N7.65bn Fraud: Court Rejects Orji Kalu’s Post-Conviction Bail

A file photo of former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.



A Federal High Court in Lagos has refused to grant a former governor of Abia State, Uzor Orji Kalu, a post-conviction bail.

Justice Mohammed Liman, however, ordered that the former governor be remanded in prison until his appeal has been heard.

Ruling on Mr Kalu’s application on Monday, the judge wondered the motion for bail was filed speedily when the appeal against his conviction has not been heard.

The former governor had, through his counsel, filed an application for post-conviction bail pending his appeal against his jail sentence based on health grounds which he said the medical facilities in the prison could not handle.

He also informed the court of his role as the Chief Whip of the Senate that the interests of his constituents would be in jeopardy if he was kept behind bars.

But the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) opposed the bail on grounds that bail was for accused persons on the presumption of innocence.

The anti-corruption agency argued that since Kalu had been convicted, he could no longer enjoy such a privilege.

The court had on December 5 jailed Mr Kalu for 12 years after finding him guilty of fraud to the tune of N7.56 billion.

The assets of Slok Nigeria Limited, Kalu’s company, were also forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Similarly, the former governor’s aide and erstwhile Director of Finance in the Abia State House of Assembly was also sentenced in an amended 39-count, the EFCC had charged them with.

Court Orders Arrest of Diezani, Convicts Two INEC Staff Over N362m Bribe

EFCC Seeks Diezani’s Extradition, Court Adjourns Arraignment Till May
(File) Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.


The Adamawa State High Court sitting in Yola has ordered the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, to liaise with the International Police Organization, INTERPOL, to arrest a former Minister Of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The former minister is among three defendants charged before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a three counts for allegedly deploying over N362million derived from a $115m slush fund to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential elections in favour of the candidate of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The other defendants are Ibrahim Mohammed, the electoral officer in charge of Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State and Sahabo Iya-Hamman, a retired INEC staff and Adamawa State coordinator of West African Network of Election Observers (WANEO), during the 2015 presidential election.

Count two of the charge read, “That you, Ibrahim Mohammed Umar, Sahabo Iya Hamman and Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke (now at large) sometime between March and May, 2015 at Yola, Adamawa State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, while being a public officer working with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and retired public servant and former Minister of Petroleum Resources (now at large) and in capacities, did corruptly procured monetary benefit of Three Hundred and Sixty-Two Million Naira, (N362,000,000.00) in favour of public officers and staff working with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Adamawa State, contrary to and punishable under Section 9 (1) (a) & (b) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act,  2000.”

The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Thereafter, Justice Nathan Musa granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N10m each and two sureties in like sum.

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After more than two years of trial in which the prosecution called several witnesses and tendered documents that were admitted in evidence, the Judge convicted Ibrahim Mohammed and Sahabo Iya-Hamman, to seven years imprisonment on each of the three counts for receiving a bribe of N362 million from the former Minister of Petroleum.

The sentences are to run concurrently.

In convicting the defendants, the Judge held that he was satisfied by the testimonies of the 15 witnesses who appeared before the court and other material evidence tendered by the prosecution.

He observed that though N362 million was received by the officials, they only shared five per cent of the money to other staff of the commission and could not account for the balance.

Court Finds Orji Uzor Kalu Guilty Of N7.65bn Fraud

A file photo of Senator Orji Kalu.


The Federal High Court in Lagos has found the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, and two others guilty of N7.65billion fraud.

Mr Kalu’s co-defendants are his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited and Mr Udeh Udeogu, who was Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House during Kalu’s tenure as governor.

In an amended 39 counts, the EFCC accused them of conspiring and diverting N7.65bn from the coffers of the state.

In one of the counts, the EFCC alleged that Mr Kalu, who was Abia State Governor between 1999 and 2007, procured Slok Nigeria Limited – a company solely owned by him and members of his family – to retain its account, domiciled with the then Inland Bank Plc, Apapa branch, Lagos, an aggregate sum of N7,197,871,208.7

The prosecution claimed that the sum N7.1bn formed part of the funds illegally derived from the treasury of the Abia State Government and therefore violating Section 17(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, liable to be punished under Section 16 of the same Act.

