The three defendants, all former employees of an old generation bank, were responsible for receiving, processing, and distributing money to all their bank’s cash centres across Kano, Katsina, and Jigawa States.
They were, however, said to have betrayed the trust of their employers and conspired among themselves to defraud the bank by diverting the funds to their own use.
The convict, alongside his co-defendants, reportedly altered figures to show that they made cash deliveries to designated branches whereas the monies were never delivered.
When they were arraigned on February 26, 2015, Dawaki and his co-defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges, thereby setting the stage for the full trial.
But Dawaki’s co-defendants died and their names were subsequently removed from the charge.
The prosecution called seven witnesses to prove the case against the convict, while the defendant called six witnesses, including himself.
In her judgment, Justice Aboki found Dawaki guilty of seven counts of the charge and convicted him accordingly.
She, however, acquitted him on 21 counts.
The judge convicted the defendant on count one which bordered on conspiracy and counts two, 11, 22, 24, 25, and 26, all of which bordered on criminal breach of trust.
On counts one, 11, 22, 24, 25, and 26, the convict was sentenced to two years imprisonment and a fine of N200,000 on each.
On count two, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment and a fine of N200,000.
Justice Aboki noted that sentence on counts two and 11 were to run consecutively while counts one, 22, 24, 25, and 26 would run concurrently.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed November 18 to rule on a ‘no-case submission’ filed by a social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha popularly known as Mompha.
Mompha is accused of cyber fraud and laundering about N33 billion.
He had pleaded not guilty and through his lawyer, Gboyega Oyewole, SAN, he filed a no-case submission, insisting that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had made no case against him requiring him to enter a defence.
In urging the court to uphold his client’s no-case submission, Oyewole said the prosecution failed to link Mompha to any of the offence listed on all the counts of the charge.
In his response, the prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Sulaiman, asked the court to dismiss the no-case submission application.
He told the court that the prosecution had been able to link the defendant to the alleged offences based on the evidence adduced and exhibits tendered through the 10 prosecution witnesses, who had testified in the matter.
He then asked the court to dismiss the application and order the defendant to open his defence.
After listening to both submissions, Justice Mohammed Liman adjourned to November 18, 2020 for his ruling on the no-case application
“We challenge the government in Imo, led by Senator Hope Uzodinma to publish the Iheaka report verbatim, so that Imo people in particular and Nigerians in general, could read the report and see how the Panel arrived at N106 billion, which they said that Senator Okorocha should refund,” the statement partly read.
“Again, Governor Uzodinma should please wake-up. Your Excellency, wake- uuuup. Time does not wait for anybody especially in governance.
“You cannot tell Imo people that your achievements at the end of the day is pursuing Okorocha, to satisfy those behind you.
“This is the first government in the history of the State to take off with non-payment of Salaries and having issues with every sector in the State. The governor should face governance and leave Controversies because they do not add up.”
SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:
RE: IMO PANEL ASKS OKOROCHA TO REFUND N106 BILLION
RE: IMO PANEL ASKS OKOROCHA TO REFUND N106 BILLION
– NO RESPONSIBLE PANEL CAN MAKE SUCH DEMAND FROM OKOROCHA
– IT TAKES ONLY “BEN JOHNSON” PANEL TO DO SO.
– THE GOVT. IN IMO, HAS BEEN BATTLING FOR ACCEPTANCE BY IMO PEOPLE
– THE GOVT. IS ALSO BEING INTIMIDATED BY OKOROCHA’S VISIBLE ACHIEVEMENTS
– LET THE GOVT; WITHOUT DELAY, PUBLISH THE VERBATIM REPORT OF THE PANEL, OR STOP TAKING IMO PEOPLE & NIGERIANS FOR GRANTED WITH BOGUS ALLEGATIONS
The media had come up with Stories, with the referenced Caption, following the report of Justice Benjamin Iheaka’s Panel of inquiry on Contracts from 2011 to 2019. That was the period, Senator Rochas Okorocha had governed the State. And our initial reaction goes this way;
(1) We challenge the government in Imo, led by Senator Hope Uzodinma to publish the Iheaka report verbatim, so that Imo people in particular and Nigerians in general, could read the report and see how the Panel arrived at N106 billion, which they said that Senator Okorocha should refund.
(2) No serious panel would have made such recommendation. It could only take a “Ben Johnson” Panel to do that. And let the government publish the list of Contractors who handled contracts under Okorocha, State the Contracts they did, how much they were paid respectively, how they were paid and what they should have been paid, in the estimation of the Panel members.
