Osinbajo Receives AMCON Debt Recovery Report 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo receives the AMCON Debt Recovery Committee Report from the ICPC Chairman, Bolaji Owasonoye at the State House, Abuja On Wednesday, Nov 9th 2022. Photos: Tolani Alli
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (R) receives the AMCON Debt Recovery Committee Report from the ICPC Chairman, Bolaji Owasonoye (L) at the State House, Abuja On Wednesday, Nov 9th 2022. Photos: Tolani Alli

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday received an Interim Report from an inter-agency committee set up on the recovery of debts owed to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). 

Members of the Committee led by its Chairman, Bolaji Owasonoye, who is also the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) submitted the report to the VP at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Osinbajo said the government would review the report and act accordingly, observing that the issue of AMCON debtors doing further business with government agencies is a due diligence matter and there would have to be compliance with the requirements of the law.

Specifically, the Committee proposed an advisory to the Federal Government that going forward, “all AMCON debtors must not be allowed to transact business or enjoy patronage with any government agency whatsoever, except clearance is obtained from AMCON on the debt status of such obligors,” according to Owasonoye.

“Between 2020 and 2021, AMCON made significant recoveries which is highlighted in the report. Within the period under review, AMCON witnessed 10% growth in the recovery performance across various asset classes.

“For instance, in the year, 2020, the sum of N146 Billion was recovered, while in 2021 the sum of N161 Billion was also recovered. The recovery outlook for 2022 is also looking positive and the Committee will not relent in its effort in engendering more recoveries,” he stated.

He added that the committee will continue its assignment with the institution of bankruptcy proceedings, tax infraction, inquiry as well as other strategies to ensure the obligors are brought under the recovery net of AMCON.

The mandate of the committee, which was inaugurated in September 2019,  includes the review of status of debt owed to AMCON, collate information relating to respective debtors and their current status, deliberate on practical, legal and other strategies for the recovery of the outstanding debt, among others.

The meeting was attended by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, as well as representatives of agencies including the ICPC, Federal Ministry of Justice; Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency; Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation; Central Bank of Nigeria; Department of State Services; and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

 

ICPC Case: Primary School Teacher, Others Forfeit N120m, Cars To Federal Government

 

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs
ICPC logo

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has ordered the final forfeiture to the Federal Government of N120 million traced to a primary school teacher, Mrs. Roseline Egbuha, and her accomplices, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

The forfeited money, as well as cars, form part of the N540 million proceeds of crime traced to Mrs. Egbuha, a teacher with Ozala Primary School, Abagana, Anambra State.

The teacher who was on a monthly salary of N76,000 as at the time of her arrest in 2020 by ICPC, had N540 million stashed in her bank account with Guaranty Trust Bank.

Further investigations by ICPC revealed her alleged complicity in money laundering thereby prompting the Commission to place a Post-No-Debit (PND) on the account.

However, the PND was lifted by Egbuha and her accomplices with a court order purportedly from a Federal High Court, Abuja, and the money promptly split and moved into multiple bank accounts owned by Bureau de Change operators and private individuals.

The accomplices – one James Erebouye, Emon Okune, Chisom Iwueke, Alonge Ojo, Maureen Chidimma, Owoyemi Mayowa and Ejeaka Ifeoma, including two private companies, were charged to court for involving in fraudulent activities and warehousing proceeds of crime by the Commission.

Counsel to ICPC, Adesina Raheem, in a motion exparte filed in 2021 before Justice D. U. Okorowo, alleged that the funds were proceeds of unlawful activities stashed away in six new generation banks by Egbuha and her associates.

He prayed the court to order the final forfeiture of the money and cars to the Federal Government.

Justice Okorowo, after taking arguments from counsel to ICPC and the respondents, ruled that monies found in seven individual bank accounts and that of two private companies and the items, should be forfeited to the Federal Government.

The forfeiture order includes N30.8 million in a Polaris Bank account of Dorason Construction Ltd, N17.4 million traced to a Sterling Bank account of James Erebouye and N16.4 million found in the Zenith Bank account of Dybako and Sons Nig Ltd.

