Court discharges Akingbola over shabby prosecution

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday dismissed the corruption charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank (now Access Bank), Erastus Akingbola for lack of diligent prosecution.

The presiding judge, Justice Charles Archibong equally discharged the accused person from all the charges and directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, to disband the prosecuting team led by five Senior Advocates.

The judge had earlier overruled the former bank chief in his objection to the new amended 26 counts that was filed against him by the EFCC on the 13th of December, 2010.

Justice Archibong in his ruling on the issue held that the leave of court is not required to amend a charge and that the anti-graft agency has not acted outside the law in taking the action.

He then directed that the amended charge be read to the accused person.

However, this was not to be as the EFCC’s counsel, Godwin Obla, told the court that he was not prepared for trial and that a motion for stay of further proceedings in the matter has been filed.

He then asked for an adjournment for him to compile records of an appeal lodged by the commission against the decision of the judge not to disqualify himself from the matter as demanded by the EFCC.

At this point, the judge rose and went into his chamber to write another ruling on the request of the EFCC to stay further proceedings in the matter.

The judge in his new ruling stated as said “I direct the AGF to disband, sack and debrief the present prosecution team of five SANs and their respective firm for being incompetent in the prosecution of the charges against the accused before this court.

“I direct the AGF to disband the team for serious abuse of process. They are a drain in the public purse, a fact the AGF should be mindful of now if he was not before. This prosecution team have chosen to pursue a campaign to scandalise the court. This amounts to serious and professional incompetent on the prosecution of the accused.

“This prosecution team or any part of it shall not be given any further audience in this court in relation to the charges against this accused either before this presiding judge or any other judge of the Federal High Court for the reason I have given in the foregoing.

“Furthermore, I take judicial notice that the accused is presently facing charges before the Lagos High Court emanating from his tenure as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Intercontinental Bank Plc, the AGF may wish to regain control of this process. This he can of course do at anytime of his choice.

“Meanwhile, the prosecution team presently employed indulged in their professional incompetent to the extreme, had been unmindful of the accused rights for him to have the case against him clearly stated. They have been dismissive of his right to speedy trial which in reality should be a credible procedure.

“Not to indulge in this extended campaign against the presiding judge, I therefore dismissed the charges amended or otherwise.

“For this incompetent and abusive prosecution team, I discharge the accused accordingly and leave the AGF to consider his options.

“This enrol order and the record of proceedings will be served on the AGF and the prosecution team. I will be referring the conduct of the SANs who led this prosecution team to the Ethics and Priviledges Committee for further consideration and determination of the issue.

The five Senior Advocates involved in the prosecution of the case are: Emmanuel Ukala, Konyinsola Ajayi, Kola Awodein, J.B. Daudu and Damien Dodo.

Mr Akingbola had In a notice of preliminary objection filed through his counsel, Felix Fagbohungbe, disclosed that the proposed amended charge is meant to over-reach his earlier objection to the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit in the first place.

According to him, a notice of preliminary objection seeking to quash the charges was filed in respect of an initial 22-counts amended charge that was filed by the commission on the 26th of January, 2010.

He disclosed further that upon the service of the notice on the commission, it went ahead to file another amended charge dated 13th Dec., 2010.

While describing the new amended charge as an abuse of court’s processes, Mr Akingbola alleged that with the new amendment, the EFCC is pursuing a piece meal prosecution to his detriment.

He then urged the court to refuse the amendment saying allowing it will prejudice his right to fair hearing.

However, in its counter affidavit to the notice, the EFCC said it is false that it is indecisive as to whether to prosecute the accused person or that it seeks to prosecute him in bits and pieces as alleged by him.

The anti-graft agency further disclosed that the present amendment is not directed at manipulating the criminal process as alleged by the accused person neither is it intended to take unfair advantage of him.

