed by the EFCC against Ofili-Ajumogobia and Godwin Obla, on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit.

The judge also said the EFCC did not follow the procedures set by the National Judicial Council (NJC) in disciplining erring judicial officers

Oshodi ruled that based on the judicial precedent set by the case of Nganjiwa V. FRN, the high court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit as the EFCC “jumped the gun” in filing the first amended charge.

“As at Monday, December 11, 2017, the EFCC was aware of the decision reached by the court of appeal in Nganjiwa vs FRN,” the judge said.

“As at that date, the amended information was yet to be filed and the 12 prosecution witness was still giving evidence.”

However, in a statement on Tuesday, Tony Orilade, EFCC’s spokesperson, said in view of Oshodi’s ruling and having complied with the NJC procedure, the commission is set to prefer fresh criminal charges against the 59-year-old judge.

“The Commission re-arrested Ofili-Ajumogobia in line with the decision of the Appeal Court, Lagos Division, in a case involving Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, where it said that a judge could not be prosecuted until he or she had either been dismissed or compulsorily retired by the National Judicial Council, NJC,” the statement read.

“Consequent upon the fact that the Commission had presented Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia before the NJC for disciplinary action and that the NJC had taken a position, the Commission would now approach the court to prefer fresh charges her.”

In October 2018, the NJC recommendedOfili-Ajumogobia’s dismissal over misconduct and money-laundering.

Nine top FIRS officials in EFCC custody over alleged multi-billion naira fraud

Nine senior officials of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are currently in detention over alleged multi-billion naira fraud according to a report by Premium Times .

The officials, who are being detained by the anti-graft agency (EFCC) in Abuja, include the Director of Finance and Accounts (DFA) of the FIRS, Mohammed Auta.

Apart from Mr Auta, another director of the agency, Peter Hena, is also alleged to be involved in the scandal.

Mr Hena, the Coordinating Director, Support Services Group of the FIRS, is currently out of Nigeria and will be arrested as soon as he returns to the country, EFCC sources told this newspaper.

A top official of the FIRS, however, said Mr Hena is on official medical leave outside the country and did not flee.

Mr Hena is believed to be one of the closest officials to the FIRS chairman, Babatunde Fowler.

It is still unclear to EFCC officials, whether or not Mr Fowler is involved in the scandal.

Details of the scandal are still sketchy as at the time of this report. However, Messrs Auta and Hena are being investigated for allegedly diverting about N6 billion tax funds that should have gone to the Nigerian government, anti-corruption officials said.

It was learnt that most of the other affected officials are from the finance and account department of the FIRS.

All the officials have been in the EFCC detention since April 1.

The newspaper said the EFCC is closing in on several other senior officials of the revenue collection service in a widening investigation to uncover other fraudulent activities involving several billions of government tax revenues.

When contacted on the detention, the EFCC spokesperson, Orilade Tony, said he had not been briefed on the matter. He said any such detention would be at the EFCC office in Wuse 2, Abuja. He asked to be given more time to get more details on the detention.

The FIRS is saddled with collecting taxes and revenues of the federal government.

The agency under Mr Fowler has seen its revenue generation improve, setting new records. The agency said it collected about N5.32 trillion as revenue in 2018, the highest in Nigeria’s history.

Court dismisses EFCC’s N254m bribery case against Akwa Ibom Senator

An Ikeja Special Offences Court, on Wednesday, dismissed a N254 million bribery suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Albert Bassey, a serving Senator representing Akwa-Ibom North-East.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, in a ruling, dismissed the suit due to lack of jurisdiction and advised the anti-graft commission to file the suit in Akwa Ibom State where the alleged bribe took place.

“The issue of jurisdiction is a fundamental one. In the instant case, the prosecution had failed to give reasons why the suit should be heard within this jurisdiction.

“This court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate on this matter. I hereby strike out this suit for lack of jurisdiction.
“The prosecution should file the charges in Akwa-Ibom where the alleged fraud took place, ” Justice Taiwo said.

Bassey, 46, is faced with corruption charges proffered against him by the EFCC for receiving alleged bribes of 12 cars worth N254 million from an oil marketer, Olajide Omokore, during his tenure (2010-2014) as the Akwa-Ibom Commissioner for Finance.

The anti-graft commission claimed that the car gifts were given to Bassey by Omokore in exchange for contracts from the Akwa Ibom State Government.
The Akwa Ibom Senator was to face a 14-count corruption charge alongside Omokore at an Ikeja Special Offences Court.

Bassey was to specifically face seven-counts of corruption by a public officer and a public officer inviting bribes as a result of his own action.
Omokore, was to face a seven-count charge of offering gratification to a public officer and giving bribe on account of the action of a public officer.

Defence counsel, Solomon Umoh (SAN) and Olatunde Adejuyigbe (SAN), had respectively filed applications contending  that the court had no power to hear the substantive case.
Bassey’s counsel, Umoh, had argued that there was nothing before the court to prove that the alleged crime against Bassey was committed outside Akwa-Ibom or in Lagos State.

