EFCC Arraigns Oyo Permanent Secretary Over Alleged N4.4m Scam

Rasaq Kolawole

 

The Ibadan zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arraigned a director who had served in acting capacity as Permanent Secretary, in the Oyo State Ministry of Agric and Natural Resources, Alhaji Rasaq Kolawole, for allegedly defrauding one Ibikunle Alonge of N4,400.000 (Four Million, Four Hundred Thousand Naira).

Kolawole was arraigned before Justice Aderonke Aderemi of the Oyo State High Court on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, on one count of obtaining money under false pretence.

The offence is against Section 1 (2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

The victim of his alleged crime had written a petition to the EFCC in which he accused the top public servant of fraudulently collecting the sum from him as part payment for a piece of land situated at Alabata Olosoko area of Moniya, Ibadan.

He further alleged that it was after making the payment that he got to know that the land actually belonged to one Mrs. Ali (now deceased ), adding that all efforts to get a refund thereafter were unsuccessful.

The charge read: “That you, Alhaji Kolawole Rasaq on or about the 2nd of October, 2018, at Ibadan within the Ibadan Judicial Division of this honourable court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N4,400,000 (Four Million and Four Hundred Thousand Naira only) from one Alonge Ibikunle through Pastor Adeyemi Fabayo by falsely pretending that it was part payment of the cost price of eleven and half plots of land situated, lying and being at Alabata Olokoso area, via Moniya area, Ibadan which you purported to have sold to him.

Kolawole, however, pleaded not-guilty to the charge.

In view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Dr. Ben Ubi, prayed the court for a date for the commencement of trial.

Thereafter, Justice Aderemi admitted the defendant to bail on self-recognizance and adjourned the matter to June 24 and 25, 2020 for trial.

Juju Scam: Court Remands Fake Native Doctor, Two Others In Prison

 

Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court 1, sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State has ordered the remand of a fake native doctor, Fatai Olalere Alli (a.k.a. Baba Abore, Baba Oshun), and two others – Adigun Fatai Olusegun and Olufemi Kolawole – in prison custody pending the filing, hearing and determination of their bail applications.

The accused persons were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office, on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, on criminal charges bordering on conspiracy, money laundering and obtaining money by false pretense.

The court had earlier granted the Commission’s prayer for an order of interim forfeiture of properties traced to Alli as well as freezing of accounts he allegedly used to received proceeds of crime.

According to the count-one of the charges, Olusegun and Kolawole conspired with Alli to obtain money under false pretenses from one Attiogbe, Daniel Babatunde.

READ ALSO: Oil Bunkering: EFCC Arraigns Naval Officer, 14 Others

The charges against the trio contravene Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, Section 1 (10 (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2012 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Before their arrest, the Commission had received several intelligence reports linking Alli to series of fraud allegations involving large sums of money.

Details on the intelligence alleged that he engages in money doubling through which he swindled and collected money from his victims with the promise of using his ‘spiritual powers’ to multiply the sums for them, but would instead divert same to his personal use.

He was arrested on July 9, 2019. His confessions later led to the arrest of his conspirators.

The Commission thereafter filed an application seeking an interim forfeiture order of the properties and accounts of the suspects.

The application is pursuant to Sections 28, 29, and 34(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Co mission (Establishment) Act, 2004, Sections 333 and 337 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, Section 44 (1)2)(k) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) and under the Interim Jurisdiction of the Honourable Court.

Justice Ajoku granted the application of the EFCC and ordered that the properties of the suspects be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

She also ordered the freezing of their bank accounts pending the conclusion of the investigation, prosecution and final determination of the cases against them.

The properties include five buildings, three cars and hectares of farm land.

Today, the accused persons were called upon to take their plea.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

Alli pleaded not guilty to 22-count charges, Olusegun pleaded not guilty to 32-count charges, while Kolawole pleaded not guilty to his one-count charge of conspiracy.

Due to the not-guilty plea, prosecution counsel, Oluwatinuwe Daramola, prayed the court for a trial date and an order to remand the accused persons in prison custody.

However. counsels to the accused persons prayed the court for a short date to hear the applications of their respective clients.

Bala Yakubu represented Alli, Babatunde Ajibola stood in for Olusegun, while Oluwole Adeosun advocated for Kolawole.

The presiding judge, however, refused their prayers stating that their applications were not yet before the court.

She said the court registrar would communicate the date for bail argument to the parties once the applications are properly brought before the court.

Justice Ajoku then ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody as she adjourned the matter to November 22, 2019 for trial.