Akingbola ask court to restrain EFCC from collecting rent on his properties

The Former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc (now Access Bank), Erastus Akingbola on Thursday asked a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to restrain the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and its agent, one E.L Etudo from collecting rents from his properties seized by the anti-graft agency in December 2009

The EFCC had in December seized some buildings belonging to the former bank Chief Executive officer following allegations of financial impropriety leveled against him.

In an Originating summons brought pursuant to Order 3 Rules 6 and 7 of the Federal high Court Civil Procedures Rules 2009, Mr Akingbola also wants the court to declare that by virtue of its order made in December 2009 between the Chairman of the EFCC and himself, the properties referred to in the order are not forfeited to the Federal government.

In the suit, which had Mr Etudo as a co-respondent, Mr Akingbola also asked the court to declare that the EFCC lacks the power and right to appoint an agent to manage the properties referred to in the said order as properties forfeited to the federal Government.

However, the EFCC in its counter affidavit asked the court to reject the Mr Akingbola’s application on the grounds that it lacks merit, is frivolous, vexatious and meant to distract the court.

The agency said that Mr Etudo was appointed to manage the attached property in escrow account pending the determination of the criminal trial of the former bank boss.

EFCC also said that though Mr Akingbola was restrained from dealing with the property known as Amazing Grace Plaza, he had through a company known as Amazing Inspiration Media Limited collected the sum of ten Million, Eight Hundred and sixty Thousand naira (N10, 860,000) as 2 years rent from Samsung Nigeria Limited, one of the tenants of the attached property at the Amazing Grace Plaza.

Hearing on the applications was adjourned till 13 April by Justice Binta Nyako who also directed that the applications and counter applications should be proper served to the parties in the suit.

Atiku, 5 others in prison over N32.8b police pension scam

An Abuja High Court at Gudu on Thursday remanded the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Atiku Abubakar Kigo and five others in Kuje Prison, following allegation that they conspired and diverted the sum of N32.8 Billion from the Police Pension Fund.

One of the accused person hiding his face from the Camera. Other accused persons were also too ashamed to show their faces in camera.

The other accused persons who were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions (EFCC) alongside Mr Kigo were Esai Dangabar, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, John Yakubu Yusufu, Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula and Sani Habila Zira.

There was a mild drama in the court as the trial began. Two lawyers, Adeniyi Awomolo and John Egwuonu separately announced that they will be representing the accused persons.

Presiding Judge, Justice Mohammed Abubakar Talba however asked each accused person to identify their counsel, clearing the air for the case to commence.

Each of the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the 16 count read to them.

Mr Awomolo, the counsel to the first defendant, made an application for bail, which was supported by the counsel to the other five accused persons, Mr Egwuonu based on the fact that the accused persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty by the court of the law, therefore the accused persons can be admitted to bail.

The counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacob who did not object to the applications of the defence counsels, asked the court to set another date for the bail to be formally argued.

Though the accused persons begged the court to allow them to remain in the Custody of the EFCC pending the determination of their bail applications, the judge declined their request, saying that: “there is no law permitting the remand of an accused person in any other place apart from prison custody.”

He thereafter ordered the six accused persons to be remanded in prison till next Tuesday when their bail application will be argued.
Consequently, the accused persons were moved to the Kuje prison.

N503 million Fraud: Speaker of Lagos state House of Assembly asks court to quash case

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji and his Personal Assistant, Oyebode Atoyebi, on Monday asked a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, to quash the 20-count of fraud and money laundering brought against them by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji who is standing trial for conspiring and accepting various cash payments amounting to N503 million from the House without going through a financial institution.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants had sometime between April 2010 and July 2011 conspired and accepted various cash payments amounting to N503 million from the House without going through a financial institution.

Misters Ikuforiji and Atoyebi were first arraigned before Justice John Tsoho on March 1, 2012. Justice Tsoho had unceremoniously withdrawn from the case, allegedly due to the attitude of counsel in the matter for his action.

The accused were later re-arraigned before Justice Okechukwu Okeke, following the re-assignment of the case to him by the Chief Judge of the Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta.

