Vote-Buying: EFCC Denies Detaining Pregnant Women, Mistreating Suspects

EFCC news logo
A file photo of the EFCC emblem.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says no pregnant woman or nursing mother is being held in its custody over allegations of vote-buying.

It also faulted claims that it was maltreating those arrested for the same offence during the governorship election in Ekiti State.

The anti-graft agency made the rebuttal in a statement on Monday while reacting to reports suggesting that it had continued to detain a pregnant woman.

READ ALSO: EFCC Arrests Persons Engaged In Vote Buying

It faulted the report, stressing that pregnancy tests were conducted on all the female suspects arrested during the election at two different hospitals, and the results were negative.

According to the statement, the EFCC secured a valid order of the court to detain all the suspects pending the conclusion of its investigations, and they will be charged to court as soon as possible.

Read the full statement below:

The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to some reports in a section of the media, alleging that the Commission is detaining ‘a pregnant woman, nursing mother, others, over vote-buying’, consequent on some arrests made in the wake of the recent governorship election in Ekiti State.

The Commission wishes to state that there is no iota of truth in the reports.  There is no pregnant woman among the suspects arrested on allegation of vote-buying during the Ekiti governorship election.

A pregnancy test conducted on all the female suspects arrested during the Ekiti governorship poll at the Kwara State Hospital, Ilorin, returned negative. Earlier tests conducted in a private hospital also came out negative for all the female suspects.

Furthermore, it is important to stress that all the suspects, male and female, are being held, based on a valid Order of Court, pending the conclusion of investigations.

The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigations are finalised.

The public is advised to ignore insinuations and wild claims about the mistreatment of suspects as the Commission is committed to the observance of the rule of law in all its operations.

EFCC Prosecutors Rotimi Oyedepo, Shittu Among 129 Lawyers For SAN Rank

 

Foremost prosecutors of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Wahab Shittu and Rotimi Oyedepo were among the 129 lawyers shortlisted by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) for the conferment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 2022.

The list which was published pursuant to paragraph 12 subsection 2 and 20 of the legal practitioners’ privileges committee guidelines of 2018 has 73 practicing lawyers and 56 academic applicants.

Other names on the list are, the son of the First Republic Senate President, Orji Nwafor-Orizu; son of former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Ikani Kanu Agabi among others.

A statement accompanying the list made by the chief registrar of the Supreme Court, who doubles as the Secretary of the LPPC, Hajo Sarki-Bello said the shortlist comprised candidates who passed through the advocate filtration stages and academic pre-qualification exercise.

READ ALSO: Justice Olukayode Ariwoola Takes Oath Of Office As Acting CJN

The statement further says “the general public is at liberty to comment on the integrity, reputation, and competence of the above applicants”.

“However, any complaint(s) presented to the legal practitioners’ privileges committee must be accompanied with a verifying affidavit deposed to before a court of record in Nigeria.”

Sarki-Bello asked members of the public who have any such comments on any of the candidates to make the same before 4 pm on July 18 with 20 copies of such complaints in line with the guidelines.

P&ID Fraud: Court Convicts, Winds Up Case Against Marqott Nigeria Ltd

A file photo of a court gavel.
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

Justice D.U Okorowo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has convicted and wound up Marqott Nigeria Limited, one of the 30 companies associated with the Process and Industrial Development Limited, P & ID, for money laundering.

The company was convicted on Thursday, June 16, 2022 after being found guilty of four count charges bordering on money laundering preferred against it by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Count one of the charge read: “That you, Marqott Nigeria Limited, being a designated Non-financial Institution; and Giovanni Beccarelli, Valentina Fantoli, and Dimitri Duca, being directors of and signatories to the bank account of Marqott Nigeria Limited, sometime in September 2014, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, failed to comply with the requirements of submitting to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, a declaration of activities of Marqott Nigeria Limited contrary to Section 16(1) (f) read together with Section 5(1)(a)(ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011(as amended and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”


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Count two read: “That you, Marqott Nigeria Limited, being a designated Non-financial Institution; and Giovanni Beccarelli, Valentina Fantoli, and Dimitri Duca, being directors of and signatories to the bank account of Marqott Nigeria Limited, sometime in September 2014, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, failed to develop programs to combat money laundering and other illegal acts, to wit: failure to designate at management level a compliance officer within any strata of Marqott Nigeria Limited, contrary to Section 16(1)(f) read together with Section 9(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act”.