Full List Of Nigerians Named In Massive Fraud, Money Laundering In US

 

US authorities have announced charges against 80 people, most of them Nigerians, in a wide-ranging fraud and money laundering operation that netted millions of dollars from victims of internet con jobs.

On Thursday, federal prosecutors unsealed the dozens of indictments after 17 people were arrested and taken into custody in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the United States.

Most of the remainder of those indicted were believed to be in Nigeria, the US Justice Department said.

READ ALSO: Dasukigate: Oshodin Gets N250m Bail

A statement from the Justice Department reads:

“A 252-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed today charges 80 defendants, most of whom are Nigerian nationals, with participating in a massive conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a variety of fraud schemes and launder the funds through a Los Angeles-based money laundering network.

“The indictment was unsealed after law enforcement authorities this morning arrested 14 defendants across the United States, with 11 of those arrests taking place in the Los Angeles region. Two defendants were already in federal custody on other charges, and one was arrested earlier this week. The remaining defendants are believed to be abroad, with most them located in Nigeria.

“The indictment alleges that the 80 defendants and others used various online fraud schemes – including business email compromise (BEC) frauds, romance scams, and schemes targeting the elderly – to defraud victims out of millions of dollars. According to a criminal complaint also unsealed today, co-conspirators based in Nigeria, the United States and other countries contacted the lead defendants in the indictment – Valentine Iro, 31, of Carson, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, of Gardena, both Nigerian citizens – for bank and money-service accounts that could receive funds fraudulently obtained from victims. Once members of the conspiracy convinced victims to send money under false pretenses, Iro and Igbokwe coordinated the receipt of funds and oversaw an extensive money-laundering network, according to the 145-page indictment.

“The indictment and criminal complaint allege that Iro and Igbokwe, who were among those arrested this morning, were involved in schemes resulting in the fraudulent transfer of at least $6 million in fraudulently-obtained funds – and the overall conspiracy was responsible for the attempted theft of at least an additional $40 million.

“The fraudsters targeted victims in the United States and across the globe, including individuals, small and large businesses, and law firms. Some of the victims of the conspiracy lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fraud schemes, and many were elderly.

“This case is part of our ongoing efforts to protect Americans from fraudulent online schemes and to bring to justice those who prey upon American citizens and businesses,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “Today, we have taken a major step to disrupt criminal networks that use BEC schemes, romance scams and other frauds to fleece victims. This indictment sends a message that we will identify perpetrators – no matter where they reside – and we will cut off the flow of ill-gotten gains.”

“Today’s announcement highlights the extensive efforts that organized criminal groups will engage in to perpetrate BEC schemes that target American citizens and their hard-earned assets,” said Assistant Director in Charge Paul Delacourt of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “Billions of dollars are lost annually, and we urge citizens to be aware of these sophisticated financial schemes to protect themselves or their businesses from becoming unsuspecting victims. The FBI is committed to working with our partner agencies worldwide to continue to identify these cyber criminals and to dismantle their networks.”

“Iro and Igbokwe essentially were brokers of fraudulent bank accounts. According to the indictment, Iro and Igbokwe collected bank accounts, fielded requests for bank account information, provided that information to co-conspirators around the world, and laundered the money obtained from victims – all of this in exchange for a cut of the money stolen from victims of the various fraud schemes.

“If a bank account with a specific business name was required to trick a business-victim into making a payment, Iro and Igbokwe often coordinated with “money mules” to open accounts that could receive funds obtained, according to court documents. In addition to making the fake business name mirror the name of a legitimate company, members of the conspiracy routinely filed fictitious business name statements with the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder’s Office that were presented to banks when the fraudulent accounts were opened.

“Once a victim deposited funds into a bank account or a money services account, Iro and Igbokwe allegedly coordinated with others to further launder the funds. Members of the conspiracy sometimes wired funds to other bank accounts under their control; in other cases, they simply withdrew funds as cash or negotiable instruments such as cashier’s checks.

“When stolen funds were withdrawn as cash, the defendants frequently used illicit money exchangers to move funds overseas, generally avoiding transferring the funds directly through banking institutions, the indictment alleges. To do this, Iro and Igbokwe coordinated the transfer of a victim’s funds from a fraudulent bank account they controlled to U.S. bank accounts belonging to illicit money exchangers. Those money exchangers, in turn, used a Nigerian banking application to transfer other funds in naira (₦), the currency of Nigeria, from Nigerian bank accounts they controlled to the Nigerian bank accounts specified by Iro and Igbokwe. This method was used to transfer millions of dollars to Nigerian co-conspirators without directly transferring funds overseas. The indictment alleges that Jerry Ikogho, 50, of Carson (who was taken into custody on Sunday), and Adegoke Moses Ogungbe, 34, of Fontana, were among those who served as illicit money exchangers for the conspiracy.

