The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Gombe Zonal Office is interrogating one Eze Mavus Ugochukwu, a student of Computer Science, Bauchi State Polytechnic, who defrauds unsuspecting members of the public by posing as a Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army.
Ugochukwu, an indigene of Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State was arrested by the officers of 33 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Shadawanka Barracks, Bauchi State and handed over to the Gombe Zonal Office of the EFCC for further investigation and possible prosecution.
His arrest follows a complaint, lodged by one Mrs. Dorcas Oni that the suspect presented himself to her as a Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army and told her that he would assist her in securing admission for her son into the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) for which he made her transfer the sum of N400, 000.00 (Four Hundred Thousand Naira) to his account.
In the course of EFCC’s investigation, it was discovered that the suspect has defrauded some other victims to the tune of N1, 455,000.00 (One Million, Four Hundred and Fifty-Five Thousand Naira), using the same military bait. All the proceeds of crime were paid into his two bank accounts domiciled in FCMB and STANBIC IBTC, between December 2019 and July 2020.
Investigations further revealed that the suspect succeeded in making his victims believe he was a military officer by photo-shopping military officers’ uniforms and superimposing the image of his face on them, complementing the fraud by attaching his name tag on the uniforms.
He was also discovered to have forged military documents that he passed off to his victims as genuine in a bid to convince them that he would secure NDA admission for them.
He will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal Office, has secured the conviction and sentencing of one Oluwasegun Idowu Imole, an internet fraudster, to six months imprisonment before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.
The convict was arrested, following an intelligence report received by the Commission about the activities of some young boys in the Ikorodu area of Lagos who were living flamboyantly without any known means of livelihood.
Investigation revealed that he was involved in a love scam and used fake identities to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
He was subsequently arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on possession of fraudulent documents containing false pretense, an offence contrary to Section 320 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015, use of false document and impersonation.
The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge preferred against him.
Consequently, the prosecution counsel, Joy Amahian and Okezie Chineye reviewed the facts of the matter and urged the court to convict him accordingly.
Delivering her judgment, Justice Dada convicted the defendant and sentenced him to six months imprisonment from September 2, 2020, with an option of N250,000.00 fine.
As part of efforts to stem the tide of criminal activities in the maritime sector, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Nigeria Navy have agreed to review their strategies.
This resolve was expressed on Monday, September 21, 2020 during a courtesy visit by the Zonal Head of the Lagos office of EFCC, AbdulRasheeed Bawa, to Commodore Ibrahim Aliyu Shetima, Commander, Nigeria Navy Ship, NSS BEECROFT, Apapa Lagos.
Speaking during the visit, Bawa said: “The EFCC has the mandate to prosecute arrested suspects for illegal dealings in petroleum products and other maritime-related crimes and it has lived up to its billings. We will continue to curtail the activities of the criminals in the maritime industry”.
Bawa, who conveyed the regards of the acting Chairman, Umar Mohammed, to Shetimma, acknowledged the existing cooperation and working relationship between the EFCC and the Navy.
The Lagos Zonal Head, who used the occasion to officially introduce himself to the Commander, also sought a more robust collaboration and deepening of the existing working relationship.
Bawa, who also gave an update on the progress of the cases handed over to the EFCC Lagos Zonal Office, added that “We have recorded a 90 per cent success rate in our cases in court.
“Out of the 46 cases handed over to the Commission in the course of the collaboration, 22 of them have been completed successfully, including 17 vessels and their products forfeited to the Federal Government after diligent investigation and prosecution, while 18 others are at advanced stages of prosecution in various courts”.
Bawa further expressed the readiness of the Commission to look into whatever challenges that might be hindering the speedy prosecution of suspects over illegal oil deals, adding that “the Commission would continue to strategize and be more proactive in the investigation of cases handed over to it so as to ensure that products in the vessels are evacuated promptly.”
Earlier, Shettima had expressed his gratitude over the visit, saying, “This visit could not have come at a better time. I am impressed by the progress the Commission had made so far on the prosecution of maritime-related offenders.
“We appreciate your efforts and timely intervention in the evacuation of suspects and prompt prosecution.
“Globally, maritime resources are important and Nigeria is not an exemption. We must continue to work together to protect the industry and curtail the activities of the criminals.”
The trial of former minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki SAN, resumed on Monday, September 21, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
During cross-examination, the first prosecution witness, Tahir Umar Tahir told the court that of the N359million approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan for the nationwide sensitisation and enlightenment of Muslim Youths Against hate speech and religious intonations, only N200million was released to him by Turaki.