Apart from the N7.1bn, the ex-governor and the other defendants were also accused of receiving a total of N460million allegedly stolen from the Abia State Government treasury between July and December 2002.

The prosecution called 19 witnesses.

Justice Mohammed Idris thereafter sentenced Kalu to 12 years imprisonment.

Alleged N32.9bn Fraud: Mompha Gets N100m Bail As EFCC Opens Trial


The trial of suspected fraudster Ismaila Mustapha, also known as Mompha, has commenced with three witnesses testifying against him at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Mompha is facing 14 counts bordering on fraud, money laundering and running a foreign exchange business without the authorisation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (EFCC).

He was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday alongside a firm, Ismalob Global Investment Limited.

The EFCC accused Mompha of procuring Ismalob Global Investment Limited and retaining in its bank account an aggregate of N32.9 billion between 2015 and 2018.

At the opening of the trial on Friday, a compliance officer with Fidelity Bank, Peter Adegoke, who testified as the second prosecution witness, told Justice Mohammed Liman that Ismalob Global Investment Limited has a bank account domiciled in the bank.

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Adegoke said Mompha was the sole signatory to the naira account.

Reading from the firm’s statement of account, Adegoke, who was led in evidence by the EFCC lawyer, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that between 2015 and October 2019, there was a total inflow of N18.5 billion into the account while a total of about N18 billion moved out within the same period.

He added that the account had a balance of N598,000.

Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Mr Gboyega Oyewole, Adegoke affirmed that his bank would not involve itself in anything unlawful.

Asked whether the bank at any time reported transactions in the firm’s account as being suspicious, Adegoke said, “Yes, we reported to the NFIU (Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit).”

The witness was also asked what the NFIU’s response was and the responded, “They (NFIU) don’t need to respond to us.”

When asked if there was any sanction following the report to the NFIU, Adegoke said he would not know.

When Oyewole insisted that as a compliance officer, who is responsible for the freezing of bank accounts at the requests of anti-graft agency, he should know if there was a sanction, Adegoke explained that Fidelity Bank has a desk that handles reports to the NFIU, adding “I can’t say I know about all sanctions.”

Earlier, an official of the CBN, Mrs Anne Ezekannagha, who testified as the first prosecution witness, told the court that the apex bank has no record of licensing Ismalob Global Investment Limited as a Bureau de Change operator.

She said for the CBN to licence a firm as a Bureau de Change (BDC) operator, such a firm must show evidence of incorporation as a limited liability company by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Ezekannagha explained that all licensed BDCs have a transaction limit of $5,000.

When the defence counsel, Oyewole asked her whether it was unlawful for an individual who has foreign currency in his domiciliary account to give foreign currency to a friend in exchange for naira, the CBN official said it would not be unlawful if it was not a commercial transaction.

According to her, it becomes a commercial transaction if it involves making a profit and it would be illegal.

A Benin City-based BDC operator, Ikenna Okafor, who testified as the third prosecution witness, told the court that he did business with Ismalob Global Investment Limited through “one of its directors, Alhaji Ahmadu Mohammed.”

Okafor said Mohammed used to come to his base in the Edo State capital to buy Euro in the name of Ismalob Global Investment Limited.

“After negotiation with Ismalob Global Investment Limited through Alhaji Mohammed, he usually makes payment into my account through Ismalob,” he said.

Under cross-examination by Oyewole, Okafor said he met Mompha for the first time three days ago at the EFCC office in Ikoyi.

The BDC operator said he was detained for seven days by the EFCC before being released on an administrative bail during the week.

After listening to the testimonies of the witnesses, Justice Liman adjourned further proceedings until January 8, 2020.

Meanwhile, the judge admitted Mompha to bail in the sum of N100 million with one surety who must be a landed property owner.

The defendant was ordered to deposit his passport with the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court and report at the EFCC office every fortnight to show that he has not left the country.

Court Jails Two Brothers For N15.4m Fraud

Bauchi Assembly Crisis: Court Orders Parties To Maintain Status Quo


The Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, the Edo State capital has sentenced two brothers – Wisdom Onojiolou and Omorodion Onojiolou – to one-year imprisonment.