(3) Governor Uzodinma should explain what he has done with the N119 billion he has Collected from the federation account and N6.4 billion ISOPADEC fund. Vis-a-viz the IGR. The governor said he came through “Ben Johnson” way and since January 14, 2020 when he came on board, all his actions and utterances have been “Ben Johnson” way.
(4) We have always claimed that Okorocha as governor, had more than one thousand projects to his Credit and nobody, including the government in Imo has said it is not true or has openly Challenged us to publish the projects because they know that the projects exist. And if they exist, how would have someone made away with N106 Billion and still do such befitting projects.
(5) The problem at the moment is that Imo people have begun to miss Owelle Okorocha just one year and five months, after he had left as governor, because they are yet to see new things in the State since he left. Imo people have come to realize that Okorocha was exceptional in terms of working for them and they have also come to know the difference between Capacity and Ben Johnson way.
(6) Roads built by Okorocha which they branded China roads, are still what Imo people are using. No new road. They could not even maintain the existing roads. They are living in Odenigbo Presidential lodge and Governor’s lodge built by Okorocha. The two flyovers built by Okorocha are still the only flyovers. Ditto, the two tunnels built by Okorocha. The Judges and Lawyers have moved to the Ultra Modern Justice Oputa High Court Complex built by Okorocha; from the shanties they had called High Court. They have Continued to foot drag in asking the Police to move to the new Police Headquarters built by Okorocha and the Prisons to the new Prison Headquarters built by Okorocha. They have refused to open the International Cargo airport built by Okorocha. The projects are there. Let them mention one project they have done since January 14, 2020 when they came on board.
(7) We are also demanding for the Publication of the report because we do not believe that the Chairman of the Panel, a Judge, could go ahead to submit report on a matter that is pending at a Federal High Court in which the Presiding Judge had ordered for the maintenance of the Status quo. Okorocha had gone to Court to complain that several Panels cannot be probing him on the same issues, the EFCC is probing him too, following Petitions from the same government.
(8) For almost nine months on Seat, the government in Imo has been struggling for acceptance. In his Independence Day speech the governor said that he inherited systematic fraudulent system from Ihedioha. Two days after, he said that Okorocha should refund N106 billion. Some days ago, it was that Okorocha’s appointees joined Uzodinma. After that, the story became that Okorocha’s kinsmen have joined Uzodinma. Or, Mr. A or B has joined APC.
(9) In the history of Imo, this is also the first government that Chartered a flight, took 7 Imo people to Abuja just for the purpose of passing Vote of Confidence on a government that is yet to take off. And since then, it has been Vote of Confidence galore. In Igbo land, it is a serious issue when someone’s shadow is pursuing him or when the “land” is pursuing the person. It is not a normal thing.
(10) Again, Governor Uzodinma should please wake-up. Your Excellency, wake- uuuup. Time does not wait for anybody especially in governance. You cannot tell Imo people that your achievements at the end of the day is pursuing Okorocha, to satisfy those behind you. This is the first government in the history of the State to take off with non-payment of Salaries and having issues with every sector in the State. The governor should face governance and leave Controversies because they do not add up.
(11) The truth is that Imo people and Nigerians in general, know who Senator Uzodinma is, even long before his governorship. And it is even interesting that he is the one talking about fraud, embezzlement and siphoning of funds these days. This is a good story indicating that wonders shall never cease to happen.
Special Adviser (Media) to the former Imo State Governor & Senator Representing Imo
A General Court Martial sitting at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base in Makurdi has sentenced an Air Force officer, Michael Oyebanji, to 21 years in prison.
Oyebanji was sentenced alongside three others for misappropriation of funds of the 151 Base Services Group Multipurpose Cooperative Society funds, a statement released on Saturday by the Air Force spokesman, Ibikunle Daramola, said.
Others sentenced with Oyebanji, who is a Master Warrant Officer (MWO), include Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Sherifi Olawoore, Flying Officer (Fg Offr) Ademola Adekoya, and Warrant Officer (WO) Paul Atteh.
The personnel were sentenced based on their levels of involvement in the fraudulent operation.
Delivering his judgement, the President of the GCM, Air Commodore Nazib Aliyu, pronounced the four accused personnel guilty of various charges.
Flt Lt Olawoore was tried for negligently performing his duty as the President of the Cooperative, found guilty, and awarded a six-month loss of seniority.
Fg Offr Adekoya was also tried for negligently performing his duty as Secretary of the Cooperative. He was found guilty and awarded a one-year loss of seniority.