At the point of first arraignment on February 7, 2022, the defendant pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, setting a stage for full trial.

In the course of the trial, the EFCC presented many witnesses and tendered many documents as exhibits.

In his judgment, Justice Okorowo found Marqott Nigeria Limited guilty of all the four count charges and convicted it accordingly. He also ordered that the company be wound up and its entire assets forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Marqott was first arraigned on Monday, February 7, 2022 for being an accomplice in the $9.6bn Gas Supply and Processing Agreement between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and P&ID.

Ekiti Election: EFCC Arrests Persons Engaged In Vote Buying

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested persons alleged to have engaged in vote buying in the Ekiti governorship election.

The EFCC is part of security agencies deployed to monitor the election.

Parading some of the suspects at the Oke Ori Omi Area Division of the Nigerian Police Force, the suspects were said to have been caught with monies allegedly used to induce voters, an act the EFCC officials say were carried out surreptitiously.

The EFCC thereafter proceeded to burst another residence where some persons were caught with a book containing details of voters of certain voting area.

Five Jailed In Ibadan For Impersonation

 

The Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, June 6, 2022, secured the conviction of five internet fraudsters.

Those convicted include: Muhaymin Adeshola Ajayi (a.k.a Lena Paul), Emmanuel Oluwafemi Shoyinka (a.k.a Mabel Mates), Sherriffdeen Ololade Qozeen Abdulrahman Olakanmi Babatunde and Abiodun Tolulope Emmanuel.

They were arraigned for fraudulent impersonation before Justice Uche Agomoh of the Federal High Court, Ibadan and Justice Ladiran Akintola of the Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan .

They all pleaded guilty to their respective one-count charges.

READ ALSO: Police Unit Fighting Illegal Bunkering Gets New CP

In view of their pleas, Justice Agomoh convicted and sentenced Abiodun to nine months imprisonment and Abdulrahman, six months imprisonment. Sherriffdeen and Shoyinka bagged six months and three months community service, respectively.

The court also ordered the defendants to restitute their victims.

Shoyinka is to restitute his victim the sum of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand) and ordered to forfeit Samsung S9 Plus mobile phone, one Bontel mobile phone to the Federal Government of Nigeria,

Sherriffdeen was ordered to restitute to his victims the total sum of $1,400USD (One Thousand and Four Hundred United States Dollars) through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. He is to forfeit one iPhone 12 Pro Max mobile phone to the Federal Government of Nigeria, being proceeds of his crime.

Ajayi was ordered to restitute the sum of $2,500USD (Two Thousand United State Dollars) only to his victim- one Matthew Kopilash, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. In addition, he was ordered to forfeit one iPhone 12 Pro Max and one Toyota Camry Saloon car to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Abdulrahman is to restitute his victim the sum of $1,500USD (One Thousand United States Dollars) and Bitcoin worth 0.01551288 through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The convict also is to forfeit one MacBook Pro, one iPhone 12 Pro Max, one Samsung 4iWatch, one Play Station 5, one 55 inches Samsung television, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Abiodun was ordered to restitute the sum of $500USD (Five Hundred United States Dollars) and balance the sum N497, 071:12 (Four Hundred and Ninety Seven Thousand, Seventy One Naira and Twelve kobo) to his victim and forfeits his iPhone 11 mobile phone, one Samsung Galaxy Note 10mobile phone, one iWatch Series 5 and one red Toyota Avalon car to Federal Government of Nigeria.

EFCC Arrests 140 ‘Yahoo Boys’ In Ikorodu

A photo released by the EFCC on June 9, 2022, shows some of the suspects arrested in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.

