Posts Tagged ‘EFCC’

Court Orders Forfeiture Of Alison-Madueke Banana Island Mansions, N86b To FG

Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered the temporary forfeiture of a property located at Banana Island, Lagos bought for $37.5m in 2003 by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke to federal government.

Justice Obiozor made the order that the property, designated as Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout, Banana Island Foreshore Estate, be temporarily forfeited to the government after listening to an ex parte application Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Apart from the property, which has 24 apartments, 18 flats and six penthouses, the judge also ordered the temporary forfeiture of the sums of $2,740,197.96 and N84,537,840.70, said to be part of the rent collected on the property, deposited in a Zenith Bank numbered 1013612486.

He further directed that the order should be published in a national newspaper.

The ex parte application was filed by the EFCC pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, No. 14, 2006 and Section 44(2)(k) of the constitution.

The commission listed as respondents in the application: Diezani, a legal practitioner, Afamefuna Nwokedi, and a company, Rusimpex Limited.

While arguing the application on Tuesday, the EFCC counsel, Anselem Ozioko had told the court that the anti-graft agency reasonably suspected that the property was acquired with proceeds of alleged unlawful activities of Diezani.

Ozioko also told the court that investigation by the EFCC revealed that Diezani made the  $37.5m payment for the purchase of the property in cash, adding that the money was moved straight from her house in Abuja and paid into the seller’s First Bank account in Abuja.

The lawyer maintained that, “Nothing could be more suspicious than someone keeping such huge amounts in her apartment. Why was she doing that? To avoid attention.

“We are convinced beyond reasonable doubt because as of the time this happened, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke was still in public service as the Minister of Petroleum Resources,” he submitted.

In a 41-paragraph affidavit attached to the application and deposed to by an investigative officer with the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, the anti-graft agency averred that Nwokedi, in connivance with Diezani, purposely incorporated the company, Rusimpex Limited, on September 11, 2013 to facilitate the alleged fraud scheme.

Bawa also alleged that when Nwokedi was questioned by the EFCC, the lawyer explained that he had approached Diezani for opportunities in the Oil and Gas industry but the ex-minister told him that being a lawyer, she did not have any such opportunity for him and asked him whether he could in the alternative manage landed properties, an offer which Nwokedi accepted.

Bawa further claimed that Nwokedi later registered Rusimpex Limited at the Corporate Affairs Commission, wherein a lawyer in his law firm, Adetula Ayokunle, and a Russian, Vladmir Jourauleu, were listed as the directors of the company, while the address of Nwokedi’s law firm in Ikoyi, Lagos was registered as the business address of Rusimpex Limited.

Bawa averred that when Ayokunle was questioned by the EFCC, he claimed that he only appended his signature on the CAC documents at his boss’ instruction, while Jourauleu denied knowledge of the company.

He said, “Sometime in 2013, the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, invited Barrister Afamefuna Nwokedi, the Principal Counsel of Stillwaters Law Firm, to her house in Abuja for a meeting where she informed the said Barrister Afamefuna Nwokedi to incorporate a company and use same as a front to manage landed properties on her behalf without using her name in any of the incorporation documents.

“She further directed Mr. Afamefuna Nwokedi to meet with Mr. Bisi Onasanya, the Group Managing Director of First Bank of Nigeria Plc for that purpose.

“Mr. Stephen Onasanya was invited by the commission and he came and volunteered an extrajudicial statement wherein he stated that he marketed a property at Bella Vista, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, belonging to Mr. Youseff Fattau of Ibatex Nigeria Limited to Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke later bought the property from Mr. Youseff Fattau, through her lawyer, Mr. Afamefuna Nwokedi (who she introduced to him) and that payment for the said property was made through the Abuja office of First Bank of Nigeria Plc.

“First Bank of Nigeria Plc, through Mr. Barau Muazu, wrote to the commission and also volunteered an extrajudicial statement in writing that they made the payments totaling US37,500,000 to Ibatex Nigeria Limited & YF Construction Development and Real Estate Limited on behalf of Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and that they collected the entire cash from Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke at her residence of No. 10, Fredrick Chiluba Close of Jose Marti Street, Asokor, Abuja and paid into the First Bank of Nigeria Plc accounts of Ibatex and YF Construction Development and Real Estate Limited on her instruction.”