During cross-examination by the first defence counsel, Joe Kyari Gadzama SAN, Tahir told the court that though he was aware that N359million was approved for the project by the then President Jonathan, only N200million was released to him by the minister, stating that “I am not aware of this amount (N359 million), being released for this project. I only know what was given to me.”
Gadzama in its cross-examination sought the witness to clarify the extent to which he carried out the sensitisation programme, billed to cover the entire country, to which he stated that he started out in Akwa Ibom, South-South, did in the South-East, Abuja and Kaduna, stating that he had handed over the records and videos of the sensitisation activities in these locations to the EFCC.
When asked what he did to ensure that he got the balance from the approved N359 million, since he only received N200 million, he informed the court that he approached Turaki for the balance to which he said the minister told him the funds would come in tranches but that he never got the balance till they left office.
The trial was adjourned till September 22, 2020, for further cross-examination of the witness.
Turaki is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on a 16-count of fraud and misappropriation to the tune of N714,670,014.87 ( Seven Hundred and Fourteen Million, Six Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Fourteen Naira, Eighty- seven Kobo).
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), has arraigned Bunu Sherrif before Justice Fadawu Umaru of the Borno State High Court on one count charge bordering on cheating to the tune of N845,300.00 (Eight Hundred and Forty -Five Thousand, Three Hundred Naira).
The defendant allegedly bought seventy-nine bags of maize at N10,700.00 (Ten Thousand Seven Hundred Naira) per bag, totaling N845,300.00 from the petitioner, Alhaji Musa Usman Askira on the agreement of paying the victim after selling the maize.
According to the facts of the case, the defendant refused to remit the proceeds from the sales, even after the victim confirmed that the farm produce had been sold.
The one-count charge read: “That you Alhaji Bunu Sheriff sometime in 2019 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, while being entrusted with dominion over certain properties to wit: 79 bags of maize worth N845,000.00 (Eight Hundred and Forty Five Thousand, Three Hundred Naira only) by one Alhaji Musa Usman Askira did dishonestly misappropriate the said proceeds, being the value of the said 79 bags of maize and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 311 and 312 of the Penal Code Law of Borno State Cap. 102 Vol. 3 of 1994 respectively.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges when he took his plea.
Upon the plea, prosecution counsel, A.U. Ringim asked the court for a trial date, for the prosecution to open its case and prayed the court to remand the defendant in the Correctional Service.
Counsel to the defendant, A. Mohammed did not object to the prayers of the prosecution.
Justice Umaru adjourned the matter to September 29, 2020 for commencement of trial and ordered that the defendant be remanded in a Correctional Service.
Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court, sitting in Ikeja, Lagos has convicted and sentenced a fake crude oil merchant, Adesanya Olufemi, to twenty-one year imprisonment, for defrauding a lady, Oluwatoyin Akinwole, the sum of N33, 617.000.00 (Thirty Three Million, Six Hundred and Seventeen Thousand Naira only).
The convict was arraigned by the Lagos zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), alongside one Awojobi Ganiu, on December 11, 2018 on four-count charges bordering on stealing and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N33, 617.000.00 (Thirty Three Million, Six Hundred and Seventeen Thousand Naira).
The petitioner, Oluwatoyin Akinwole, alleged that the defendants, who claimed to be into crude oil business, had approached her to join them in the business sometime in 2017. However, the defendants, after receiving money from her, reneged on the agreement mutually made by them.
One of the counts read: “ That you, Adesanya Olufemi and Awojobi Ganiu sometime in 2017 at Lagos , within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, fraudulently obtained the sum of N33,617.000 (Thirty-Three Million, Six Hundred and Seventeen Thousand Naira) by false pretence, property of Mrs. Oluwatoyin Akinwole, on the representation that you are into crude oil business, which representation you knew was false.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to them, thereby leading to their full trial. However, the trial eventually involved Olufemi alone, as the second defendant, Ganiu opted for a plea bargain by pleading guilty to the charges. . During the course of the trial of Olufemi, prosecution counsel, Daji Samuel, presented five witnesses, including Akinwole, also known as Toyin Texas, and also tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.
Delivering her judgment, Justice Dada convicted and sentenced Olufemi to 14 years imprisonment on count one and another 14 years on count two. He was also convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment on count four. He ,was however, discharged on count three. The sentences run concurrently from the date of his arraignment
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), Ilorin zonal office, have arrested two lecturers of the Kwara State College of Health Technology, Offa: Abdulahi Opashola and Adebisi Ademola and twenty-eight others over their alleged involvement in offences bordering on internet fraud.