“Each of the 80 defendants named in the indictment is charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and aggravated identity theft. A number of the defendants also face substantive fraud and money laundering charges.

“Additionally, Iro, Igbokwe, Ikogho, Ogungbe and three other defendants –Izuchukwu Kingsley Umejesi, 30, of Los Angeles, Tityaye Marina Mansbangura, 33, of Palmdale, and Obi Madekwe, 31, of Nigeria – are charged with operating illegal money transmitting businesses. Ogungbe and Mansbangura were also among those arrested this morning, and Umejesi is a fugitive currently being sought by authorities.

“Iro, Igbokwe and Chuks Eroha, 39, face additional charges for attempting to destroy their phones when the FBI executed a search warrant in July 2017. Iro also is charged with lying to the FBI in an interview conducted during the search. The complaint alleges that, when the FBI arrived to conduct the court-authorized search at Iro’s apartment in Carson, Iro broke his phone in half, while Igbokwe and Eroha threw phones from a bedroom window of the apartment. While Iro claimed he previously had broken the phone during an argument with his wife, the complaint details how the FBI was able to determine that the phone was operational until seconds after the FBI knocked on Iro’s apartment door to execute the search warrant. Eroha is believed to have fled to Nigeria shortly after the FBI executed the warrant.

“The charges contained in the criminal complaint and indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

“This investigation is being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the United States Department of State provided substantial assistance during the investigation.

“Several agencies provided support during today’s takedown or during the investigation, including the United States Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office and the California Franchise Tax Board.

“Many of the FBI’s Legal Attachés provided assistance throughout this investigation, as did the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, and foreign authorities around the world. In particular, the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office thank the National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom and the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Osnabrück, Germany for their contributions.

“This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anil J. Antony and Joseph B. Woodring of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section.

“The FBI in 2017 issued a report on the rise of BEC schemes, and published a recap of 2018’s Operation WireWire, which was an international effort to disrupt international BEC scams. An FBI public service announcement that warns of the dangers of BEC schemes encourages businesses to “trust but verify.”

Below is a full list of Nigerians who were named in the scam list.

1. VALENTINE IRO, aka “Iro Enterprises,” aka “Valentine Obinna Iro ,” aka ” Obinna Iro ,” 16 aka ” Obinna Nassa,”

2. CHUKWUDI CHRI STOGUNUS IGBOKWE, aka ” Christogunus C. Igbokwe,” aka ” Chris Kudon ,” aka “Atete ,” aka “Still Kudon ,”

3. JERRY ELO IKOGHO , aka “J Man,”

4. IZUCHUKWU KINGSLEY UMEJESI, aka ” Kingsley Umejesi, ” aka “Armeni an Man,” aka “Kingsley LA,” aka “I zuking Aka Aku ,”

5. ADEGOKE MOSES OGUNGBE , aka “P & P Motors,” aka “Pp, ”

6. ALBERT LEWIS CATHEY, aka “Alb, ” aka “Abert Jag,” aka “Al,”

7. TITYAYE MARINA MANSBANGURA, aka “Tityaye Igbokwe ,” aka “Marina Mansour,” aka “Marina Mansaray,” aka “Marina Tityaye Mans Bangura,”