After listening to the EFCC lawyer, Justice Obiozor made an order temporarily seizing the property and the funds and adjourned the matter till August 7, 2017 for anyone interested in the property and funds to appear before him.

EFCC arrests, ex-Jigawa Gov Saminu Turaki

  Former governor of Jigawa State, Senator Saminu Turaki was on Tuesday arrested by agents of EFCC. He was picked up at the venue of the public presentation of a book on Brigadier Zakariya Maimalari, the first regular combatant officer in the Nigerian Army, in Abuja. Ibrahim Saminu Turaki Before the arrest, EFCC has had to declare Turaki wanted for failing to present himself for trial since 2011 on 36 counts corruption charge before the Federal High Court, Dutse. The court had issued a warrant directing the Inspector General of Police or his officers and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to arrest Saminu Turaki and bring him before the court. Justice S. Yahuza gave the order after Turaki consistently failed to attend trial. But attempts to execute the warrant failed as Turaki remained elusive. On May 19, 2016 operatives of the Commission acting on a tip-off had stormed the 16 Denis Osadebey Street Asokoro, Abuja home of the former governor but he slipped through their hands. Turaki faces multiple charges bordering on criminal conspiracy, stealing, money laundering and misappropriation of public funds.

Osinbajo meets Magu, DSS boss, IG, others over recovered Osborne cash

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday met with the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu and other security chiefs in the wake of public interest in investigations into the circumstances that led to the N13 billion cash haul in a National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Lagos safe house.

Osinbajo, Magu, Daura and Idris

The meeting came as the Senate also yesterday delved into the rumpus over the Osborne cash haul, bidding to summon Mr. Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to furnish more information on circumstances around discovery of the money. The Senate announced yesterday that it would next week through its Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes invite Magu to shed more light on the matter.

However, the possible invitation of former President Goodluck Jonathan before the panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the NIA cash haul, was last night, raising dust with his supporters urging him not to honour it in the same way President Muhammadu Buhari opted not to honour summons to appear before the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa panel on human rights abuses during military rule.

That suggestion was, however, carpeted by the South-South Reawakening Group which yesterday pleaded with Jonathan not to soil his hard-earned global reputation as a democrat by honouring the invitation.

It was also gathered yesterday that principal witnesses to be invited before the three man presidential panel investigating the discovery of N13 billion in foreign and local currencies in a National Intelligence Agency, NIA Lagos safe house were yesterday waiting for summons.

It also emerged yesterday that the NIA allegedly collected $289 million in cash from the accounts of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) in February 2015. It was also gathered yesterday that the NIA funds were contained in the hand-over notes from the Jonathan administration, passed over to President Buhari, sources close to the development disclosed yesterday.

Sources in the Presidential Villa disclosed that all three members of the panel, set up under the chairmanship of Vice-President Osinbajo, whose other members include Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and National Security Adviser, Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd.) met in the office of the vice-president yesterday. Also at the meeting were the Inspector-General of Police, Idris Abubkar, the Director-General of the Department of State Security, DSS, Lawal Daura, Acting SGF, Dr. Habibat Lawan and the Acting D-G, NIA, Ambassador Arab Yadam amongst others.

Magu who met with the team, however, denied that the meeting had to do with the Osborne cash haul.

Magu who was seen coming out from the Vice-President’s office yesterday said his visit was in connection with a meeting of the Assets Recovery Committee.

However, it could not be confirmed if the meeting had anything to do with investigations into the Osborne cash haul and probe into affairs of suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr. Babachir Lawal.

Among those to be invited are the suspended Director-General of the NIA, Ambassador Ayo Oke, his wife, Mrs. Folashade Oke, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the NSA, Gen. Monguno who is himself a member of the panel. As at last night, checks revealed that none of the principal witnesses had been invited.

As at press time last night checks on some of those expected to be invited indicated that invitations were yet to be issued to them by the panel which is expected to round up its assignment in 14 days.

Photo: See the house $43.4m, N23.2m, £27k was discovered by EFCC

Former PDP chairman named as owner of apartment where EFCC discovered huge cashThe owner of the house in Ikoyi apartment where EFCC uncovered huge cash, $43.4m, N23.2m,£27k  belongs to Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu, former PDP Chairman.