At the resumed hearing in the matter, the EFCC’s lawyer, Godwin Obla had told the court of the pendency of the charge and prayed the court for same to be read to the accused persons for their plea to be taken.

The charge was read to the accused persons, who pleaded not guilty to each of the count.

Counsel to the accused persons, Tayo Oyetibo urged the court to admit them to bail, on self recognition as Mr Ikuforiji is the third citizen in Lagos State while Mr Atoyebi is an aide to Speaker.

The anti-graft agency did not oppose the bail application, but urged the court to impose stiffer bail condition for Mr Atoyebi.
The court in a short ruling, granted bail to the Speaker on self recognition, while the Clerk of the Lagos Assembly, Segun Habiru stood as surety for Mr Atoyebi.

Mr Ikuforiji, meanwhile praying the court to quash the charge, argued that the act of the Lagos State House of Assembly being an arm of the government of Lagos State cannot be subjected to the criminal jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.

He said that the Speaker of the state House of Assembly by virtue of Section 92(1) and 95(1) of the constitution is the presiding officer/principal officer of the House of Assembly.

Atuche used 18 companies to steal Bank PHP fund – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday accused the former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Francis Atuche, of buying the bank’s shares for 18 companies belonging to him and his wife, Elizabeth Atuche.

The EFCC had charged Mr Atuche, his wife, Elizabeth and a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Ugo Anyanwu to court for allegedly stealing over N25.7 billion belonging to Bank PHB (now KeyStone Bank) between November 2007 and April 2008

David Nkpe, a field investigator with the EFCC who made the allegation, before a Lagos High Court sitting in ikeja, also said that the shares, worth billions of naira, were fraudulently purchased using funds belonging to Bank PHB.

The EFCC had charged Mr Atuche, his wife, Elizabeth and a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Ugo Anyanwu to court for allegedly stealing over N25.7 billion belonging to Bank PHB (now KeyStone Bank) between November 2007 and April 2008, while Mr Atuche was the Chief Executive Officer of the bank.

Mr Nkpe who was led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Kemi Pinheiro, said that the 18 companies belonging to the former bank chief executive officer purchased the shares during a public offer by Bank PHB in May 2007.

The companies are Claremount Investment Limited, Montrax Investico, Stanford Global Limited, Arabian Probity, Consolidated Business Support Limited, Commercial Trading Limited and Filemon Enterprise.

It also includes Oakwood Asset Limited, Ventures Resources, Caledonia Enterprise, Financial Company Limited, Claremount Asset Management Limited, Clairville Business Support.

Others are Gazali Yakubu Limited, Afco Associate Limited, Septron Trading Limited, Guess-Trade Services Limited and Nolly Investment Limited.

The EFCC witness said a thorough investigation and confirmation from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) revealed that these companies were mainly owned by the Atuches.

According to him, these companies never repaid the money back to Bank PHB despite the fact that the transactions placed them on the top 1,000 list of the bank’s shareholders.

The Presiding Justice Lateefah Okunnu adjourned till Wednesday, 28 March for continuation of trial.

N4.56 billion Pension fraud: EFCC seizes properties of former Pension office Director

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has seized six properties belonging to a former Director of the Pension Administration Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Sani Teidi Shuaibu, who is standing trial over a N4.56 billion Pension fraud.

The properties which were taken over by the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the EFCC during an operation at the weekend included two buildings and four filling stations.

The interim forfeiture is sequel to an order of Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja made on 11 July 2011. The Court granted the order “restraining all persons including persons hereinafter referred to as RECEIVERS in the Schedules hereto attached, by themselves directly or through another, (whether natural or otherwise )including , but not limited to all parties listed in all the schedules hereto attached, whether or not named in Charge No FHC/ABJ/ CR28/2011, that is to say and such other persons yet to be identified, from removing, Alienating, Disposing of, Dealing with or Diminishing the value of, assets or properties being suspected proceeds of crimes or otherwise, held or owned by or in the names of persons suspected of the alleged Financial Crimes in Charge no: FHC/ABJ/CR/28/2011.

