EFCC Raids Osogbo Nightclub, Arrests 94 Suspected Cyber Fraudsters

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibadan zonal office, on Monday, raided a nightclub in Osogbo, the Osun State capital and arrested cyber fraudsters numbering 94.

The anti-graft agency in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said the nightclub popularly known as ‘Club Secret Underground’ is notorious for hosting parties for suspected internet fraudsters.

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Uwujaren in the statement added that the nightclub is located on the Ibadan-Iwo Expressway of the Osun State capital.

“The raid led to the arrest of 94 suspects and confiscation of 19 exotic cars, laptops, scores of sophisticated mobile phones and other items.

“The wee-hour operation was sequel to an intelligence report hinting that the suspected internet fraudsters were organising a night party for Sunday, October 13 during which some of them intended to celebrate their loots.

“A discreet operation on the club had earlier been carried out to ascertain the authenticity of the intelligence,” he explained.

The suspects are currently undergoing further interrogation, and those indicted would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

EFCC Presents N112m Recovered Loot To Kwara Govt

 

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has presented N112million recovered from treasury looters to the Kwara state governor, Mr Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

At the presentation, the Head of the Ilorin office, Isyaku Sharu said the Zone which started its operations in February has achieved a lot in terms of assets recovery and conviction of corrupt individuals.

“We have 29 convictions and over N500million (five hundred million naira) recovery for both assets and cash; part of this recovery is the N111, 428, 891.00 cash recovered for the Kwara state government.

“This recovery is from suspected Kwara state treasury looters. The suspects allegedly misappropriated landed properties of Harmony Holdings while others diverted funds meant for micro small and medium enterprises credit scheme. The suspects cut across political office holders, traditional rulers and top civil servants,” he said.

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Mr Sharu hinted that he was mandated by the acting chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu to present a draft for the recovered fund, while assuring of the agency’s steadfastness in ridding the state of all acts of corruption and other economic crimes.

Governor Abdulrazaq, in his response, thanked the EFCC and disclosed that the cash will be used for the social investment programme in the state to lift poor people out of poverty.

“We are overwhelmed because history is being made in Kwara state with the return of our monies recovered by the EFCC especially now that there are many projects to embark on.

“As we promised to replicate the federal government social investment programmes, this cash would be used for that programme and we will make our people realise that the seed money for social investment programme, before we came into power, was also recovered.

“We would let our people know that it is the money realised by the EFCC we are giving them so that they can pay back when they get the loan. It will help to lift thousands of people out of poverty,” he said.

 

Judge’s Absence Stalls Trial Of JAMB Officials Till 2020

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File photo

 

 

The trial of Priscilla Ogunsola and Daniel Agbo at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Maitama has suffered a setback.

The trial of the duo could not proceed as scheduled on Thursday following the absence of the trial judge in court, Justice Peter Affen.

The judge’s absence prompted the prosecution and defence counsels to mutually agree on January 30, 2020, as adjournment date.

Ogunsola and Agbo, who were state coordinators of the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board ( Jamb) in Benin and Lokoja zonal offices, are facing trial for criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of fund among other crimes.

The allegations were preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

According to a statement from the anti-graft agency, Ogunsola was arraigned on four counts bordering on diversion of fund to the tune of N26,400,000 to personal use.

One of the counts against  Ogunsola read: “That you, Mrs Priscilla Ogunsola and Cyril Izirein Imoukhuede (now deceased) between 2012 and 2016 in Abuja and Edo State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, while respectively being the state coordinator and revenue officer of the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB), Benin office, dishonestly misappropriated the sum of N26,400,000 (twenty six million, four hundred thousand naira) belonging to JAMB, an agency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of the Penal Code Law and punishable under Section 309 of the same law.”

Agbo, who was JAMB’s Lokoja office coordinator, was also arraigned on four counts bordering on criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of the sum of N6,606,000 belonging to JAMB.