8. CHUKWUDI COLLINS AJAEZE, aka “Thank You Jesus”

9. EKENE AUGUSTINE EKECHUKWU, aka “Ogedi Power,” aka “Power,”

10. CHUKS EROHA, aka “Chuks Nassa Iro,” aka “Nassa,” aka “Prince Chuddy,” aka “Nurse Chuddy,”

11. COLLINS NNAEMEKA OJIMBA, aka “Collins Emeka Ojimba,” aka “Ojimba Collins,” aka “Charly.Africa,”

12. FNU LNU, aka “Xplora G,”

13. UCHENNA OCHIAGHA, aka “Urch Agu,” aka “Advanced Mega Plus Ltd,”

14. NNAMDI THEOJOSEPH DURU, aka “Duru Theo Joseph Nnamdi,” aka “Williams High School,” aka “Ifytyns,”

15. ERICSON UCHE OFORKA, aka “Oforka,” aka “Eric Oforka,”

16. MARK IFEANYI CHUKWUOCHA, aka “Mark Iheanyi Chukwuocha,” aka “Chukwu Mark,” aka “Markife,”

17. AUGUSTINE NNAMDI, aka “Nnamdi Augustine,” aka “Jazz,”

18. CHIEMEZIE CHRISTOPHER CHILAKA, aka “Fanta,”

19. CHARLES OHAJIMKPO, aka “Giggs,” aka “Ryan Giggs,” aka “Charles,”

20. STANLEY UGOCHUKWU UCHE, aka “Ugo Law,” aka “Uche Stanley,” aka “He is risen.Happy Easter!,”

21. CHIKA AUGUSTINE ODIONYENMA, aka “Tony Augustin Odionyenma,” aka “Chika Tony,” aka “CTA Finance Source Intl,”

22. PASCHAL CHIMA OGBONNA, aka “Chima,” aka “Paschal,”

23. SAMUEL NNAMDI ONWUASOANYA, aka “Sammy Lee Nnamdi,” aka “Onwuasoanya Samuel Nnamdi,” aka “Enugu Ogo,”

24. MACWILLIAM CHINONSO CHUKWUOCHA, aka “ChiBoy,”

25. EMMANUEL ONYEKA UZOKA, aka “Emmanuel Mansion,” aka “Mansion,” aka “Son of God,” aka “Ezirim Uzoma,”

26. JOSHUA ANIEFIOK AWAK, aka “Joe Awk,” aka “Kwee Tin Law,”

27. GEORGE UGOCHUKWU EGWUMBA, aka “George Ugo,” aka “Ugo Aunty Scholar,”

28. UCHECHUKWU SOLOMON EZIRIM, aka “Uche Nwanne,” aka “Uche Ezirim,”

29. AUGUSTINE IFEANYI OKAFOR, aka “Zero,” aka “St.Austine,” aka “Austine,” aka “Ifeanyichukwu Okafor,”

30. FNU LNU, aka “Okay Sam Mal,” LESLIE N. MBA, aka “Mystical,” aka “Nwachinemere Leslie,”

31. OGOCHUKWU INNOCENT IKEWESI, aka “Ogoo UK,” aka “Innocent Ikewesi,”

32. EMMANUEL UZOMA OGANDU, aka “Nwachinaemere,” aka “Uzoma,”

33. AMARACHUKWU HARLEY ANYANWU, aka “GodisGod,” aka “War B,”

34. BRIGHT IFEANYI AZUBUIKE, aka “Bright Bauer Azubuike,” aka “Ifeanyi Jnr,”

35. EMEKA MOSES NWACHUKWU, aka “All Man,” aka “Omalitoto,” FNU LNU, aka “Donatus Izunwanne,” aka “Izunwanne Donatus Chibuikem,” aka “Deworlddonmax,”