Justice M.G. Umar gave the ruling on Thursday after the duo were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on two counts of intent to defraud and obtaining under false pretence.

Both men were said to have fraudulently obtained the sum of N15.4 million from one Philian Uwadiae under the pretence of helping her to establish a business in Benin.

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One of the counts read: “That you Wisdom Ehis Onojiolou sometime in March 2016 in Benin within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did with intent to defraud, obtained the aggregate sum of N9,000,000.00 (Nine Million Naira) Only from Philian Uwadiae under the pretence that the money was to set up human hair business for her in Benin, a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(b) of the Advance  Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act”.

The two brothers pleaded guilty to the charges when it was read to them.

In view of their plea, the prosecution counsel, I.M. Elody, prayed the court to sentence and convict the defendants accordingly.

But the defence counsel, Martha Imafu, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first time offenders who have become remorseful.

Justice Umar, thereafter, convicted and sentenced the defendants to one-year imprisonment commencing from the date of judgement and ordered that they make restitution to their victim.

N25m Fraud: Court Jails Two Ex-Bankers After 10 Years Trial

Bauchi Assembly Crisis: Court Orders Parties To Maintain Status Quo


Justice Adama Iyami- Lamikanra of the Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has convicted and sentenced a former manager of Diamond Bank Plc (now Access Bank), Chinyere Oti, and a former account officer of the same bank, Odigboh Okechukwu, to two years imprisonment.

The duo were jailed on Monday for defrauding the bank the sum of N25,018,467, the spokesman from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement.

The convicts were arraigned on November 19, 2009, by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the EFCC on seven charges bordering on conspiracy and stealing.

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The charges were amended on April 25, 2019.

Count four of the charge read, “Odigboh Okechukwu and Chinyere Oti on or about the  23rd day of October, 2008 at Diamond Bank Plc  Port Harcourt within the Port Harcourt Judicial Division did fraudulently steal the sum of  twenty million four hundred and thirty one thousand three hundred and forty two naira five kobo (N20,431,342.05) property of Diamond Bank Plc by means of Diamond Bank Cheque No. 16216303 through an unfunded account in the name of Achufa Investment Limited operated by Odigboh Okechukwu and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 381 (1) and punishable under Section 390( 9) of the Criminal Code CAP 37  Vol. II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.”

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Their pleas led to a 10-year- long trial.

The prosecution called three witnesses and tendered 15 exhibits while the defence called three witnesses.

Delivering her judgment on Monday, Justice Iyayi- Lamikanra found the two defendants guilty of the charges and sentenced them to two years imprisonment each or an option of fine of N1,000,000 each.

She also ordered the convicts to pay a sum of N25 million as restitution to Diamond Access Bank Plc.

Trouble came for the two convicts when the former Diamond Bank Plc petitioned the EFCC alleging that its manager at  Rumukwrushi Branch in Port Harcourt, Mrs Chinyere Oti, fraudulently opened a current account for one of its customers and used the account to make fraudulent withdrawals and overdrew it to N25,018,467.

Investigations revealed that the alleged customer of the bank never opened an account with the bank, but Okechukwu used the customer’s photograph to open the account without the customer’s knowledge or consent.

It was through the account the two convicts defrauded the bank.

‘Ill-Health’ Stalls Maina’s Trial In Alleged N2bn Fraud Case

A file photo of Abdulrasheed Maina.



The trial of the former chairman of the defunct Pension Reforms Task Team (PRTT), Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, in an alleged N2 billion fraud has suffered a setback.

Maina’s trial was stalled on Tuesday at the Federal High Court in Abuja due to his sudden ill-health and confinement to bed rest by a medical expert.

He is being prosecuted by the Federal Government on 12 counts bordering on alleged N2 billion pension fund fraud, money laundering, and operating fictitious bank accounts among other fraudulent activities.

At the resumed trial on Tuesday, an officer of the Nigeria Correctional Service stormed the court with a medical report issued by a doctor with the Service, Mr Idowu Ajayi.