Count two of the charge against him reads “That you, Daniel Agbo, between 2009 and 2016 in Abuja and Kogi State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, while being the state coordinator of the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB), Lokoja zonal office, dishonestly misappropriated the sum of N6,606,000 (six million, six hundred and six thousand naira) belonging to jamb, an agency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of the Penal Code Law and punishable under Section 309 of the same law.”

Upon their arraignment, both defendants had pleaded not guilty to all the charges levelled against them, thus, setting the stage for their trial.

Fraud: Court Orders Final Forfeiture Of N601m To Nigerian Govt

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the final forfeiture of N601 million to the Nigerian Government.

Justice Giwa Ogunbanjo gave the order on Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said in a statement by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren.

According to the statement, the court ordered the final forfeiture of N550million and N51million, respectively being proceeds of fraud identified as belonging to one Okunrinboye Titus and domiciled in a commercial bank.

The EFCC said it made a final forfeiture application for the monies before Justice Giwa on Monday, following the prosecution of Okunrinboye and two others – Vincent Odafen and Muara Gambo –for allegedly running and operating companies said to be used to siphon public funds under the guise of contracts or consultancy.

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It explained that it applied for interim forfeiture before Justice Giwa on June 28, who granted the application and stipulated that the commission should place the application in a national newspaper.

On October 7, prosecution counsel, M. Abubakar, told the court that the EFCC had complied with the judge’s stipulation by advertising the interim forfeiture application.

“We have complied and we’re now back to apply for final forfeiture and the affidavit in support of the motion on notice, as the defendant has not filed any counter,” Abubakar stated.

Justice Giwa, however, asked the prosecution counsel to serve the defendant the notice on the motion.

He also urged Abubakar to make sure that the account number filed by the prosecution for the forfeiture was thoroughly verified to be a Central Bank account number and must be supported with documents to ensure that where the funds would be transferred was a genuine Federal Government’s account before adjourning until October 10 for ruling on the final forfeiture application.

At the resumed hearing, the prosecution counsel urged the court to grant EFCC’s prayers since there was no counter-affidavit against the application.

The motion on notice filed by the EFCC for the final forfeiture reads, “A final order of this honourable court for forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria of funds lying in the Zenith Bank Account No.208383581 (OKUNRINBOYE TOMSIN TITUS).

“A final order of this honourable court for final forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria of the funds lying in the Zenith bank account No. 1004702420(OKUNRINBOYE TOMSIN TITUS).

“An order of this honourable court directing Zenith Bank to forthwith transfer the forfeited funds to the Central bank of Nigeria.”

Justice Giwa granted the prayers of the prosecution and placed an order, directing Zenith Bank to transfer the forfeited funds into the Cash Assets Final Forfeiture of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

PHOTOS: EFCC Uncovers N65m From INEC Office In Zamfara

Courtesy: twitter.com/officialEFCC

 

Operatives of the Economic and Finacial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Sokoto zonal office on Wednesday recovered money to the tune of N65,548,000 (Sixty-five Million, Five Hundred and Forty-eight Thousand Naira) from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Zamfara State.

READ ALSO: EFCC Recovers N65m From INEC Office In Zamfara

The monies which comprise of  81 bundles of N1000 notes, 97 bundle of N500 notes and 96 pieces of N500 notes were stacked in two fireproof safes during a search conducted in offices of the HOD Accounts and Cashier of the INEC.

See Photos Below: 

 

EFCC Recovers N65m From INEC Office In Zamfara

Courtesy: twitter.com/officialEFCC

 

Operatives of the Economic and Finacial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Sokoto zonal office on Wednesday recovered money to the tune of N65,548,000 (Sixty-five Million, Five Hundred and Forty-eight Thousand Naira) from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Zamfara State.

The monies which comprise of  81 bundles of N1000 notes, 97 bundle of N500 notes and 96 pieces of N500 notes were stacked in two fireproof safes during a search conducted in offices of the HOD Accounts and Cashier of the INEC.