36. CHINWENDU KENNETH OSUJI, aka “Father,”

37. EUSEBIUS UGOCHUKWU ONYEKA, aka “Ugo UK,” aka “sly19 sly,”

38. CHIDI ANUNOBI, aka “Anunobi Chidi,” aka “Chidioo,”

39. ANTHONY NWABUNWANNE OKOLO, aka “Eric West,” aka “Erci West,” aka “Code,”

40. OBINNA CHRISTIAN ONUWA, aka “Papa Chukwuezugo,” aka “Obinna Onuwa Abala,” aka “Obyno Abala,”

41. CHIJIOKE CHUKWUMA ISAMADE, aka “Mr CJ,” aka “CJ,”

42. LINUS NNAMDI MADUFOR, aka “Madufor Nnamdi,”

43. CHRYSAUGONUS NNEBEDUM, aka “Cris,”

44. UGOCHUKWU OKEREKE, aka “Blade,” aka “Kingsly Cris,” aka “Okereke Ugochukwu,”

45. FIDEL LEON ODIMARA, aka “Fiedel Odimara,” aka “Ndaa,” aka “Dee Dutchman,”

46. KINGSLEY CHINEDU ONUDOROGU, aka “OBJ,”

47. DESSI NZENWAH, aka “Desmond Sage,” aka “Des Nzenwa,” aka “Saga Lounge,”

48. CHIMAROKE OBASI, aka “Chima Russia”

49. JAMES CHIGOZIE AGUBE, aka “Smart,” aka “Smart Agube,” aka “Smart Chigozie Agube”

50. CHIMAOBI UZOZIE OKORIE, aka “Omaobi,” aka “Mobility,”

51. OGOCHUKWU OHIRI, aka “Ogomegbulam Ohiri,” aka “Ologbo,”

52. KENNEDY CHIBUEZE UGWU, aka “Kennedy David,”

53. IFEANYICHUKWU OLUWADAMILARE AGWUEGBO, aka “B$$ IFF¥,”

54. VICTOR IFEANYI CHUKWU, aka “Ifeannyi Soccer,” aka “Vic Chux,”

55. CHIDI EMMANUEL MEGWA, aka “Cantr,” aka “Canta Jr.,”

56. PRINCEWILL ARINZE DURU, aka “Arnzi Prince Will,” aka “Arinze,”

57. DESMOND IWU, aka “Desmond Chigozie Iwu,” aka “Lalaw,” aka “Odo Desmond,”

58. ONYEKA VINCENT CHIKA, aka “Chyco,” aka “Chika Ejima,” aka “Vincent Chika Onyeka,”

59. IFEANYI KINGSLEY MEZIENWA, aka “Ifeanyi Ali,” aka “Ifeanyichukwu Mezienwa,”

60. VICTOR UCHENNA AGUH, aka “Orch Sod,” aka “Uche SP,” aka “Rich Homie Urch,”

61. KEVIN AMARACHI ESHIMBU, aka “Humble,” aka “Humble Amarachukwu,” aka “Dato Humble,”

62. VITALIS KELECHI ANOZIE, aka “Kelechi Vitalis Anozie,” aka “Kelechi Anozieh,” aka “Pastor Kel Anozie,” aka “Pastor Kc,” aka “Choice,”

63. WILLIAMS OBIORA AGUNWA, aka “Don Williams,”

64. GEORGE CHIMEZIE DIKE, aka “Chimekros,” aka “Slim Dad…No…1,”

65. MUNACHISO KYRIAN UKACHUKWU, aka “Muna,”

66. NWANNEBUIKE OSMUND, aka “Osmund Nwannebuike,” aka “Olivite,” aka “Nikky Bro.,”

67. CHIDIEBERE FRANKLIN NWANGWU, aka “Frank Chidi,” aka “Franklin Nwangwu,” aka “Agogo,”

68. DAMIAN UCHECHUKWU AJAH, aka “Uche Ajah,” aka “Ajah Damian Uchechukwu,” aka “Uchechukwu Demian Ajah,”

69. EMEKA P. EJIOFOR, aka “Ejiofor Emeka,”

70. LAWRENCE CHUKWUMA UBASINEKE, aka “Ubasineke Chuks,” aka “Chukwuma Ubasineke,”

71. CHINEDU BRIGHT IBETO, aka “Doggy,” aka “Doggy Lucino,”

72. VALENTINE AMARACHI NWANEGWO, aka “Satis,” aka “Satis Amarachi Satis,”

73. EMMANUEL CHIDIEBERE DIKE, aka “Emmanet,”

74. JEREMIAH UTIEYIN EKI, aka “Uti,” CHINAKA DAVIDSON IWUOHA, aka “Tmrw Afrika Will Wake Up,” aka “Cookie,” aka “All Africa Media Network,”

75. CHIMA DARLINGTON DURU, aka “Kajad,” aka “Kajad Jesus,”

76. IKENNA CHRISTIAN IHEJIUREME, aka “Piper,” aka “Am Happy!,”

77. OBI ONYEDIKA MADEKWE, aka “Odu Investment,”

Employment Scam: EFCC Arraigns Alleged Impersonator Of Customs’ Boss

 

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on March 14, 2019 arraigned Azeez Yakubu Afolayan, in a Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, for allegedly impersonating the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (retd) to engage in employment scam.

Afolayan is facing a four-count charge bordering on impersonation, job scam, and obtaining money under false pretence. He was arrested by EFCC operatives on March 5, 2019 following complaints from one of his victims.

Trouble started for him when a staff of the Customs Service, Hasaan Garba Muhammed petitioned the EFCC, accusing him of defrauding innocent Nigerians seeking employment into the Service. He was said to have defrauded them of about N1m.

READ ALSO: Kaduna Attacks: Police Confirm Killing Of 17, Embark On Aerial Surveillance Of Flash-Points

One of the counts reads: “That you, Yakubu Azeez Afolayan, between the months of November 2018 and January 2018 in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with the intent to defraud, obtained the gross sum of N267,000 (Two Hundred and Sixty-seven Thousand Naira) only from one Usman Janet Opeyemi through your UBA account number under the false pretence that you are capable of securing employment for her son with the Nigerian Customs Services; the representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

The counsel to the EFCC asked the court to give a date for trial, for the prosecution to prove its case, and to order the remand of the defendant in prison.

The counsel to the defendant, however, moved an oral application for bail, which was turned down by the Judge.