“That the Executive Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, is hereby permitted to seize and retain custody of all such properties or assets of persons listed in the schedules attached to this Motion, which assets are suspected proceeds of crime or the value thereof until the final determination of Charge no: FHC/ABJ/CR/28/2011.”

The court also granted an order permitting the Executive Chairman of the EFCC to seize and retain custody of all the properties or assets of persons (as listed in the attached schedules) though not yet charged but found to be connected with the transaction or allegation contained in charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/28/2011.

Some of the properties belonging to Mr Shuaibu which the court asked the EFCC to seize included:
(a) No 24, Ahmadu Musa Crescent, Jabi, Abuja;
(b) Brefina Hotel at plot 1106, (Beside MTN) warehouse, adjacent to vines Hotel, Durumi, Abuja;
(c) A house at No 1, Shuaibu close, opposite Governor’s House, Idah;
(d) Riba-ile petroleum Ltd;
(e) M.R.S Ajaka (registered as Riba-Ile oil Ltd; (f) M.R.S Idah station, Idah, registered with Hammo oil, Nigeria;
(g) NNPC Mega station, Idah junction, Ayingba, registered with Hammo oil, Nig. Ltd.
(h) MRS Filling Station at Ganaja, Lokoja; (i)Registered with A.Y Ted oil Ltd; (j) A mansion at Idah, opposite Federal Polytechnic, Idah; (k) SunTrust Properties company Ltd;
(l) Plot B59, Dawaki Extension layout, Bwari Area council, Abuja;
(m) An Estate of about 10 bungalows, lying and being at Dantata Street, Nyanyan, FCT, Abuja.

The properties which were taken over by the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the EFCC during an operation at the weekend included two buildings and four filling stations.

One of the buildings located at 1 Shuaibu Close, G.R.A. Idah, Kogi state is an imposing 8 bedroom twin duplex, a 5 units 2 bedrooms apartment, two-room security house and a mosque all scattered in the expansive compound.

The property at the Polytechnic Road, directly opposite Federal Polytechnic, Okenya, Idah, Kogi state is an unpainted one story duplex with multiple sitting rooms and apartment built within.

The third property that was seized was a non-functional filling station, located 100 meters away from Ajaka police station. It has a small office building with four rusted and non-functional fuel pumps and a leister generator in a small generator house.

At Agbeji in Ayingba, Kogi state, a thriving MRS filling station located at Agbeji along Ayingba Road, a few meters from Confluence Fertilizer Company limited was also seized from Mr Shuaibu.

An NNPC Mega station along Lokoja-Enugu Highway, Ayingba and a Texaco filling station with a shopping mall along Ganaja Road, opposite Ibra Petroleum and Petrochemical Limited, Lokoja, Kogi state were among the properties seized from the former director.

Mr Shuaibu, Phina Ukamaka Chidi and 30 other suspects are facing trial on a 134 count of diversion of pension funds, abuse of office, using ghost pensioners to pay N2million and N3million into their accounts monthly and diversion of the same amount through award of fictitious contracts to companies which they manage. Ukamaka Chidi is a former Deputy Director (Finance and Accounts), in the pension office while Aliyu Bello was a Personal Assistant to Mr Shuaibu.

Other accused persons are Garba Abdullahi Tahir, Emmanuel Olanipekun, Abdullahi Omeiza, Computer Plaza and Essential gadget Ventures.

Others are Mobis Point Investment Ltd, Obista Enterprises, Shallow Well Ventures, Mof Investment Ltd, Zumba Resources, Pam Investment and Properties Ltd, Moshfad Enterprises, Newgate Projects Ltd, RedWings Energy Ltd, RedWing Procurement Services Ltd, Woodland Industries NIG Ltd, Nwab Tessy O Enterprises Nigeria, Chris J. Junior Ventures, Uthaka Nigeria Ltd, Bashinta Nigeria ltd, Haleath Enterprises, Gozinda Enterprises, Omozua Ventures, S.S Badejo Enterprises, Lopee ventures, Fafama Oil and gas Ltd, Fafama estate Developer Ltd and Riba-Ile Petroleum.