The money is suspected to be 40% illegally deducted on funds released to the INEC Zamfara office to cater to the rent of Canopies, Tables, and Chairs and also funds for RAC (Registration Area Center) and movement of men and materials to Polling Units, by the HOD Accounts & Cashier.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: EFCC Recovers N65m From INEC Office In Zamfara

The raid followed a petition by one of the INEC ad-hoc staff during the 2019 presidential and gubernatorial elections in Zamfara State. The staff alleged that the Adhoc INEC officials were denied payment of their N6,000 movement allowances each for the two elections.

According to the complainant, while INEC in Zamfara allegedly paid its ad hoc staff the sum of N9,000, others in states like Sokoto were paid N12,000.

The recovered fund is suspected to be part of the funds illegally deducted from releases meant to cater for the movement of materials and electoral officials as well as the provision of chairs, tables and canopies for the 2019 governorship and presidential elections in the state

Before the raid, the Commission a few days ago, had arrested four officials of INEC in the state. The officials, Hassan Sidi Aliyu, Administrative Secretary, Hussain Jafar, Head of Operations, Abdullahi Yusuf Abubakar, State Accountant and the Cashier Labaran Ishaka, were picked for alleged conspiracy, breach of trust and criminal diversion of Ad hoc staff allowance to the tune of N84, 696,000 (Eighty Four Million, Six Hundred and Ninety Six Thousand Naira).

The investigation by the EFCC revealed that none of the 10,500 presiding officers who participated in the elections were paid their entitlements commutatively put at N84, 696,000 (Eighty-Four Million, Six Hundred and Ninety-Six Thousand Naira).

The 14 Electoral Officers of the state were also arrested. They are: Abdullahi Sumbawa, Zurmi LGA; Aliyu Jafaru Goronyo, Maradun LGA; Balarabe Ahmed S Gobir, Gummi LGA; Amadu Ibrahim, Gusau LGA; Mohammed Bashir Musa, Kaura Namoda LGA; Dalhatu Usman Musa,Birnin Magaji LGA; Abdulmumin Usman, Maru LGA; Muhammad Nasir Saidu, Talatu Mafara LGA; Abdullahi A. Ukashatu, Tsafe LGA; Tukur Garba Kaita, Bungudu LGA; Salihu Musa Abdullahi, Bukuyun LGA; Sadiq Abdullahi, Fari Anka LGA; Lawali Muhammed, Argungu Bakura LGA; Jafaru Gide, Shinkafi LGA; Tanimu Muhammad, Shinkafi LGA; and Hassan Abdullahi,Shinkafi LGA.

The investigation is still ongoing while efforts are being made to recover all the illegal deductions.

 

Banker Sentenced To One-Year-Jail Term For Fraud In Osogbo

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File photo

 

A 51 year-old female banker, Yetunde Iyabo Adewunmi, has been sentenced to one year imprisonment for conspiracy, aiding and abating fraud.

A statement signed by the Head, Media & Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, Adewunmi confirmed that the sentence was given on Tuesday, October 8, 2019.

She was convicted of one-count instituted against her by the EFCC, Ibadan zonal office, before Justice Peter Lifu of the Federal High Court 2, sitting in Osogbo, Osun State.

Investigation conducted by officials of the Commission had revealed that the Adewunmi used her position as a staffer of a new generation bank in Ile-Ife, Osun State to forge two identity cards for one Abayomi Samuel Onalaja, an internet fraudster, to enable him cash two Western Union transactions received from his foreign victims.

She was said to have benefited N236,736 from the illegal dealings.

Owing to the findings, the Commission earlier filed against her a five-count charge bordering on money laundering, but later amended it to one-count after agreeing to a plea bargain option with her.

The amended charge professed her guilty of an offence contrary to Section 27(2) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.

She pleaded guilty to the charge and was accordingly convicted.