Justice Abdulgafar, thereafter, ordered that the defendant be remanded in Oke-Kura Prison, and adjourned to March 19, 2019, for the hearing of the bail application.

We Do Not Collect Money From Job Seekers, EFCC Warns Applicants

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has raised an alarm over the activities of fraudsters duping ignorant job seekers warning applicants not to fall victim.

The anti-graft agency’s Head of Media, Mr Wilson Uwujaren in a statement on Tuesday warned applicants not to fall victims into the tricks played on their intelligence.

READ ALSO: Court Grants EFCC Warrants To Arrest Ex-DSS, NIA Bosses

Uwujaren said that the agency’s employment process is open and transparent and cannot be compromised through bribery.

“Some unscrupulous individuals are seeking to exploit the current recruitment exercise in the commission for private gain by soliciting payment from unsuspecting job seekers in order to facilitate their employment into the commission.

“This is a scam and members of the public are warned not to deal with anyone with such proposition as the agency does not collect money from job seekers. Candidates that participated in the recent aptitude test by the Commission should avoid falling prey to tricksters by shunning any promise of employment for a fee,” he said.

He further advised members of the public to report any request for money for employment into the Commission at the nearest office of the EFCC or the nearest police station.

Appeal Court Overturns Conviction Of Ex-NIMASA DG, Omatseye

The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has overturned the five-year conviction of a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Raymond Omatseye, for alleged contract splitting.

The appellate court discharged and acquitted Mr Omatseye of all the 24 counts for which he was convicted at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

In discharging Mr Omatseye, the appeal court set aside the May 20, 2016, judgment of Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia which convicted the ex-NIMASA DG on charges bordering on bid rigging and contract splitting.

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia had found Omatseye culpable in a N1.5billion contract scam.

Read Also: Court Jails Former NIMASA DG, Omatseye For Five Years

She ruled that he awarded contracts above the stipulated N2.5million threshold in violation of certain provisions of the Public Procurement Act and accordingly, convicted him on 24 out of 27 counts but discharged and acquitted him of three others.

But the appellate court held, among others things that the trial court did not properly evaluate the evidence.

The court, presided over by Justice Yargata Nimpar, resolved all five grounds of appeal in Mr Omatseye’s favour.

In reaching its decision, the court considered four issues for determination, including whether under Section 16(1)(A) of the Public Procurement Act 2007, approval for spending over the threshold constitute an offence.

Justice Yargata Nimpar, who read the judgment, considered whether the trial court properly evaluated the evidence.

“I found that it did not,” she said.

She added, “The long and short of it is that, the appeal succeeds. The prosecution should not ride roughshod over the Constitution.

“The judiciary will do the war on corruption more harm by declaring someone a criminal, where no offence has been committed.

“I find merit in the appeal. The conviction is hereby set aside and the appellant is hereby discharged and acquitted.”

The Former DG’s supporters, who had turned up in court, burst out into jubilation after the judgment was delivered.

 

 

Checking Online Payment Fraud In Nigeria

global-internetPerceived high-level fraud within the online community, network issue and lack of education have continued to pose huge challenges to online payment in Nigeria.

Education of the public on how to use card payment system and security of the online system are some of the solution that could be adopted to tackle the challenge, the Co-founder of Vogue Pay, Michael Simeoni, said.

He expressed confidence in online transactions which he said were more secured.

Mr Simeoni and Mr Quam Ojikutu, Co-founder of Vogue Pay, discussed how online fraud could be tackled to ensure safer transactions.

Mr Ojikutu said that the creation of an eco-system that allowed a shared database, the effective implementation of the Bank Verification Number and the social security number system that would link everyone to a specific information would go a long way in tackling the challenge.

$8.4m Fraud: Appeal Court Grants Ajudua Bail

Fred Ajudua.The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has set aside the ruling of Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja and granted a former Lagos socialite, Fred Ajudua bail to seek medical treatment abroad.

Justice Ipaye had refused Ajudua’s bail application in a suit filed against Ajudua by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for allegedly defrauding former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd.) of about $8.4 million.

Dissatisfied, Ajudua through his lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, appealed against the ruling and urged the appellate court to set it aside.

The appellate court in a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Rita Pemu held that Ajudua could only stand trial if he is alive.

Justice Pemu held that the charge levelled against Ajudua by the EFCC does not attract capital punishment hence its a bailable offence.

The court observed from the medical report presented at the lower court that Ajudua had been a patient at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH for kidney related illness as far back as 1987.

“He was already a sick man at the time the charge was filed against him. The lower court turned a blind eye to the plight of the appellant (Ajudua).