Count one of the 134 count reads “that you Dr. Shaiubu Sani Teidi, Phina Ukamaka Chidi Computer Plaza, Essential gadget Ventures, Mobis Point Investment Ltd, Obista Enterprises, Shallow Well Ventures at various times, between 2008 and 2010 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired among yourself to induce the pension department, office of the head of service of the federation of Nigeria, to deliver to you, various sums in the aggregate N176, 910, 650 (One Hundred and Seventy Six Million, Nine Hundred and Ten Thousand , Six Hundred and Fifty Naira) property vide the medium of a contract induced by false pretences, thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006”.

Watch the startling revelation at Senate probe on the Pension fund administration here.

SEC bribery scandal: EFCC summons Hon. Hembe for questioning

House of Representatives’ member and former chairman of the House Committee on the Capital Market, Herman Hembe, reportedly appeared before the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday to face questioning over allegations that he had requested N44 million in bribe from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ahead of a probe investigating the commission’s role in the Capital Market crash.

Arunma Oteh, SEC DG (L) and Hon. Herman Hembe (R)

Hon. Hembe, who was reportedly still with the EFCC as of 3 p.m. this afternoon, was chairing a public hearing during the probe when the SEC boss Ms Arunma Oteh accused him of demanding money from her to the tune of N39 million at first, and another N5 million a week before the hearing commenced.

The shocking allegations led to Hembe’s withdrawal as chairman of the Committee. He maintained his innocence, even accusing the SEC of offering him N30 million in bribes, but also welcomed the investigation of the EFCC in a bid to clean up his sullied reputation.

Sources were unable to confirm if SEC DG Oteh, who is also embroiled in the bribery scandal, answered summons for questioning.

The House had indicated earlier this week, that Oteh will face questioning after internal SEC memos leaked to the press showed that the Commission had offered to “assist” the proceedings by donating N30 million to the Committee.

Oteh, whose credibility and competence were questioned during the public hearings, had fought right back, questioning Hembe’s credibility in turn and accusing the lawmaker of collecting estacode from the Commission for an emerging markets conference in the Dominican Republic, which he never attended.

The SEC further refuted allegations that the Commision had attempted to bribe the Committee. Following the cross-fire of accusations and counter-accusations, the House of Representatives set up an ad-hoc committee to continue the probe under different leadership.

Witness tells court how El-Rufai allocated land to himself, family and companies

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday told an Abuja High Court that a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai and two of his officials unilaterally revoked some juicy plots of land and allocated same to themselves, their relatives and their companies.

Sunday Idowu, a former operative of the EFCC made the disclosure while being led in evidence by the commission’s lawyer, Adebayo Adelodun, in continuation of trial of the former minister who is facing an eight-count of abuse of office.

The two other accused persons are the Director General, Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS), Atine Jubrin and former General Manager, AGIS Ismail Iro.

Mr Idowu, an Inspector of Police gave detailed steps taken by his investigative team in unravelling facts behind the accusations against the accused persons.

“We interacted with interested parties notably Abuja Geographical Information Services (AGIS), Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) among others who gave us insight into what actually happened,” the police officer said.

He said that his team identified an official memo written by a senior official of FCDA advising against the irregular conversion of the plots.

“At AGIS, investigation revealed that plots 1201 and 3352 which were originally allocated to PHCN and NIPOST were revoked and then re-allocated to 9 private individuals including two wives of the former minister, daughter of former President Obasanjo, Iyabo Obasanjo–Bello, a serving senator, Philip Aduda and the 2nd and 3rd accused persons,” Mr Idowu said.