“There is nothing in the proof of evidence that suggested that any aspect of the alleged crime against the first defendant was committed outside Akwa-Ibom State and in Lagos State.
“Happily, the prosecution has narrowed everything down that it was cars that was delivered to the first defendant by the second defendant.

“So, we want to ask where were the cars delivered to so we can know what Lagos has to do with Akwa-Ibom State but we have provided the answers in our argument, the cars were delivered in Akwa Ibom State.

“If he (Bassey) received in Akwa-Ibom State, how come they are coming to try him in Lagos State.

“The prosecution have not shown how the first defendant came to Lagos to receive vehicles. They have not shown it anywhere in the proof of evidence.”
Umoh, who further argued that Bassey’s name was not mentioned in the petition written to the EFCC, urged the court to grant his application.

Similarly, Omokore’s counsel, Adejuyigbe, SAN had argued that the contending issue was not insufficiency of evidence but whether they were in the right court.

He further argued that in determining the issue of jurisdiction, the court was not bound by the place stated in the charge.

He said, “The count against the second defendant relates to receiving gratification or giving bribe.
“The section under which those counts were charged did not state time of purchase, place of purchase, mode of payment so we cannot be asking the court to rewrite the law,” he said.
However, the prosecution counsel, Sadisu Abubakar, had argued that the EFCC has the right to try the case before the court.

He said that the applicants tied the issue of jurisdiction to the issue of insufficiency of evidence which he noted was an abuse of court processes.
The offences, according to the EFCC, contravene sections 63 (1)(a), 64 (1)(a) and 98(1), (a), (i) of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011.

Alleged fraud: EFCC opens case against Ecobank, staff

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday opened its case against Ecobank Plc and one of its employees Anieka Udoh at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

It accused the bank and Udoh of “negligently” failing to exercise due diligence in relation to conduct of financial transactions with Major-General Umaru Mohammed.

The prosecution called its first witness, Jones Oboh, in the alleged $50,000 and N9.2million fraud case.

The commission said the defendants fraudulently converted the army chief’s Ecobank MasterCard account numbered 0015052989 from debit card to credit card.

It said they debited the account of over USD 50,000 “without the knowledge and authority of Major-General Umaru Mohammed.”

Oboh, a former Loan Recovery and Collection Officer with the bank, said the bank operated the account for five years without the customer’s knowledge.

Led in evidence by prosecution counsel Bilikisu Buhari, the witness said it reflected on his system that Mohammed owed the bank N9.2million.

“After checking the records of those owing the bank, I discovered that Mohammed was one of those granted loans by Ecobank Plc.

“Sometime in March 2018, I called Mohammed on the phone to find out when he was going to pay back his loan.

“But to my surprise, he said he did not owe the bank and that there was no time he applied for any form of loan from the bank. Thereafter, a meeting was set up between the bank and Mohammed through me.

“It was in the meeting that Mohammed was told that his account was in the debit of N9.2million, showing that he utilised his Master Credit Card over a period of time.

“Mohammed informed the bank that there was no time he applied for a Master Credit Card from Ecobank and that the only transaction he had with the bank was that he applied to open a domiciliary account in which a debit card was issued to him so as to use it whenever he travels out of the country,” Oboh said.

The witness said found out that in April 2013, the sum of $38,725 was recorded against the complainant.

“In July 2014, a reversal of $32,887 was made on the account of Mohammed, leaving a debit of $6,125 in 2014.

“Afterwards, the bank opened a naira account in Mohammed’s name without his knowledge and dollars were converted to N261 to a dollar from his domiciliary account, leaving a debit balance of N3.1million on the Naira account.”

The witness said the bank never wrote or invited the complainant to bring to his notice all the “eventualities” on his accounts for five years until he took a step to do that.

“The bank left the account to grow in debit from N3.1million to N9.2million without informing the account owner.

“The second defendant, Anieka Udoh, was the account officer of the complainant,” the witness said.

Justice Saliu Saidu adjourned until April 18 for continuation of trial.

EFCC busts train ticket racketeering in Abuja, Kaduna, 9 persons arrested

Nine persons suspected of being involved in train ticket racketeering have been arrested in Abuja and Kaduna in sting operation by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Five of the suspects were arrested at Idu and Kubwa stations in Abuja on Saturday. They were identified as Clement Zakka, Udim Sunday Samson, Adams Danladi, Otitomoni Omobolanle and Hassan Dauda.

The Commission swung into action after receiving an intelligence report alleging that some group of people at the Idu and Kubwa train stations have been racketeering train tickets.

Their action made it difficult for passengers to have direct access to tickets, thus sabotaging government efforts in ensuring easy transportation across the country.

They will soon be charged to court.

Arrests of suspected racketeers were also made at Rigasa station in Kaduna on Sunday.

Investigations revealed that some members of staff of the station in connivance with some touts were defrauding unsuspecting travellers and selling train tickets at a higher rate. For economy ticket of N1,300 /N1,500 they were selling at a rate of N2,000 to N5,000 and for First Class which goes for N2,500 was being sold for between N7,000 to N15,000.

Three persons, including a staff of the station and two touts have been arrested.

The Station Manager, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Parcel Booking Officer of the Kaduna Railway Station have also been invited for questioning.