Oyebanji, who was the Vice President of the Cooperative, was tried on a 46 count charge, including; Criminal Breach of Trust, Theft, Criminal Conspiracy, Criminal Misappropriation, Making of False Documents and Conduct to the Prejudice of Service Discipline, contrary to Sections 114 and 103 (d) of the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Sections 312, 287, 96 and 309 of the Penal Code Cap P3 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
He was found guilty on all 46 counts and subsequently sentenced to serve 21 years imprisonment, cumulatively, as well as a reduction in rank to Corporal and ordered to refund all monies misappropriated.
WO Paul Atteh, who was tried for negligently performing his duty as the Treasurer of the Cooperative as well as for the Making of False Documents and Criminal Breach of Trust, was found guilty of all 3 charges.
Atteh was punished with a reduction in rank from WO to Sergeant, in the first instance, and then eventually reduced to the rank of Corporal. He is also required to pay a fine of N1,000,000.00.
Meanwhile, the GCM has ordered the release of WO Atteh from detention, the Air Force statement said.
While pleading in mitigation, the Defence Counsel urged the Court to show leniency, describing the Accused Persons as first-time offenders.
The sentences were announced as being subject to confirmation by the Appropriate Superior Authority.
However, it is within the rights of the Accused Personnel to appeal the judgment of the GCM, if they are dissatisfied.
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.
Others are; Chidi Kalu; Uparai Daniel; Ubochi Christian Ikechukwu; Udoka Obi; Chiagozie Morris Obiano; Moses Akaedite; Henry Princewill Chisom; Prince Ibe; Ugwuegbu Fredrick Ekenna, William Peter Obinna and Udoka Ihiekwe Kelechi.
At the point of arrest, several cars and gadgets were recovered from them and they include a black Lexus E5 330; a silver-coloured Toyota Corolla LE, a silver-coloured Toyota Camry, and a blue Toyota Corolla LE.
Others include a silver -coloured Lexus E5; a black Toyota Venza, a grey -coloured Mercedes ML350 SUV and a silver- coloured Toyota Highlander SUV.
Also recovered from them are 15 laptops and 20 sophisticated mobile phones.
The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.
“This will actually help in strengthening our relationship with Germany,” police spokesman, Frank Mba said during his appearance on a Channels Television’s COVID-19 special programme. “Rather than having a negative impact, it will have a very positive impact.
“The German people, the German government and the German business community must have been encouraged by the timeliness of our action, the fact that detectives from Nigeria and Interpol’s National Central Bureau (NCB) based here in Abuja, have got the capacity to actually wade into this kind of case and uncover the crime and try to bring the criminals to book.
“It shows that even if Germans are making investments in Nigeria, they can be assured that their investments are protected and we’ve got the capacity to tackle any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.”
Mba noted that other nationals also took part in the operation.
“There are criminals all over the world,” he said. “Remember that even in this case, there are also accomplices who are not Nigerians, who are Dutch citizens, working with their Nigerian counterparts.”
How The Fraudsters Were Caught
Mba on Monday tried to explain how the criminals almost succeeded in completing the fraud, after already receiving a 1.5 million euros advanced payment and another 880,000 euro payments for the bogus COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“It has been a long-stretched investigation,” Mba said. “If you look at the complexity of the case, you will understand very clearly that the investigators, particularly the detectives from the Cyber-crime unit of the Nigerian Police Force that is currently being warehoused within the Interpol NCB in Abuja had had to work day and night and spanning over several weeks, before they could actually crack down on those suspects.
“This should not be coming as a surprise to Nigerians. At the peak of the lock-down, we did issue a press release where we actually warned about the likelihood of crimes of this nature occurring, not just within Nigeria but also in other parts of the world. We made it very clear that scammers within Nigeria and other parts of the world are beginning to find ways, creative ways for that matter, to take advantage of the fears, the needs generated by the pandemic.
“That is also not surprising, because everywhere in the world, criminals always take advantage of situations, they will take advantage of wars, pandemics, natural disasters, even big time celebrations like the Olympics and World Cup and find very creative ways to actually fleece innocent citizens of their hard-earned income; and that’s exactly what happened here.
“These Nigerian fraudsters, working with their cohorts in Netherlands, presented themselves to a German representative of one of the government agencies as representatives of a company that is based in Holland. That company, ILBN Holdings BV, is prominent and has a very good track-record of producing high-quality PPEs.
“And without the regional company knowing what’s going on, they creatively, cleverly and criminally cloned their website and initiated transactions with a German which eventually culminated in the sealing of this illicit deal valued at about 14.7 million euros.”