The witness further told the court that his team discovered from the Corporate Affairs Commission that Misters El-Rufai, and Iro are directors in the three companies which benefited from the re-allocation, namely: System Property Development Company, SPDC, Express Procurement Ltd and Pure Environment Services.

“In the course of investigation, it was discovered that one of the irregularly converted plots, allocated to one of the wives of the 1st accused person ,with new plot number 337 was also used by him as one of the properties declared as his own in his Asset Declaration Form with the Code of Conduct Bureau,” the police investigator said.

A former Executive Secretary with the FCDA, Sani Alhassan, told the court that after a meeting with the management of PHCN it was discovered that the earlier revocation was no more necessary. He said a memo was written to the former minister advising him to revert to status quo.

The case was adjourned to 25 April for further hearing.

Mr El-Rufai and his co-accused persons were first arraigned on an amended eight-count on Thursday 7 April 2011. Their arraignment followed a petition to EFCC, detailing allegations of abuse of office against the former minister on how he misappropriated government land which he allocated to his friends and family members, in flagrant breach of the Abuja Master plan.

Anti graft agency to partner UBEC on fight against corruption

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is to partner with the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, to engage school children across the country in its fight against corruption.

The chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, said the initiative involved supporting selected schools with N1 million each to execute self-help projects to impact on their environment.

“The youth are a veritable ally in the anti-corruption crusade and must be taken along right from their early stages. Thus we have taken steps to involve them in the fight through various programmes that have been initiated by the Commission one of which is the establishment of integrity groups across schools”, he said.

While congratulating the benefitting schools, Lamorde added that the primary role of these clubs was to build future leaders with integrity, honesty, patriotism, and high moral values as a basis for social change in Nigeria.

On his part, the representative of UBEC and Director, Social Mobilisation in the Commission, Ibrahim Sulaiman informed the EFCC that the self- help project is a World Bank- funded initiative that began in 2002 and which has so far intervened in over 20,000 schools across the Federation.

The Director further said that the N1million given to the schools was to encourage the communities where these schools are cited to own the projects, because only schools with broad -based management committees that involve the community benefit from the scheme.
The eleven schools that have benefitted so far from the N1 Million scheme are: Model Highway School,Calabar; Edo College, Benin City; Oyemekun Grammar School, Akure; Community Secondary School, Wadata, Benue State; Government Secondary School Akwanga, Nassarawa State; Government Junior Secondary School Kurmin Mashi , Kaduna State; Government Girls Secondary School, Wammako, Sokoto; Model Secondary School, Donga, Taraba State; Government Technical College, Abakaliki; Queen’s School 1, Enugu and Mashafa Community School, Abuja

EFCC arrests OSOPADEC boss

Mr. Debo Ajimuda, the chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC), was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for alleged corrupt practices.

The crime fighting body had arrested the chairman at his Ijapo residence in Akure, carting away bags of useful document evidence and 13 exotic cars.

According to reports, the EFCC staff had first sought out the elusive Ajimuda at his office, but were accosted by hostile employees who refused to let them go.

Commissioner of Police for the state, Garba Mohammed, had interfered in the skirmish, however, resulting in the release of the anti-graft agents who then made their way to the chairman’s residence.

The EFCC had been investigating Ajimuda’s activities, trailing him for two weeks before making their move. Ajimuda, as well as two other officials of the commission, are wanted by the EFCC over alleged criminal diversion and embezzlement of public funds, a source disclosed.

“Ajimuda claims to have spent N61.363billion between 2001 and 2011 but this is said to be a far cry from the over N100billion received by the commission within the same period.

“The petitioners alleged that the projects claimed to have been executed by the commission were either abandoned or do not exist at all.”

Head of Media and Publicity for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrests, saying Ajimuda needs to “clarify some issues”, including verifying whether projects budgeted for were actually executed.

The EFCC officials had reportedly arrived at his premises at about 6 a.m. on Tuesday and upon learning of their presence, Ajimuda had taken flight, scaling the fence of his property and hiding in an uncompleted building next door.