The twenty-eight other suspects are: Kingsley Essien; Tobiloba Adenuga; Tope Ayodele; Rasheed Mujib; Oladipo Opeyemi; Saadu Muktar; Oladejo Hammed; Hammed Tope; Ameachi Umenyi, Salauden Adam and Afolabi Gafar.
Others are: Oladimeji Timi; Remilekun Adeolu; Audu John; David Momodu; Abdulkareem Samad; Adebiyi Sodiq; Dawodu Olusoji; Yusuf Amoo; Kehinde Olarenwaju; Philip Mike, Ademola Adebukola and Adeniyi Olamilekan.
The rest are : Adeyemi Adedeji; Ajayi Teslem; Olawale Oladayo, Olasunkanmi Olawale and Adeleke Damilola.
They were arrested at different locations within Kwara State, following intelligence gathered by operatives of the Commission over their alleged involvement in the offence.
Meanwhile, efforts are ongoing to arrest a herbalist who is also linked with the alleged offence.
Items recovered from them include cars, phones, laptops among others.
Operatives of the Uyo zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC ) have arrested two music producers and four others over their alleged involvement in cyber crimes in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
This was contained in a statement signed by the commission’s spokesman, Dele Oyewale and released on Friday.
According to the statement, the music producers are John Obot and Odok Valentine. Others are; Emdiong Iwoenang ; Christian Alvan Okechukwu, Innocent Japhet and Edem Uwana.
They were arrested recently at their apartment located on 3 Ring Road, off Shelter Afrique, Uyo.
Items recovered from them, at the point of arrest, are: five laptops; 11 mobile phones; one grey -coloured Mazda 3, a black- coloured Lexus ES 350 and a silver- coloured Toyota Camry car, the EFCC said.
Forensic analyses of the 5 laptops and 11 phones recovered from them, revealed evidences of their various levels of involvement in cyber crimes.
Based on the incriminating evidences against them, they all owned up and made confessional statements.
The EFCC said they will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.
A former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission ( NDDC), has forfeited a sum of N250,000,000 to the Federal Government.
This is according to a statement released by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday.
However, the EFCC did not reveal the name of the former Managing Director in the statement.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, recently granted the final forfeiture of the money, based on an application for final forfeiture of the fund by the Lagos zonal office of the EFCC, the statement, signed by spokesman Dele Oyewale, said.
The EFCC had approached the court, seeking the forfeiture of the fund, arguing that it was traced, recovered, and reasonably suspected to be part of the proceeds of unlawful activities.
An investigation by the Commission revealed that a contractor with the NDDC received funds for a purported contract and transferred N250 million, suspected as kickbacks, to a real estate company, for the acquisition of a property in favour of the former MD of the NDDC.
The EFCC, “armed with enough facts and figures involved in the transaction, approached the court for the forfeiture of the money to the government.
“Justice Aikawa granted the order of final forfeiture accordingly.”
A first prosecution witness in the trial of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, and seven others being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC), on Thursday, September 10, 2020, told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, that only Megatech Engineering Limited was registered with the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering( SCUML).
Megatch Engineering Limited is among the eight defendants standing trial before Justice I.E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja. Others are Malabu Oil & Gas Limited, Aliyu Abubakar, A Group Construction Company Limited; Rocky Top Resources Limited; Novel Properties and Development Company Limited, Imperial Union Limited, and Carlin International Nigeria Limited.
They were arraigned on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, arraigned on sixty –seven amended count charges, bordering on money laundering to the tune of $875,740,000( Eight Hundred and Seventy-Five Million, Seven Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars).
At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, prosecution counsel, Bala Sangha, presented the first prosecution witness, Temitope Erinomo, a public servant who works with the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment.
In his testimony before the court, Erinomo disclosed that, upon investigation, they found out that it is only the fourth defendant: Megatech Engineering Limited that is registered with SCUML. “Between December 31, 2019, and January 24, 2020, we received series of letters from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC in my office, requesting for information about the defendants. The letters sought among other things, to know the compliance status of the companies, with the relevant section of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (As amended) and the letter also requested additional information that we may find useful to the Commission in respect to the on-going investigation.”
“On receipt of the letter, we searched through our institution’s database, we found out that these companies have not made a declaration of their activities to the ministry, and we also found out that they have not filed a report to the ministry and also to the EFCC. We also found out that, in respect to one of the defendants, that, there were several violations of statutory reports that were not reported, and in a specific case, we have an account of single lodgement of $360,000(Three Hundred and Sixty Thousand United States Dollars) which was not filed, which was made into the account of one of the defendants domiciled with Guaranty Trust Bank( GTB) which was not reported.”
Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and the other companies being tried by the EFCC, are classified as Designated Non-Financial Institutions( DNFIs). They are required to be registered with SCUML and their operations are expected to be regulated by the Unit. Erinomo explained that; “DNFIs means Designated Non-Financial Institutions, and this means, businesses that are designated under Section 35 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011. They are Designated, based on the fact that they pose certain Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk to the economy, and the bases for such designation is the fact that these companies and businesses, were being used previously by money launderers and other criminals to carry out their activities and the fact that they are currently being used and also possess the potential to be used in the future for such activities.”
Based on his testimony, Sangha applied to tender documents the witness presented as exhibits before the court. They are letters from the EFCC and they were marked and accepted by the court as exhibit PW1/A1-A26.
The witness also explained more about Malabu Oil and Gas Limited: “When we received the letter from the EFCC, we looked at the entire charter of Malabu Oil & Gas Limited, among other things, that it is a consultancy firm. We also received bank statements of the company from the EFCC and we analyzed these bank statements, and we found out that there were series of transactions that were not reported to the EFCC, and also no declaration of their activities were made to the ministry as well. We also found out from off-sight inspection, there was no appointment of a Compliance Officer and no records of training of their staff. We have no record of Malabu Oil & Gas Limited as a Designated Non-Financial Institution, having established an External audit unit and also have set up programmes to combat Money Laundering and other illegal acts.” The witness told the court that they found out similar infractions from 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th defendants.
After listening to his testimony and cross-examined by the defence counsel, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter to October 27, 28 & 29 2020 for the continuation of cross-examination and hearing.
The Lagos zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has commenced investigations of a suspected fraudster for concealing 2,886 Automated Teller Machine(ATM) cards and four Subscriber Identification Module( SIM) cards in noodles.
The suspect: Ishaq Abubakar was handed over to the EFCC by the Nigeria Customs Service on Thursday, September 10, 2020 for investigation and prosecution.
Abubakar got into trouble when he was arrested by officers of the Customs Service at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on his way to Dubai with 2, 886 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards and four Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards carefully concealed in parks of noodles.
While handing over the suspect to the EFCC in Lagos on Thursday, Deputy Comptroller, Enforcement, Abudulmumuni Bako, said: “Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service at the Departure Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, on August 22, 2020, intercepted the suspect with 2, 886 ATM cards and four SIM cards, which he carefully concealed in parks of Noodles.”
Bako, who represented the Customs Area Comptroller, A. Ma’aji, added that “The suspect, who claimed to have come from Kano to travel to Dubai aboard the Emirate Evacuation flight , was seen with someone who was assigned to facilitate his movement through the airport checks.
“This raised the suspicion of the officers who insisted he should be physically and thoroughly checked after the scan machine had revealed he was carrying parks of noodles”, he said.
In his response, the Lagos zonal head, AbdulRasheed Bawa, who received the suspect on behalf of the Commission, assured the Service that the Commission would duly investigate the suspect and any other party that might be involved in the alleged criminal offence.
According to him, “ On behalf of the Commission and the acting Chairman, Mr. Muhammed Umar, we have taken over Ishaq, and I can assure you that we are going to investigate the matter thoroughly and unveil everybody involved in the syndicate.
“There are a number of possibilities. There is an element of conspiracy, foreign exchange (FOREX) malpractices, and money laundering.
“Indeed, banks and bankers are definitely involved. “
Bawa also emphasized the possibility of the suspect being a member of a network, adding that “In recent months, we have observed a trend in which unsuspecting Nigerians are lured into opening accounts to be bought at a fee.
“Most bankers are not carrying out their duties with due diligence, particularly the Know Your Customers, KYC, procedural check”, he said
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office, have arrested two pairs of brothers: Ayoola Timilehin, Olusola Timilehin, and Oladayo Fayemi, Tolulope Fayemi and three others suspected to be internet fraudsters.
They were arrested at their hideout on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, at Alaka, Elebu area of Ibadan, Oyo State.
The other three suspects arrested with them are Temitope Kumuyi, Babatunde Oyelakin and Olanrewaju Ibrahim. They are all between 20 and 30 years age range.
The suspects were arrested based on intelligence linking them with opulence without any identifiable means of livelihood. Items recovered from them, include: four cars, laptops, exotic phones and a stamp bearing the identity of the bursary section of Queensland University’s School of Medicine, Australia.
They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.