Another accomplice, Ojo Alonge will also forfeit to the Federal Government, N14.1 million traced to two separate accounts with First Bank and Ecobank respectively. Owoyemi Mayowa on her part forfeited N7.1 million held in Zenith Bank.

Furthermore, the final forfeiture order includes the sum of N8.2 million, N9.7 million, N6.5 million and N122,100 kept in different bank accounts, by Emon Okune, Chisom Iwueke, Maureen Chidimma and Ejeaka Ifeoma respectively.

Other items forfeited by the respondents are a Toyota Lexus and Venza sport utility vehicles.

ICPC Arraigns Deputy High Court Registrar Over Fraud

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs
ICPC logo

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Mrs. Nkem Apollonia Mba, for alleged involvement in fraudulent activities.

Mrs. Mba was docked on a three-count charge before Justice Leteem Nyordee, of the Federal High Court 12, Port Harcourt, for offences bordering on abuse of office and corrupt demand of gratification by a public officer.

One of the counts revealed that the Deputy Chief Registrar received a kickback of N500,000 through her bank account from the purchase of Automotive Gas Oil popularly known as diesel and other products. She however argued that the money was her two percent entitlement according to Order 16 of the Admiralty Jurisdiction (Procedure Rule) 2011.


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The court heard that her offence contravened Section 10 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and is punishable under relevant sections of the same Act.

The accused pleaded “Not Guilty” when the charge was read to her. Consequently, her counsel, S. Somiari applied for bail praying the court to grant her bail on liberal terms.

The bail application was not opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Dr. Agada Akogwu. The trial judge in granting the prayers, admitted her to bail in the sum of N500,000 with a surety who must have landed property in Port Harcourt.

Justice Nyordee further ruled that the accused must deposit her international passport with the court Registrar. The case was then adjourned to 26th July for commencement of trial.

ICPC Detains Supreme Court Contractor Over Alleged Money Laundering

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), has detained the Managing Director of a construction company, Temitope Banjoko, over allegations of money laundering.

ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, confirmed the arrest to Channels Television on Tuesday.

She said that Banjoko was awarded a contract worth N46,305,000 (N41,674,500 after tax deductions) for the demolition, and evacuation of debris of four houses at the Supreme Court judges’ residence in Maitama, Abuja, in 2017.

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The contract was not executed but the full sum was disbursed to Asbat Construction Limited, thereby attracting the attention of the ICPC.

Expressing regrets while writing his statement, the contractor claimed to have utilised the money for something else and some funds he was expecting were not forthcoming.

Banjoko was also said to have made a commitment to repay the money after the ICPC began its investigations.

The contractor had only repaid the sum of N5 million, out of the contract sum, leaving a net balance of over N36 million.

Investigations carried out by the ICPC, also revealed that some of the houses earmarked for demolition have been renovated and are now occupied by new judges.

The contractor, the ICPC spokesperson added, is expected to be charged to court very soon.

ICPC Uncovers Billions In Cash At Military Contractor’s House

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has uncovered billions of Naira from a property which the ICPC says belongs to a certain K Salam Construction Company, a military contractor. 

In a brief statement titled – ICPC Clears The Air On Media Report Of Abuja Property’s Raid And Seizure, the commission its operatives raided a property in Wuse 2 of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on Thursday, 16th June, 2022 between 5:00pm and 12:00am in suspicion of money laundering.


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According to the communique signed by ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, operatives of the commission recovered money and other items from the property.

What was uncovered included, “N175,706,500; $220,965; G-Wagon; 2022 editions of BMW and Mercedes Benz cars; customized mobile phones; several designer wrist watches, including three Rolexes, and some property documents”.

Following the uncovering, the ICPC said it arrested the Managing Director of K Salam Construction Company Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kabiru Sallau.

The commission said investigations are ongoing and as such, it prefers not to preempt the outcome of the inquiry, as to avoid the frenzy of a media trial.

ICPC Arraigns Professor Over Alleged $40,000 Bribe

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs
ICPC logo

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a professor over allegations of $40,000 bribery and inducement of officers of the Commission.

In a single charge brought before Honourable Justice A.O. Otaluka of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), High Court 12, sitting in Apo, Abuja, ICPC accused the professor of issuing a cheque valued at the said amount to a staff of the Commission.