Ajimuda’s wife had tried covering his tracks as well, telling EFCC officials that he was not at home. However, the officials refused to leave the premises and set up surveillance around the premises to ensure he did not escape.

Tired of the wait, the OSOPADEC boss, clad in boxer shorts and a white undershirt, emerged from his hiding place at about 2:30 p.m. and was taken in by the officials.

Ondo State’s Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade said the investigation of the EFCC was a step in the right direction, but was wary of the methods used to arrest Ajimuda.

He insisted that OSOPADEC boss should have been invited for questioning by EFCC officials first before a forceful arrest is made.

He said, “It is not proper for the anti graft agency to just invade the office and home of the OSOPADEC boss and arrest the man without any formal invitation.”

Akinmade welcomed the investigation, adding that the Commission had nothing to hide.

Court insists ex-governor, Danjuma Goje has a case of fraud to answer

Danjuman Goje in the dockA Federal High Court in Gombe on Tuesday refused to quash charges of financial impropriety levelled against the former governor of Gombe state, Danjuma Goje by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court also fixed May 8, 2012 for the trial of the former governor who is currently a Senator in the National Assembly over an alleged fraud of N52 billion.

Mr Goje is facing an 18 count of conspiracy and money laundering along with Aliyu El-Nafarty (former Chairman, Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board), Sambo Mohammed Tumu (the ex- governor’s cousin and food supplier to Government House) and S.M. Dakoro, a businessman.

They were said to have conspired to defraud the state of about N25 billion which represented proceeds of illegal acts, contrary to and punishable under Sections 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act) 2011 as amended.

At the last sitting last December 9, the lawyer to the defendants, Adeniyi Akintola had argued that his clients had no case to answer, adding that the former governor, for instance, was given executive powers by the constitution to act executively, by fiat, even in the award of contracts or appropriation of funds without reporting to anybody.

Mr Akintola further said that the charge was based on anonymous but fictitious petitions which he referred to as ‘’beer parlour gossip.’’

However, the prosecuting counsel and lawyer to the EFCC, Wahab Shittu, urged the court to disregard the submissions by the defence counsel contending that the prosecution had enough evidence to prove its case against the accused persons.

Pension Fund Probe:EFCC Boss denies receiving Estacode for US Trip

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde has denied receiving money to travel abroad for pensioners’ biometric exercise.

Members of the Senate Committee probing the Pension Fund Administration presented a document with names and account numbers of government officials who travelled for the verification exercise and the name of the EFCC Chairman together with the Former Head of Service Professor Oladapo Afolabi were among the fifty names on the list.

But EFCC Chairman and Professor Afolabi said the account numbers do not belong to them.

The list had the names of fifty government officials who allegedly participated in the verification exercise of Nigerians in the diaspora in which the sum of 260 million naira was spent to verify twenty Nigerians.

The EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde,an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), is coming on board to serve under the umbrella of the EFCC, first as Acting Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the period former anti-corruption boss; Nuhu Ribadu who was replaced by Mrs. Farida Waziri.

Now coming in as the Chief Executive of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after his confirmation by the Senate on the 15th of February 2012, the EFCC boss has almost 25 years continuous training and experience after serving as Director of Operations to both Ribadu and Waziri.

Background:

Now 48 years old, Ibrahim Lamorde, got into the Plice force in the year 1986 after his first degree in Sociology from ABU Zaria which he bagged in 1984.

After which he was posted to the State Police Command in Niger State Minna where he was from 1987 to 1988 as DCO (Divisional Crime Office) he remained in Niger State to serve under a new position as the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for another four years.

Lamorde has worked with international crime fighting organisations such as the FBI, Metropolitan Police, US Postal Inspection Services (USPIS), Internet Crime Complaints Centre (IC3), the Dutch Police, German Police and the South African Police.

He has also served as the pioneer officer of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police, created in 1993 and served in the premier anti-419 corps of the Nigeria Police until 2002. While still an officer of the SFU.

Lamorde is a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management and Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).