 

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested 140 suspected internet fraudsters, also known as yahoo boys, in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.

The EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He explained that the suspects were nabbed in separate sting operations at popular hotels in Ikorodu, following credible intelligence on their involvement in internet-related fraud.

Uwujaren, however, stated that four of the suspects were released after the EFCC discovered that no incriminating item was in their possession.

He listed the items recovered from other suspects to include exotic cars, electronic devices, laptops, and mobile phones, adding that they would be charged to court as soon as investigations were concluded.

The suspects are Oduntan Olasesan, 26; Abass Ismail Alabi, 35; Lawal Kudus, 26; Olatunji Olayiwola Ojo, 40; Okoye Onyeka Duke, 38; Ogungbamila Daniel, 29; Chimezie Bright, 32; Lateef Salau, 36; Oreoluwa Oluwashina, 32; Olawumi Aynwuyi Muhammed, 23; Adepegbade Afees Ishola, 32; Sanusi Idris, 29; Hammed Ogunsanye, 28; Ayeni Damilola, 36; Abiodun Ahmed, 26; Oduntan Tunde Femi, 23; Ogunsanya Idris Opeyemi, 22; Balogun Ali, 26; Ipade Olanrewaju, 24; Balogun Toyosi Benjamin, 20; Omotayo Adewale, 35, and Emmanuel Abit Jaem, 39.

Others are Ekanem Michael, 40; Oguntimehin Babajide, 25; Abimbola Ismail, 24; Alatise Fuad, 26; Sodiq Idris, 19; Onanubi Treasure, 19; Tobi Jagunjobi, 31; Ashaye Ayomide, 26; Muritala Ibrahim, 18; Adeosun Ahmed, 19; Ajijola Peter Olawale, 18; Lawal Olaoluwa Yusuf Tijani, 25; Yusuf Tijani 22; Akinola Ayinde, 29, and Disu Olayiwola Akani, 28.

Also in the EFCC net are Afolayan Oaltunji, 32; Adio Oluwaseun Akinpel, 32; Ifeoluwa Sholeye, 34; Kelvin Sunday, 35; Lawal Adekunle, 37; Qudus Akeusola, 30; Dodo Joshua, 19; Anifowose Ridwan, 22; Animashaun Samuel, 28; Ajayi Oluwasegun, 32; Bakare Oluwaseun  Akande, 22; Saheed Olamilere, 35; Asenuga Adeseye, Adebulu John, 24; Balogun Israel, 30; Damola Johnson, 36; Ndubusisi Onyedikachi, 27; Adesanya Adekunle, 28; Bamidele Dada, 31; Israel Avour, 24; Omojola James Dare, 28; Olafare Enitan Dare, 40; Talako Adewale, 29; Mustapha Mubaraq Adefemikun, 23; Ndfiu  Abolare, 28; Lateef Yusuf, 32; John Chinedu Kelvin, 34; Segun John, 28; Iyanda Idowu, 30; Banwo Kehinde Samuel, 32; Victor Ebhomneye, 35; Stephene Edeu, 31; Emmanuel Sunday, 21; Daneil Ebuka ,26; Adeniji Funsho, Mustapha Ismail Garkuwa,19; Ibrahim Bashiru Olayiwola, 27; Agabaraojo Bashiru, 27;  Quadri Oladipo, 30; Abdulsalam Lekan, 29; Oshinbowale Olayinka, 22; Lajunle Jade, 17; Bello Rasheed, 22; Effanga Emmauel, 22; Vincent Akpomeje Victor, 21; Hassan Lateef Oluwamayowa ,25; Opeyema  Rince Adebowale ,35; Idowu Faruq Gbolahan, 32; Mathew Olusesan, 33; Olawuyi Gidoen Tokunbo, 32; Richard Oluwaseun, 32; Timotayo Alade, 29; Azeez Ibrahim, 22; Azeez Damilola, 23; Toluwawi Lawl, 28; and Ademola Kolawale, 30.