The cheque was part of the $50,000 and a house in Abuja, promised to the officer to compromise the investigation by retrieving the accused person’s devices, MacBook S/N CIML8BUGDTY3, MacBook S/N W80204J7ATN, and iPhone Pro11 which were in the custody of ICPC for investigative activities.

The defendant had earlier been reported to the ICPC by the Presidency for alleged acts bordering corruption, extortion, and money laundering.

The commission, in a Charge No: CR/025/2022, informed the court of how the defendant induced one of its operatives to smuggle out a particular iPhone and a laptop and to replace them with a dummy that was to be provided by his personal assistant.

The accused person’s action is contrary to Section 18 (b) and punishable under Section 18 (d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him. He was therefore admitted on bail in the sum of N10 million and two sureties in like sum.

The sureties must be residents within the jurisdiction of the court and one of them must have a landed property in Abuja.

The trial judge also ordered that the defendant’s international passport and other valid travel documents be submitted to the court before the next adjourned date otherwise his bail will be revoked.

The case has been adjourned to the 21st of June 2022 for the commencement of the hearing.

ICPC Seeks Global Support Against Illicit Financial Flows

Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye,

 

 

The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, (SAN), has called for global action against Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) and corruption.

Prof. Owasanoye made this call at a side event of the ongoing hybrid 54th Conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) taking place in Dakar, Senegal.

The meeting was attended by representatives of member-countries of the Economic Community for Africa, Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies and international bodies, and focused on regional efforts to track, recover and return stolen assets from Africa through the IFFs.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. The Convention’s far-reaching approach and mandatory character of many of its provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem. The vast majority of United Nations Member States are parties to the Convention.

Addressing the meeting virtually, the ICPC boss emphasised the need for a global framework on IFFs as part of a determined commitment to tackle the menace.

“The challenge we found ourselves today is that the rules have always been skewed in favour of those who export capital and against those who import capital. Corruption is a global issue and we have a global framework on corruption.

“The IFF is also a global issue but does not have a global framework. A way out of the problem is to institute a global framework on IFF which, among others, will address the huge financial losses suffered by African countries,” the ICPC Chairman stated.

He noted that the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia – Ukraine war have complicated the financial resources of African countries, hence the need to tackle the IFFs and stop further hemorrhage of the financial resources of African countries.

Further to the global framework on IFFs, Prof. Owasanoye also proffered legal and policy measures that should be implemented by African countries to address the IFFs risk.

These legal and policy measures include:

* Review of agreements entered into with Multinational Corporations (MNCs);

* Review of inimical double taxation agreements;

* Enactment of laws, rules or regulations on unexplained wealth order or lifestyle audit (following the recent Nigerian legislative example);

* Introduction of civil forfeiture of assets and beneficial ownership standards; and

* Design of a framework for trans-digital transactions.

The ICPC Chairman also advocated tougher measures against corrupt State Officials who collude with the MNCs against their countries.

“African countries must understand that the MNCs split contracts. The juicy parts of the contracts with MNCs are domiciled in their home countries while the non-juicy parts of the contracts are domiciled in Africa.

“We need to deal with the MNCs’ collaboration by government officials who look the other way in international agreements,” he said.

Earlier in her remarks at the side event, the Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Rebecca Grynspan, said the global economy was under enormous stress due to Covid-19 pandemic, Russia – Ukraine war and climate change.

The IFFs, Grynspan noted, posed a huge challenge to African countries in realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She said, “We are aware of the increasing rates which make it more difficult and harder for African countries to access finance. The African economies are also feeling the impact of the Russia – Ukraine war and thereby widening the financing gap.

“Africa requires US$2.45 trillion to meet its SDG financing gap. We can close half of the SDG financing gap for Africa if we are able to curb IFFs. We therefore cannot continue to allow the billions of dollars of IFFs slipping out of Africa every year.”

The UNCTAD Secretary-General added, “The IFFs and Asset Recovery are more critical to Africa today. Both are required by African Countries to achieve the SDGs.”

She emphasised the need for data and collaboration among African institutions like Customs and Central Banks as a necessary condition in tracking the IFFs.

Disband EFCC, ICPC Rather Than Embarrass Them, Wike Tells Buhari

A photo combination of Governor Nyesom Wike, President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the EFCC and ICPC emblems.