“A man with just one kidney is a walking carcass. Although his reputation is found wanting, he has not been convicted. The court ought to show mercy as a result of his health challenges”, Justice Pemu held.

On the claim by the EFCC that Ajudua will interfere with witnesses, Justice Pemu held that the anti-graft agency failed to show calculated attempt made by appellant to do so.

Consequently, the court granted Ajudua bail in the sum of 10 million Naira with two sureties in like sum.

The sureties must have property worth 50 million Naira in Lagos.

Ajudua is also to sign an undertaking that he would remain in Nigeria throughout his trial unless there was need for him to travel abroad for treatment.

The judgement was unanimously adopted by two other members of the panel namely; Justice CE Iyizoba and Justice JY Tukur respectively.

However, the appellate court dismissed another appeal by Ajudua which borders on the refusal of the lower court to allow him make extra-judicial statement in response to the allegations levelled against him.

Justice Pemu upheld the decision of the lower court on the ground that Ajudua had earlier been given the opportunity to make statements but he chose not to do so.

“It’s appellant’s constitutional right but he chose to waive it. The court cannot teach the Police how to carry out its investigation. The court cannot also force defendant to make statement” Justice Pemu added.

Ajudua had earlier been freed  by a Lagos High Court  on charges brought against him by the EFCC of defrauding two Dutch businessmen of $1.69 million.

 

Subsidy Scam: Court Fines Adbullahi Alao For Counsel’s Absence In Court

Subsidy scamJustice Adebisi Akinlade of the Lagos High Court, sitting in Igbosere, on Wednesday September 17, 2014, ordered that Abdullahi Alao, a defendant standing trial in a N2.6billion scam, instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, should pay a sum of N50, 000 as fine to the EFCC, for the failure of his counsel to appear in court for the continuation of his trial.

A defence team led by Taiwo Osipitan (SAN) failed to show up in court on Wednesday, for the cross examination of a prosecution witness, Laval Ahmed, who also doubles as the principal witness in the ongoing trial of Alao and his company, Axenergy Limited for their alleged involvement in a N2.6 billion oil subsidy scam, under the Petroleum Support Fund, for a purported importation of 33.3million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

Oluwatosin Dawodu, who held brief for Osipitan, prayed the court to adjourn to a later date, explaining that Osipitan was absent because he had to attend a conference.

The prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, immediately prayed the court not to grant the application.

This application is intended to put wool in the eye of my Lord, I therefore urge my Lord to use the sledge hammer of justice to prevent that from happening. And that the cost of transportation of the witness be taken over by the defence counsel,” he said.

Justice Akinlade, who had earlier insisted that Dawodu must go ahead with the cross examination of the witness, however, granted the adjournment, which according to her, was necessary to enable the defendant get deserved fairness and proper representation.

She also ordered that the transportation cost of the prosecution witness be paid to him before the next adjourned date.

She subsequently adjourned the matter till October 8, 2014 for continuation of trial.

Scam: Women Lose £220,000 To Fake Profile Lovers On Match.com

Fake_passportAt a trial at Winchester Crown Court in the UK, it was revealed that tricksters have bombarded lonely women on a dating website with gushing messages of love to con them out of £220,000.

The group created false profiles on Match.com to pose as middle-aged men and told victims they were their ‘soulmate’ and ‘inspiration’.

One woman received a message describing ‘the love thundering into our hearts that only we can understand’.

According to a report on Daily Mail Online, The gang invented a story about needing money to ‘free up’ a £1.5million inheritance locked in an Indian bank account to press the ‘vulnerable’ singletons for cash, prosecutors said.

Monty Emu, 28, Eberechi Ekpo, 26, Adewunmi Nusi, 37, and Brooke Boston, 28, allegedly pocketed £220,000 from women they targeted. One woman paid them £174,000 in total, the court heard.

Opening the trial on Monday, prosecutor Simon Edwards said bogus Match.com accounts were set up to contact ‘emotionally vulnerable’ users.

One profile, for ‘James Richards’, described him as ‘very attractive’ and listed his height, build and hair colour.

Once they lured a woman they would exchange messages on the site and then move to text messages and email, where they were unmonitored, jurors heard.

The victims were told Mr Richards’ father had died and left him £1.5million. He asked them for £700 to help fund a trip to India to access it.

‘Mr Richards’ went on the trip but hit problems and needed more money to obtain a series of certificates and an affidavit to release his inheritance, the story went, with the sums ranging from £10,000 to £100,000.

‘Thundering Email’

The scam included a fictitious lawyer, Rod Thompson of ‘Quality Solicitors’, fake court documents and tax clearance certificates.