The rest include Ogunbode Erioluwa, 23; Ogunbode Olabode, Orenuga Sodiq, 19; Tajudeen Isaa, 18; Afe Oluwasegun, 29; Adedeji Afolabi Abdurahman, 40; Mustapha Idris, 28; Alamu Abdulwahab, 20; Kareem Abdul Basit, 19; Egbo James Sunday,  26; Alade Elijah Gregory, 20; Lawal Ibraheem Adebo, 34; John Naka, 32; Osideinde Adebayo, 22; Chibuke Frank Okorafor, 27; Stephen Akolade, 35; Babatunde Habeeb, 28; Fisayo Wasiu, 32; Jimoh Lukman, 32; Idowu John Oluadamilola, 33; Olawoke Israel, 21; Olopade Ayobami,  24; Emevor Pablo, 24; Ayodele Joseph, 27; Isaac Emmanuel, 33; Adewale Idris, 18; Alabi Malik, 24; Nafiu Afeez, 30; Abdulmalik Abdussalam, 36; Olawale Mustapha, 29; Simeon Godwin, 23; Olanrewaju Azeez Olakunle, 22; Oseni Sodiq Oluwasegun, 30; Ibrahim Olawale, 21; Christopher Daniel Chinaza, 22; Mekwunye Ifeanyi, 30; John Meshack, 33;  Agbabiaka  Oluwaseun,    27; Ogunbona Malik,  19; Oladokun Peter, 35; Olatunji Samuel And Kehinde Amuda Abdulrasheed, 42.

Internet Fraudster Bags One Year Imprisonment In Port Harcourt

 

Justice E. A. Obile of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced Obu Gabriel Ebibo to one year imprisonment for impersonation and obtaining money by false pretense.

He was convicted on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 after pleading ‘guilty’ to two -count charges preferred against him, upon being arraigned by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

One of the charges read: “That you Obu Gabriel Ebibo (alias Kenneth Gibson) on or about the 1st November, 2021, in Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud obtained an aggregate sum of Six Hundred and Eighty United States Dollars ($680.00 USD) on the pretence that, the money was meant for crypto currency investment, a pretext you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud-Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill 32, Destroy Houses In Fresh Kaduna Attack

He pleaded “guilty” to the charges when they were read to him. In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, F .O. Amama prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant accordingly. Counsel to the defendant, B .J. Jeoffrey, however, urged the court to temper justice with mercy stressing that, “he is a first- time offender who does not have previous criminal records”.

Justice Obile convicted and sentenced the defendant to one year imprisonment with an option of fine of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500, 000.00) payable into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Judge also ordered that the iPhone X mobile phone recovered from the convict be forfeited to the government.

Ebibo’s journey to the Correctional Service started when he was arrested by operatives of the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Command of the EFCC in connection with internet-related offences. Investigation showed that the convict had been involved in internet fraud by falsely presenting himself as one Kenneth Gibson to his victims, thereby defrauding them of the sum of Six Hundred and Eighty United States Dollars ($680.00 USD).

Cybercrime: Pastor On FBI-Wanted List Docked In Enugu

 

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Enugu Command on Friday June 3, 2022 arraigned one Pastor Kelechi Vitalis Anozie.

Anozie was arraigned alongside three others who are currently at large, including (Mr. Azubuike Ifeanyi Bright, Mrs. Amarachi Blessing Iro and Mr. Kelechi Patrick Iro).

They were brought before Justice I.M Buba of the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu on a seven count charge bordering on money laundering.

Anozie who is on the America Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Wanted List, was arrested by the Enugu Command of the EFCC at Owerri on March 10, 2022 following actionable intelligence received by the Commission.

The defendant is alleged to have defrauded one F.F who lives in Illinois the sum of $135,800, and $47,000 from another American based in North Carolina.