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, says the presidential pardon for persons prosecuted on corruption charges by the Federal Government only suggests that there is no need to have anti-corruption agencies in the country.

He believes the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) have been made to suffer an embarrassment as the pardon has made them irrelevant.

The governor stated this on Monday while addressing delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano State, as part of his ongoing consultation ahead of the party’s presidential primary.

He was reacting to the pardon granted to former governors Jolly Nyame of Taraba State and Joshua Dariye of Plateau State by the Council of State last week.

“This is the same government that complained against the judiciary that it is not fighting against corruption,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri. “Now, look at what the judges have passed through; sleepless nights from the FCT High Court to the Court of Appeal to Supreme Court, everything is wasted.

“If President Muhammadu Buhari knows that he doesn’t want to fight corruption, then, he should disband EFCC and ICPC because he has thoroughly embarrassed them.

“So, all these things he (Buhari) is doing is because of the election coming soon. They want this person in Plateau State to help them and they want this person in Taraba State to help them, but it will not work because Wike will face them in that election.”

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Governor Wike also dismissed the defence put up by the President’s spokesman on why the pardon should not be faulted.

Rather, he said it should be a thing to worry about because the same people who said they were fighting corruption were going through the back to release the same people whom they claimed were corrupt.

“So, when his pressman said I was invited to the Council of State, is it because I’m not there, that is why they did what they did? the governor asked. “If you wanted me to contribute, you would have sent me the agenda. Then, I would have known what I’m coming to do in the meeting.

“It’s not when you don’t send me agenda, I come, then you boxed us in, ambushed us, then you said I attended the meeting where they approved it. I will not attend such a meeting. When they said my deputy attended and when they looked back, they could not see my deputy again.

“Why would you see her? When she had seen what was there, she had to switch off because she knew it was a ‘wayo’. That is what this APC government is known for.”

The governor told the delegates that it was time for Nigerians to brace up to correct what he termed the mistake that brought the All Progressives Congress (APC) government to power.

He said he was offering himself as the most competent aspirant seeking their votes at the presidential primaries to fly the flag of the PDP.

Governor Wike insisted that it would require a man like him to end the sight of insecurity and poverty bedevilling various parts of the country.

President Buhari Swears In ICPC, NPC Commissioners 

The new ICPC and NPC commissioners. [email protected]

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in commissioners for the National Population Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.

The swearing-in took place shortly before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House in Abuja on Wednesday.

The commissioners, who were confirmed by Senate last month are, Chief Benedict Ukpong Effiong (Akwa Ibom), Mrs. Gloria Fateya Izonfo (Bayelsa), Kupchi Patricia Ori Iyanya (Benue), Dr. Haliru Bala (Kebbi), and Dr. Eyitayo Oyekunle Oyetunji (Oyo) for the National Population Commission (NPC).

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Those for the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission are Assistant Inspector General of Police, Olugbenga Adeyanju (rtd) (Ekiti State), Senator Anthony Agbo (Ebonyi), Anne Otelafu Odey (Cross River), Alh. Goni Ali Gujba (Yobe), and Dr Louis Solomon Mandama (Adamawa).

Meanwhile, the President is chairing the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the council chambers of the Presidential Villa.

Physically present at the meeting are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari; National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno (rtd).

Some Ministers, who are physically attending the meeting, include the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami; Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige; Agriculture, Mahmood Mohammed; Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi; Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu; Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu and the Minister of State for Health, Olorunimbe Mamora.

Other ministers and the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan, are participating virtually from their respective offices in Abuja.

Former JAMB Boss Diverted N15m For Radio License – ICPC Witness

JAMB
A file photo of former JAMB Registrar, Professor Adedibu Ojerinde.

 

A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, was Wednesday told how the former Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, allegedly diverted N15 million from the board to set up a personal radio station in his hometown.

Prosecution witness, retired Air Commodore Najeem Sanusi, who testified before the trial judge, Justice Obiora Egwuata, of court 9, in the ongoing trial of Ojerinde, told the court that he was given bank drafts of N15 million on the directives of the defendant, to procure a radio license from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Sanusi was brought before Justice Egwuata, to testify in a 10-count charge of official corruption and abuse of office brought against Ojerinde by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

This is according to a statement signed by ICPC spokesperson, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua.