Mr Edwards said: ‘The operation of the conspiracy was fairly straightforward and its success depended on the trust and co-operation of the victims in this case.

‘It is fair to say – and I hope I do not do them a disservice in this – by and large the victims were financially vulnerable and also to an extent emotionally vulnerable.

‘The conspirators exploited their emotional vulnerability to ensure financial reward for them and those who laundered the money.’
Money was paid into bank accounts and transferred on, and cash was withdrawn around Portsmouth, Hampshire, Mr Edwards said.

Suzanne Hardman, of Basingstoke, Hampshire, handed over £174,000 in several payments after being contacted by ‘James Richards’ in March 2012.

She received messages saying she made him ‘feel like a complete man’ and another – referred to in court as the ‘thundering email’ – that told of ‘the love thundering into our hearts that only we can understand’.

Mrs Hardman broke down as she told the court how, having separated from her husband, she handed over her savings from the sale of her former marital home.

‘Certain things just didn’t seem right, but because I was led to believe that I was dealing with a solicitor it seemed fine, because he was taking care of the money – or so I thought,’ she said.

But not all women contacted fell for the group’s claims, and the scam eventually came unstuck, the court heard.

Mr Edwards said ‘elementary mistakes’ were made, such as a passport supposedly belonging to James Richards sent as proof giving his name as Richard James and an affidavit listed £1.5million ‘starling’ rather than sterling.

Boston, Emu and Ekpo, from Southsea, Hampshire, and Nusi, of Thatcham, Berkshire, deny money laundering between August 2012 and December 2013.

Boston and Ekpo deny committing fraud by false representation from March 1, 2012, and February 9 2014.

Boston’s husband Emmanuel Oko, 29, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to fraud and money laundering, and Chukwuka Ugwu, 28, has pleaded guilty to money laundering.

The trial will continue and it is set to last four weeks.

$1.69million Scam: Court Awaits Decision On Ajudua’s Appeal

FRED AJIDUAA Lagos High Court has suspended further hearing in the $1.69million scam case involving suspected serial fraudster, Fred Ajudua, till September 24, 2014, to allow for the determination of the accused person’s appeal, challenging the court’s refusal of his bail application.

Ajudua is asking the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division to upturn Justice Jose’s decision to refuse him bail.

In the notice of appeal, he insisted that he needed urgent medical attention that would not be possible while in prison.

He contended that the lower court was biased in not granting his bail application.

At the resumed hearing of the case presided over by Justice Kudirat Jose of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on Friday, EFCC counsel, Oluwemimo Ogunde, argued on point of law against the ruling of Justice Jose at the last court sitting on May 23, ordering the EFCC to call witnesses in the ongoing trial of Ajudua, despite the pending application by the defence for stay of proceedings in view of its application before the appellate court.

Ogunde stated that, the position of law concerning the lower court in a matter that has a pending application before a higher court was that, when “an application is before a higher court, a lower court cannot silence a higher court and continue trial”.

But Ajudua’s counsel, Olalekan Ojo, argued that the court cannot overrule itself.

However, Ogunde countered that, “the prosecution is not here to argue if the court should overrule itself, neither are we here to argue the merit of the application but the position of the law. But if the court insists on the previous ruling, we will go ahead and call our witnesses and our witnesses are coming from abroad and it will be a waste of tax payers’ money to bring these witnesses only to discover that they are not needed”.

After listening to the submissions of counsel, Justice Jose then ruled that trial would continue on September 24 and October 2, 2014, after the Court of Appeal would have taken a position on the application before it.

Ajudua and Charles Ovie are standing trial before Justice Jose for allegedly defrauding two Dutch businessmen of $1.69m.

Sunrise Daily Highlights Memories of 2013

Sunrise Daily Host, Chamberlain Usoh on Wednesday morning gave a review of the major highlights, issues and episodes of the programme in 2013, including the Nigeria Governor’s Forum crisis in which two chairmen, Jonah Jang and Chibuike Amaechi, emerged following a controversial election which was held in May 2013.

According to a statement by Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, the purported election that returned Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) was a ruse.

Other issues highlighted were the return of Taraba state governor, Danbaba Suntai, who was deemed unfit to continue to hold office as a result of his health, alleged fabrications by the Abia state government on its various achievements which an investigative journalist challenged on the programme.

Finally, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) employment scam which led to an interview with the then Lagos State commandant, Obafaiye Shem. The interview with the officer, who was unable to state the official website of the agency, went viral online and produced the popular phrase, ‘Oga At The Top.”