The prosecution counsel Shamusuddeen Bashir, had earlier prayed the court to accept the conditions of the plea bargain which included restitution of the proceeds of the crime, and as well confirmed that the Commission had indeed received the sum.

EFCC Re-Arraigns Atiku’s Son In-Law, Abdullahi Babalele

 

 

The Economic and Financial Commission, (EFCC) has re-arraigned Abdullahi Babalele, a son-in-law of the former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar.

Babalele was re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on a 2 count charge bordering on allegations of money laundering.

According to the charge signed on behalf of the EFCC by its prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, Mr Babalele committed the offence in February 2019.

When the charges were read to him, Babalele pleaded not guilty.

His lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) argued his application seeking the permission of the court for the release of his international passport to enable him to travel abroad for medical treatment.

The EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, raised objections to the request insisting that there was no materials placed before the court to warrant the application being granted.

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Mr Oyedepo also insisted that there is no evidence that the defendant cannot be treated in the country.

He asked the court to dismiss the application and instead order for an accelerated trial.

Justice Aneke has fixed Oct 11 for his ruling.

Mr Babalele was first arraigned before Justice Nicolas Oweibo during the court’s annual vacation and was granted bail in the sum of N20m.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo admitted Babalele to bail in the sum of N20million with one surety in like sum.

The judge said the surety must be resident in Lagos and must produce evidence of means through an affidavit.

Babalele was also directed to deposit his passport, which has been with the EFCC, with the court.

The two counts against Abdullahi reads;

COUNT 1: That you Abdullahi Babalele on or about the 20th day of February 2019 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court. procured Bashir Mohammed to make a cash payment of the sum of $140,000. 00 (One Hundred and Forty Thousand United State Dollars) without going through a financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

Count 2: That you Abdullahi Babalele on or about the 20th day of February 2019 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, aided Bashir Mohammed to make a cash payment of the sum of $140,000. 00 (One Hundred and Forty Thousand United State Dollars) without going through financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

Corruption: I Don’t Care Who You Are, I’ll Go After You – Magu

Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu speaking to journalists in Benue state

 

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has distanced himself and the anti-graft agency from political inclination.

Speaking with journalists on Monday, Mr Magu stated that the agency will come after anyone alleged to be corrupt, regardless of who they are.

“I don’t care who you are, where you come from. The political inclination is not an issue, so there is no question of identifying the chairman of a political party under investigation,” he said.

“If you are corrupt, I’ll go after you. You can see the two governors who were convicted were APC governors; there is no doubt about that”.

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He further explained that the agency does not invite people on a hear-say basis, but only when there is something linked to the person.

“If you are corrupt, we usually conduct a very thorough preliminary investigation before we go after you, that’s why if you are invited by EFCC, there must be something.

“I think the fear factor is helping a lot,” he added.

EFCC Arrests Three Suspects For N7m SIM Swap Fraud

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Makurdi zonal office has arrested three suspects for conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N7 million.

A statement from the anti-graft agency said the trio were on September 9, following information about their activities.

Those arrested are – Adewuyi Adebayo, 31; Osikoya Gboyega, 44 and Akintunde Ogunrinde, 47.

They were arrested at different locations in Lagos State and transferred to Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

The statement said, “The petitioner alleged that on 18th of February, 2018, he noticed his MTN line had stopped working as no calls or messages came to his phone and the phone displayed a message saying, ‘invalid SIM card’.

“He went to the MTN office to lodge a complaint but was told to apply for a welcome back SIM that was not successful as someone else had swapped his SIM card in Abia State.

“He immediately contacted his account officer at FCMB to inform them of the development and to change his alert phone number to another line, only to discover that transactions had occurred on his account without his consent.”

According to the EFCC, the threshold limit for online transfers on the victim’s account had also been increased above N500,000 and the sum of N7,107,540 had been removed from his account.

It said further investigations revealed that the suspects masterminded the alleged fraud and would soon be charged to court.