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The witness told the court that he was a co-owner of Ifelodun Communications limited with the former JAMB boss, who is a leader in their community in Oke-Ogun in Oyo State, with the one million shares of the company split into 500,000 units each for both of them.

Led in evidence by counsel to ICPC, Olubunmi Olugasa, Sanusi who was a former Provost Marshal of the Nigerian Air Force told the court how he approached the former JAMB boss with the proposal to set up a radio station having gotten approval from NBC.

He said, “In 2015 after retirement, I sought a license from the Federal Government. I obtained the form from NBC and went to brief our leader. He welcomed my noble idea. There and then, he called his lawyer, Peter Oyewole to come to his house for a meeting.

“We agreed in the meeting held in his house that the name of the company should be Ifelodun Communications and we should go ahead and register the company with his name because that is the prerequisite for obtaining a license from NBC.

“He asked that we should allot 500,000 shares to him and 500,000 to myself. The defendant then called Mr. Jimoh Olabisi who happened to be an accounting staff of JAMB and in a meeting in his house in Maitama, Abuja, he said that any matter related to financial issues should be directed to Mr. Jimoh. Subsequently, Jimoh gave me bank drafts of N15 million to pay NBC as part of the requirements for obtaining a license. I paid the draft to NBC, gave original documents to Jimoh Olabisi, and kept photocopies of the documents for my records.”

The witness further told the court that the radio station was set up in the personal house of the defendant in the Owode Area of Igboho, Oyo State, saying that station was located in a compound where his late mother also lived and an adjoining plot of land was purchased to accommodate the mast and antenna.

The court further heard how the witness introduced an equipment vendor but the defendant later used his son, Olumide Ojerinde, a serving member of the House of Representatives to procure studio equipment and mast for the radio station.

Documents that included photocopies of the agenda for the meeting held with the defendant to discuss proposals for the setting up of the radio station as well as bank drafts for the license paid to NBC were tendered before the court.

Counsel to Ojerinde, Ibrahim Ishiyaku, SAN, as opposed to the admissibility of the documents, arguing that the prosecution had not laid a proper foundation why the originals or certified true copies of the document could not be presented in court.

ICPC Counsel, Olugasa while citing Section 57 (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, however, prayed the court to admit the documents arguing that they were personal copies of the witness bearing his signatures and records of all the transactions.

The trial judge, after listening to arguments from both parties, adjourned the matter to 7th and 8th June, 2022 for ruling on the admissibility of the documents and continuation of the hearing.

ICPC Secures Conviction Of Ex-Gombe School Principal Over N3.8m Fraud

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs
ICPC logo

 

Justice Halima S. Muhammed of Gombe State High Court 2, sitting in Gombe, has convicted and sentenced a 67-year-old retired Gombe State Secondary School Principal, Bello Muhammed Abubakar, to two years’ imprisonment over fraudulent activities and running of illegal institutions.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), had in a 2-count charge brought before the court, accused the convict of defrauding unsuspecting admission seekers of N3,884,200 in the guise of offering them admission into three non-existing higher institutions.

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The Commission also had in a Charge No: GM/128C/2021 informed the court of how Mr. Abubakar obtained by false pretense, the above sum and illegally operated the three different institutions known as Goni Mukhtar Polytechnic, Goni Mukhtar College of Education and Goni Mukhtar Linguistic Centre, in one block of three class rooms in Gombe State between 2009 and 2015.

His actions are contrary to Section 13 and punishable under Section 68 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, Section 1(i) of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act, 2006 and Section 320 of the Penal Code.

When the convict was admitted to take his pleas during his arraignment on the 22nd of February 2022, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to him. This development informed the trial judge to adjourn the case to 29th and 30th March 2022, respectively for definite hearing.

However, at the resumed hearing, Mr. Abubakar changed his plea from not guilty to guilty.
After admitting guilty to all the charge, Counsel to ICPC, Mashkur Salisu, applied for the review of the facts by tendering all necessary documents in line with Section 290 (1) of Gombe State Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

The Prosecution Counsel also asked the court for an order to immediately close down all the institutions permanently.In a swift reaction Counsel to the convict, Mr. A.B. Ebrany prayed the court for leniency for his client on the grounds of his age, having a large family and being a first-time offender.