Justice Okon Abang, who read the letter in the open court, agreed that anybody can fall sick.

He was, however, displeased that the medical doctor who authored the letter failed to give a specific period the defendant would be confined to bed rest.

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The Judge wondered why a medical expert would write such a letter without indicating the specific time Maina would be on bed rest, adding that the action of the doctor was a ploy to stop the court from the trial of the defendant.

He accused the doctor of not helping the court in a shoddy manner the letter was written and its tone that suggested that the defendant would not be able to stand trial for a long period.

In his reaction, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mohammed Abubakar, prayed for an order of the court compelling the Deputy Comptroller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service, being a medical doctor, to carry out a comprehensive examination on the health status of Maina.

He also prayed the court for an order that the prison chief must make his report available to the court on the adjourned date to actually ascertain the health issues.

Maina’s counsel, Francis Oronsaye, however, pleaded with the court to adjourn the trial for one week to enable his client to recover fully.

In his ruling, Justice Abang said that the request for a one-week adjournment cannot be granted.

He, therefore, ordered the Deputy Comptroller General of the Service in charge of Medicals and Welfare to examine Maina.

The Deputy Comptroller-General was directed to report back to the court on Thursday, the date slated for the continuation of Maina’s trial.

FG’s School-Feeding Programme: ICPC Arrests Two Over Alleged N68m Fraud

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs

The recently-launched collaboration between the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to root out corruption in the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) has begun to yield fruits as two persons involved with the programme in Kogi State are currently under arrest by ICPC for alleged N68,097,053 fraud.

The suspects include Hon. Adoga Ibrahim and Khadijat Karibo.
While Ibrahim was appointed the State Focal Person in 2016 for the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) for Kogi State and left office in May 2019, Karibo is still serving as the state’s Programme Manager.

A petition alleging that the erstwhile State Focal Person and the Programme Manager had connived and diverted large sums of money meant for payments to cooks in the national school feeding programme in Kogi State was received by ICPC.

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The petition alleged that the duo had perpetrated “unlawful and unethical deductions” from the accounts of cooks by the use of letters purportedly signed by them conveying their consent that “a blanket and unspecified amount be moved to 10 different business accounts from the cooks’ accounts for sundry aggregated commodity supplies”.

The petition further alleged that the massive fraudulent actions were pulled off by the officials acting in concert with some banks in the state.

Preliminary findings from ICPC investigations indicate that for the programme to aggregate food items, the request must come from a state governor clearly stating the names and details of suppliers to the National Coordinator of the NHGSFP for approval.

This approval was lacking in the case under investigation as Hon. Adoga only submitted a request in September 2018 but could not present evidence of an approval, hence money was paid directly by the programme to the cooks’ accounts.

However, further findings indicate that the Focal Person and the State Programme Manager, in violation of the rights of the cooks, directed banks to place a lien on their accounts which were complied with, and thereafter had a total sum of N40, 388,558.00 transferred from the accounts of 627 cooks to the accounts of 10 companies out of the money meant for January 2019 feeding programme for 20 days.

Similarly, another N27, 708,495.00 was transferred from the accounts of 850 cooks to 9 companies’ accounts out of April 2019 feeding programme for 10 days by the suspects.

Other acts of corruption discovered in the Kogi programme include the fact that after cooks had signed the issuance voucher for the release of foodstuffs, store-keepers would release lesser quantities, and also that some foodstuff supplies for monies deducted from cooks’ accounts were never made, neither were the monies refunded nor accounted for.

The NSIO had approached ICPC for a collaboration to get rid of corruption in the implementation of the Federal Government’s SIPs namely: school feeding for pupils, cash transfers to very poor people, enterprise and empowerment programme, and N-Power. The recent launch of the collaboration featured the unveiling of a dedicated toll-free hotline (0800-CALL-ICPC: 0800-2255-4272) for reporting corruption in the programmes.

EFCC Arraigns Two Over Alleged N172.4m Fraud



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in Lagos has arraigned two men, Micheal Effiong and Nwachukwu Israel before Justice Sherifat Solebo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja.