No Forensic Evidence To Prove Maina Stole Money – Lawyer

 

A lawyer and rights activist, Frank Tietie, has said that there’s no forensic evidence to prove that the former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, stole any money.

Mr Tietie said this while reacting to the arrest of Maina on Wednesday.

“There is no forensic evidence to prove that Maina stole money directly”, he said in an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today.

He, however, noted that he was optimistic that with the arrest, Nigerians can now see an end to the “mysterious Maina saga”.

Tietie who believes the ex-pensions boss has enjoyed a lot of protection, also says he hopes that “all of those forces who have always wanted him, who have always been scared of him would now come and face him and he should be given the opportunity to say the whole truth”.

“Miana definitely has enjoyed some measure of cooperation from the state authorities in such a confusing manner.

“At a point he was declared wanted, only to be reported to be protected by the DSS,” he added.

Maina had been declared wanted by the EFCC for an alleged N2 billion fraud in November 2015.


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Afterward, he disappeared from the public glare only to resurface in October 2017 and was reinstated as a Director in the Ministry of Interior – a situation that sparked criticism from Nigerians.

Tietie, however, believes that the controversial reinstatement and seeming protection was a deliberate act to lure him into releasing some sensitive information.

In an exclusive interview with Channels TV, after his return, the ex-pensions boss had said that if given a chance, he could prove his innocence to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Beyond that, he also promised to uncover some proceeds of corruption within nine months.

“Mr President, I will give you information and documents that will fetch you over N3trillion now in Nigeria, give me nine months. Within the first three months, I will show you N1trillion just like I showed you N1trillion in this 2017,” Maina had said.

Tietie, on the other hand, believes that with the level of confidence exuded by Maina, he could indeed possess “sufficient intelligence with regards to the situation of pension”.

“I think he was reinstated as a bait, in order to allow him release all of those sensitive information he has, to bust corruption,” he added.

He, therefore, urged the EFCC to do a thorough job before it proceeds to arraign him, while also calling on the DSS to use the opportunity to also clear itself on the allegations that it had been protecting Maina.

Court To Hear Metuh’s Application Against EFCC Spokesperson October 7

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed October 7 for the hearing of the application filed by the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh against the spokesperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Wilson Uwajeren.

Metuh, through his counsel, Mr Abel Ozioko, had filed the application following alleged misrepresentation of the proceedings of the court in the media by Uwajeren.

At the resumed hearing on Metuh’s substantive matter, Ozioko drew the attention of the court to the report allegedly written and circulated by Mr Uwajeren, wherein he “misrepresented the proceedings of the court”.

According to him, the publication on the EFCC’s website, Facebook page and some national dailies titled: “How I shared N400 million from Dasuki – Metuh”, was outright falsehood and distortion aimed at “misleading the unsuspecting public” on issues regarding the case.

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Mr Ozioko told the court, presided over by Justice Okon Abang that the publication, which he further described as malicious, mischievous and a deliberate misrepresentation intended to mislead the public, blackmail the court and derail the course of justice, did not reflect the proceeding in court on Friday, September 27 2019.

Mr Ozioko added that contrary to claims in the EFCC publication, Metuh “never admitted receiving any money from Colonel Sambo Dasuki neither did he admit to have shared the N400 million duly released to him by President Goodluck Jonathan, for an approved special national assignment to individuals for other purposes.”

According to the counsel, “the publication was deliberately designed to injure and drag the integrity of the court in the mud and derail a fair trial by selling to the Nigerian public, an impression that the defendant admitted receiving the said amount from Dasuki and shared same for political purposes.

He, therefore, moved a motion, to protect its integrity and put an end to the media trial in Metuh’s case by ordering that the EFCC spokesman, Mr Uwajeren appears in court to show course why he should not be committed to prison for contempt and misrepresentation of proceedings.

Thereafter, Justice Abang fixed Monday, October 7, for hearing on the application.