READ ALSO: Wire Fraud: EFCC Arrests Church Founder Wanted By FBI In Enugu


One of the counts reads:

That you PASTOR KELECHI VITALIS ANOZIE,MR AZUBUIKE IFEANYI BRIGHT( NOW AT LARGE), MRS AMARACHI BLESSING IRI (NOW AT LARGE) AND MR KELECHI PATRICK IRO (NOW AT LARGE) sometime between 2017 and 2019, at Owerri within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria conspired among yourselves to commit a felony to wit: use and taking possession of fund that forms part of proceeds of an unlawful act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 21 (a) of the Money Laundering,(Prohibition) Act,2022 and Punishable under section 18(3) of the same Act.

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

This prompted the prosecution counsel, Michael Ani, to ask the Court for a date for the commencement of trial. The defendant’s counsel, E. Adams prayed the court to grant his client bail.


READ ALSO: EFCC Arrests Suspect On FBI Wanted-List In Enugu


The defendant was granted bail in the sum of N10, 000,000 (Ten Million Naira) and one surety in like sum. The surety must be resident within the jurisdiction and own a property. He must also swear to an affidavit of means.

The defendant is to deposit his international passport and passport photographs with the court.

The case was adjourned until Friday June 10,2022 for trial

EFCC Arrests 39 Suspected Cyber-Fraudsters In Ibadan

 

Operatives of the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, arrested thirty-nine (39) suspected internet fraudsters in a sting operation in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The suspects who claimed to be undergraduates of different tertiary institutions in Ibadan were arrested at Apete area of the Oyo State capital, following useful intelligence on their cyber-fraudulent activities.

However, following analysis carried out on their devices, incriminating documents, and messages of their fraudulent bank transactions were recovered from thirty-four (34) of the suspects.

READ ALSO: Student Arrested For Attempted Murder Of Policeman In Ogun

They are Okeowo Abiodun Akeem, Yekini Ismail Omokayode, Odediran Abdulfatahi Dolapo, Isiaka Olumide Hammed, Obioma Honour Umaduabuchi, Olorunsola Eniola Johnson, Olabiyi Ifeoluwa Joseph, Razaq Adams Lekan, Oladimeji Abdulrahmon Olamide, Oyelaran Olayiwoola Jeremiah, Patrick Simon, Adefowora Omotayo David, Adediran Qudus Wale, Onipede Damilola Zacheaus, Ajayi Ifedolapo Oluwatofunmi, Oluwole Ayomide Oluwasegun, Usman Mubarak Oluwadamilare, Dapo-Ajayi Temitope Faith, Diyaolu Olamide Samuel, Ugbama Daniel Efemena, Ayoade Taofeek Adekunle.

Others are: Egberongbe Adebayo Adedamola, Ajadi Ayinla Ibrahim, Ajeigbe Christian Toluwase, Alabi Daniel Oluwatosin, Olawooyin Taoheed Olakunle, Oguntuase Tope Francis, Salami Adam Akanfe, Olanrewaju Michael Damola, Kareem Afeez Alabi, Onuma Chidubem Williams, Rasaq Sodiq Olamilekan, Okusanwo Mayowa Daniel and Wahab Adebayo Abdullahi.

Five exotic cars, mobile phones, laptops are among the items recovered from them.

The authorities say further investigations are ongoing and the suspects will face their day in court.

Fake American Widow Bags Three-Year Jail Term In Ilorin

Aderibigbe Sheu, a student of Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete was said to have posed as a widow resident in the United States of America to defraud unsuspecting victims.

 

A fake American widow on Thursday bagged a three-year jail term in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

The convict – Aderibigbe Sheu – was sentenced by Justice Muhammed Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin.

Sheu, a student of Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete was said to have posed as a widow resident in the United States of America to defraud unsuspecting victims.

He was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and charged with one count of cybercrime and retention of proceeds of crime before the Ilorin court.

READ ALSO: EFCC Releases Suspended Accountant-General On Bail

In a statement on Thursday, EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said the convict pleaded guilty to the charge upon his arraignment.

Following his ‘guilty plea’, EFCC counsel, Rasheedat Alao, reviewed the facts of the case and tendered the extra-judicial statements of the defendant including the phone, laptop, and other incriminating materials printed from his devices, which were admitted in evidence.