They were arraigned on one count, bordering on conspiracy to defraud – an offence which is contrary to Section 323 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The defendants were accused of conniving to steal a sum of N172, 408, 320 from one Abdulllahi Shuaibu Danjuma, a retired Accountant General of Kebbi State.

The charge read: “That you Nwachukwu C. Israel, Micheal Effiong Udo, Alhaji Buhari (still at large), Alhaji Ahmed (still at large), Alhaji Yinusa (still at large) and one Rotimi Badmus (still at large) on or about 16th September, 2019, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to defraud Abdulllahi Shuaibu Danjuma, retired Accountant General of Kebbi State, the sum of N172, 408, 320.00 (One Hundred and Seventy Two Million, Four Hundred and Eight Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty Naira).”

They, however, pleaded not guilty.

In view of their plea, prosecution counsel, M.K. Hussain asked the court for a trial date and to remand the defendants in a Correctional Centre pending the determination of the case.

Meanwhile, the counsels to the defendants, O.J. Esomobi and M.O. Udo both informed the court that they were yet to file bail applications for their clients.
They, therefore, pleaded with the court for a short date to allow them file and serve the bail applications on the prosecution.

Justice Solebo thereafter adjourned the case to November 21, 2019, for hearing of bail application and for the commencement of trial.

Lagos Tackles Fraud In Real Estate Business, Launches E-Platform

Babajide Sanwo-Olu


Lagos State Government on Wednesday launched a Real Estate Transaction portal to curb fraudulent practices in the real estate business.

The portal was launched with the aim of finding a lasting solution to incidences of fraudulent and unprofessional practices in the real estate sector. It is also initiated to secure investments in the property market and checkmating unscrupulous dealings in the transactional process.

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed this while unveiling the portal at a stakeholders’ meeting held at Eko Hotel & Suites in Victoria Island on Wednesday.

He added that the portal will also afford property owners and tenants to register and transact genuinely with one another without the interference of third parties.

“Apart from facilitating smooth business relationships between people selling or buying landed property, the portal will also be useful to those in leasing or renting of properties across the State. Removing fraud and doubts from their transactional activities will, in no small measure, contribute to the State’s GDP.

“The data collected from the portal will help the government to formulate policies and programmes to regulate, control and professionalise the real estate sector, which is one of the extremely important needs of mankind,” he said.

Lagos State had initially introduced Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD) in its civil service in 2012 to regulate, monitor and develop the institutional framework that would enhance the integrity of the property market.

According to the governor, the electronic platform was introduced to consolidate the activities of the department.

Sanwo-Olu used the occasion to reiterate his administration’s commitment to bridging the housing deficit in the State by partnering with the private sector, urging stakeholders in the housing sector to embrace the new technology deployed by the Government in securing business transactions in the market.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Toke Benson-Awoyinka, hinted that Lagos had more innovative and sustainable plans to improve the fortunes of the real estate sector and promote the State as the first destination for property business in the country.

She said the Smart City aspiration of Lagos made it necessary for the Government to track all real estate transactions and capture them electronically with access to data. The cabinet member observed the need by the State to continuously capture and update a unified central database for real estate activities within the State, noting that it would help in planning and decision-making.

The Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who was represented by the Federal Controller for Works and Housing, Lagos State Field Office, Sarah Alawode, urged stakeholders to embrace the new initiative, stressing that the platform remained critical in strengthening ease of doing business in the country.

Court Convicts Corps Member For $150 Fraud

Photo: EFCC


A Federal High Court sitting in Enugu has convicted a serving National Youth Service Corps member to one-month imprisonment for obtaining by false pretence, the sum of $150.

The Corps member, Samuel Orie, pleaded guilty to the one count of impersonation and obtaining by false pretense before Justice I.N Buba.

Mr. Orie who was charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Enugu Zone, presented himself as one Mr. Scott Gibb, an American contractor.

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According to the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, the defendant’s counsel pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as his client was a first time offender who was remorseful and willing to make restitution for all his actions.

However, Justice Buba convicted Orie and sentenced him to one-month imprisonment starting from the date of his arrest.

He was also asked to forfeit the sum of $150 and his mobile phone.

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.