An Israeli court will start hearing evidence in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial in January, the judge presiding over the case ruled Sunday.
Netanyahu has denied charges against him of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
The first hearing in the case was on May 24 and a second session was held Sunday, without Netanyahu in attendance.
In a transcript of the session obtained by AFP, Judge Rivka Friedman-Feldman set out a timetable for the next stages of the trial, including the stipulation that Netanyahu must enter a plea in writing by October 18.
“The sides should prepare for the hearing of testimony starting from the month of January 2021, (with sessions) three times a week, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays,” she wrote, without giving precise dates.
The trial is being held in the Jerusalem district court. Media restrictions are in place due to coronavirus precautions.
At the opening of the trial in May, Netanyahu asked for proceedings to be carried live on television, but cameras were banned from Sunday’s session.
The longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history, Netanyahu claims the charges against him — filed by an attorney general that he appointed – are part of a witch-hunt to drive him from office.
The prosecution has assembled over 300 witnesses to back its charges.
The trial had been due to open in March but was postponed to May 24 due to lockdown measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The charges allege that Netanyahu, the first prime minister in Israeli history to be indicted while in office, accepted improper gifts and sought to illegally trade favours with media moguls in exchange for positive coverage.
Israeli law professor Gad Barzilai has predicted that the proceedings will be “long and tedious.”
Netanyahu’s lawyers, he told reporters last week, were likely to seek further delays, asking for more prosecution documents and for a ruling that he is eligible for state aid toward his legal costs.
“The prosecution would like to end procedures in about two or three years,” Barzilai said.
One of Netanyahu’s top defence lawyers dropped his client last week, sources said, after the premier was denied permission to receive private funding for his legal team.
A suspected international fraudster, Raymond Abbas, aka Ray Hushpuppi, has been denied bail by a court in the US Northern District of Illinois.
The court ruled that the self-acclaimed billionaire Gucci master, who has over 2.5m followers on Instagram, will remain in detention until his trial this year over money laundering allegations.
Hushpuppi will be transported to Los Angeles by the United States Marshall Service and will not be allowed to stay with his girlfriend’s uncle in Homewood, Illinois.
The trial is slated to be held in Los Angeles where the case was filed rather from Chicago where the investigation is being handled.
At the hearing, Hushpuppi’s lawyer denied that his client was a flight risk or a danger to the community as he repeatedly rejected the allegations made against him by the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
He is accused of being part of a network that made hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise fraud and other scams.
The Federal Government has told a British Court that it has uncovered previously unknown payments to the daughter of a Nigerian official in its latest attempt to overturn an arbitration award against it, worth close to $10 billion.
Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID), a firm set up to carry out a gas project in Nigeria, won a $6.6 billion arbitration award after the 2010 deal collapsed.
The award has been accruing interest since 2013 and is now worth nearly $10 billion but Nigeria is seeking permission in the English courts to appeal the award, granted in 2017, despite having missed the 28-day appeal deadline.
It says new information came to light only in late 2019.
In an online court hearing, the government’s lawyer said it has evidence of payments from companies related to P&ID to Vera Taiga, 11 days before the deal was signed.
Vera’s mother, Grace Taiga, was the chief lawyer for the Petroleum Ministry at the time.
The government said one payment of $4,969.50 was made on December 30, 2009, and a second of $5,000 on January 31, 2012.
It also says the payments came to light following a U.S. discovery order in New York.
The government also said P&ID officials and companies linked to it paid several other officials in relation to the deal.
The EFCC had charged Grace Taiga last year with accepting bribes and failing to follow protocol related to the contract.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has adjourned the trial of former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose to October 20.
Fayose was present in court on Monday but the case failed to go on.
The court adjourned the case at the instance of the Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Jacobs who told Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke that the prosecution witness who was supposed to testify was not available.
The lawyer said that that the witness had informed him that “one of his family members was being quarantined in the Isolation centre.”
The Counsel subsequently asked the court for an adjournment.
Counsel to the former governor, Olalekan Ojo, did not oppose the request for an adjournment.
Justice Aneke then adjourned the case to October 20 for the continuation of the trial.
At the last sitting of the court on March 5, 2020, the EFCC had called its fifth witness in the N2.2bn fraud trial of the former governor.
The witness, a banker, Johnson Abidakun, who worked as Head of Operations at the Ado Ekiti Branch of Zenith Bank told Justice Aneke how the bank moved the sum of N200m from Fayose’s home sometime in April 2016.