In handing down the judgment to the convict, Justice Muhammed sentenced the retired school principal to two years’ imprisonment and ordered the immediate and permanent closure of the illegal institutions.

Ex-Revenue Officer Charged By ICPC Bags Three Years Imprisonment Over N4.6m Fraud

 

A former Revenue Officer with the National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu, Mrs. Dorothy Chigozie Amalili, has been sentenced to three years in jail for defrauding the hospital of N4.6 million.

Mrs. Amalili, who was jailed by Justice K. Okpe, of the Enugu State High Court, sitting in Enugu, was accused by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) of diverting N4,644.030.00 belonging to the hospital for personal use.

The Commission, in an amended 6 counts, had accused her of knowingly furnishing false statements in respect of money received in order to conceal her actions while performing official duties as a revenue officer.

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ICPC Counsel, Enosa Omoghibo, averred before the court that her offences which were committed between February 2017 and December 2018, were contrary to Section 16 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same section of the Act.

The suspect, while performing her duties would write the actual amounts collected from patients on the original copy of the receipts, while writing lesser amounts on the duplicate and triplicate copies of the same receipts kept in the Accounts Department for audit purposes, which enabled her to remit a lesser sum of money than the actual amount collected for the hospital, thereby fraudulently retaining the difference. Through this means, she was able to defraud the hospital of N4,644.030, over a period of time.

Justice Okpe, at the conclusion of the trial, found her guilty on all six counts. He, therefore, sentenced her to six months imprisonment for each of the counts which will run concurrently.

ICPC spokesperson, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, in a statement on Wednesday, disclosed that the convict was also given an option of a fine in lieu of custodial sentence by the trial judge for being a Person Living with Disability (PLWD). Her right leg had been amputated due to a diabetic foot ulcer.

The sentencing further includes the convict making a refund of the entire sum that she embezzled to the National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu.

The money will be taken from her Pension Funds domiciled with IBTC Pensions into the ICPC Recovery Account under the TSA as recovery for and on behalf of the hospital.

Similiarly, a Gombe State Secondary School Principal, Mr. Bello Muhammed Abubakar, has been arraigned by the ICPC, over alleged fraudulent activities and other ancillary offences.

The Commission, in two counts brought before Hon Justice Halima S. Muhammed of Gombe State High Court 2 sitting in Gombe, told the court that the accused person had defrauded unsuspecting admission seekers to the tune of the Three Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Four Thousand, Two Hundred Naira only (N3,884,200).

The charge reads in part: “That you Bello Muhammed Abubakar (m) between the period of 2009 to 2014 or thereabout at Gombe within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did obtain by false pretense the sum of N3,884,200:00 from unsuspecting admission seekers under the guise of offering them admission into Mukhtar Polytechnic Gombe and Goni Mukhtar College of Education Gombe State.

“And you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006.”

ICPC, in a Charge No: GM/128C/2021 averred that Mr. Abubakar had obtained by false pretense the above sum when he illegally operated the following institutions: “Mukhtar Polytechnic, Goni, Mukhtar College of Education, and Goni Mukhtar Linguistic Centre,” all in one block of three classrooms in Gombe State between 2009 and 2015.

Counsel to ICPC, Mashkur Salisu, informed the court how the school principal was perpetrating the said offence before he was nabbed by operatives of the Commission during an intelligence-led operation.

The Commission has since shut down the said illegal institutions in which the accused person was operating.

The defendant’s actions are contrary to Section 13 and punishable under Section 68 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and Section 1(i) of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act, 2006.

When the accused person was admitted to take his plea, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to him.

Counsel to the accused, Mr. A.B. Ebrany moved a bail application in favour of his client which was not opposed by the prosecution counsel.

The trial judge, therefore, granted the accused person bail in the sum of two million naira (N2,000,000) and two sureties in like sum who must be residents within the jurisdiction of the court and must depose to an affidavit of means, failure of which he would be remanded in the Gombe Correctional Centre.

The case has been adjourned to the 29th and 30th of March 2022 for hearing.