She asked the court to consider the plea of the defendant, his extra-judicial statements, and all the exhibits tendered to convict him as charged.

In his judgment, Justice Sani having held that the court is satisfied with the evidence before it pronounced Aderibigbe guilty of the charge and sentenced him to three years imprisonment with the option of N982,403.

The court also ordered that the iPhone 7+ and laptop, which were used to perpetrate the crime be forfeited to the Federal Government.

In the same vein, Justice Sani on Thursday convicted one Awoleye Bolaji, who claimed to be from the Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State for an internet fraud-related offence.

Awoleye allegedly posed as one Karan Vanslack, an American lady, with intent to defraud unsuspecting victims in contravention of Section 22 (2) (b)(ii) of Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.

Upon the guilty plea by the defendant, Counsel to the EFCC, Sesan Ola, reviewed the facts of the case and tendered one iPhone 6, the statements of the defendants, and all the fraudulent messages printed from his device, which were admitted in evidence.

Justice Sani sentenced the defendant to one-year imprisonment with an option of a fine of N100,000 and ordered that the iPhone 6, which he used to perpetrate the crime, be forfeited to the Federal Government.

EFCC Releases Suspended Accountant-General On Bail

FILE: The Accountant General of the Federation, Idris Ahmed, holds a phone at his office in Abuja on April 9, 2020. Photos: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The suspended Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, has been released on bail by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the development to Channels Television.

The EFCC had arrested Idris on May 16 over an N80 billion fraud.

READ ALSO: EFCC Closes Case Against Ex-Governor Jang

He was arrested after failing to honour the commission’s invitations to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent act, the EFCC said.

After his arrest, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, suspended Idris.

The suspension was contained in a letter by the minister dated May 18, in which she said the move was necessitated by the need to “allow for proper and unhindered investigation into the serious allegations in line with Public Service Rules 030406”.

According to the minister, during the suspension period, which is without pay, Mr Idris is not “expected to attend to your place of work or contact any official in your Office except for any disciplinary hearing that may be advised”.

Alleged N6.2bn Fraud: EFCC Closes Case Against Ex-Governor Jang

Jang Replies EFCC, Denies Ownership Of Kaduna Property
(File) Former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday closed its case in the alleged N6.2 billion fraud against the former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang.

Jang and Yusuf Pam, a former cashier in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (OSSG), are being prosecuted before Justice C. L. Dabup of Plateau State High Court sitting in Jos.

They are facing trial for alleged criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of Plateau State funds to the tune of N6.2 billion.

At the last sitting, the EFCC had presented its fourteenth witness (PW14), a Chief Superintendent of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC),  Taiwo Oloronyomi, who testified against the defendants.

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While tendering the statement in evidence, the second defendant’s counsel, S. Olawale, raised an objection, arguing that the statement of his client to the ICPC was not voluntary as he was subjected to physical and psychological torture by one Hajiya Fatima Mohammed of the ICPC. This prompted the court to order a trial within trial.

Ruling on the trial within a trial on Tuesday, Justice Dabup admitted in evidence the statement that the second defendant made on November 17, 2016, to the ICPC. The crux of the statement pertained to the withdrawal of monies through cheques approved by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the State government, which was taken to the first defendant (Jang).

The judge, however,  rejected the statement made on November 23, 2016, saying that the mandatory cautionary word was not taken before the second defendant volunteered to write his statement.

After the prosecution closed its case, the defendants were expected to open their defence on  June 1, 2022. However, their counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and S. Olewale informed the court of their decision not to do so.

“We humbly intend to rely on the case of the prosecution because we believe and submit it is irredeemable, battered and drained of existential blood. We do not need to open any case for evidence in order not to waste the precious time of this honourable court,” Ozekhome said.

Citing section 301(3) of the Plateau State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2018, he said: “If we are not providing any evidence, the law says that the prosecution has fourteen (14) days to address the court, and ten( 10) days for the defence to reply, and another five (5 days)  for the prosecution to reply on point of law”.

Thereafter, the judge adjourned the matter to July 1 for the adoption of final written addresses.