Trending: EFCC releases statement on the ‘$43.4m, N23.2m, £27k’ discovered in an Ikoyi Apartment

It pictures of of unclaimed cash found hidden in an apartment in Osborne Road, Ikoyi , Lagos was discovered on Wednesday evening,

The photos hit the internet. And statements have now officially been released by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to address questions being asked. It reads:

The whistle blowing policy of the Federal Government is paying off positively as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission today stormed a residential building in the 7th Floor of a four – bedroom apartment at Osborne Towers located at 16, Osborne road Ikoyi, Lagos, where a humongous find of foreign currencies and Naira notes to the tune of $43.4m, £27,800 and N23.2m was uncovered.

The operation followed a whistle blower’s confidential alert received by the Commission’s Lagos office this morning regarding some noticed suspicious movement of bags in and out of a particular apartment in the building. According to the source, the movers of the bags, make believe that they bring in bags of clothes.

Another source who is conversant with the apartment of interest indicated that some woman usually appeared on different occasion with Ghana Must Go bags. ” She comes looking haggard, with dirty clothes but her skin didn’t quite match her outward appearance, perhaps a disguise”, the source said.

On getting to the building, operatives met the entrance door locked. Inquiries from the guards at the gate explained that nobody resides in the apartment, but some persons come in and out once in a while. In compliance with the magisterial order contained in the warrant, the EFCC used minimum force to gain entrance into the apartment.

Monies were found in two of the four bedroom apartment. Further probe of the wardrobe by operatives in one of the rooms, was found to be warehousing three fire proof cabinets disguisedly hidden behind wooden panels of the wardrobe. Upon assessing the content of the cabinets, neatly arranged US Dollars, Pound Sterling and some Naira notes in sealed wrappers.

Preliminary findings indicate that the funds are suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity. The facility is said to be owned by Osborne Towers Resident Association.

Investigations are ongoing.

Breaking: Court dismisses charges against Justice Ademola, wife

 A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Maitama, on Wednesday, struck out the 18-count corruption charge the Federal Government preferred against Justice Adeniyi Ademola, his wife, Olabowale and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Joe Agi.

The court held that FG failed to prove any of the allegations it levelled against the embattled Judge who hitherto served at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.

Consequently, trial Justice Jude Okeke, in a ruling that lasted over five hours, terminated further hearing on the criminal case, even as he discharged and acquitted all the defendants.

Justice Okeke held that FG failed to establish that Ademola received gratifications from Agi to the tune of N38.5m, including a BMW Saloon 320i car gift.

FG had alleged that Justice Ademola got N30million from the senior lawyer through a Guarantee Trust Bank, GTB, account number 201/110160/1/1/0, operated by his wife who was the former Head of Service in Lagos State.

It alleged that Agi, SAN, had on January 5, 2015, purchased the car from Coscharis Motors Ltd on January 5, 2015, and handed it over to Ademola’s son, Ademide.

More so, the prosecution which closed its case against the defendants after it called a total of 19 witnesses, alleged that Justice Ademola was in possession of two prohibited firearms without valid licences.

However, all the defendants, through their respective lawyers, entered a no-case-submission, insisting that FG did not establish a prima-facie criminal case against them capable of persuading the court to compel them to enter their defence to the charge.

While upholding their no-case submission, Justice Okeke held that the prosecution could not link the N30million Mrs Ademola received from Agi, SAN, to any particular case being handled by her husband.

He also held that FG could not tender any evidence showing that the said N30m was at any time, transferred to any bank account that belongs to the 1st defendant (Ademola).

“None of the witnesses identified or tendered evidence to show that N30m was paid into any bank account of the 1st defendant either by the 2nd or the 3rd defendants”.

Though Justice Okeke took cognisance of a statement the 3rd defendant made before the DSS, where he admitted that it was two of his clients that directed him to pay the N30m to Mrs Ademola as gift during her daughters wedding in April, 2015.

The Judge however noted that the lead investigator, PW-16, in his evidence-in-chief, said he could not establish any link between the monetary gift and any case that was handled by the 1st defendant.

According to Justice Okeke, the PW-16, who was reminded that President Muhammadu Buhari’s lawyer, Mr. Kola Awodehin, SAN, equally gave Justice Ademola N.5m gift during his daughter’s wedding, at a time Buhari’s certificate case was pending before his court, had stated that misinterpreting such gesture as gratification would amount to speculation.

“This court totally agrees with the PW-16 that taking the N30m gift the 3rd defendant paid into the account of the 2nd defendant as bribe will be speculative and no court can convict based on speculation.

“A court of law reckons with hardcore evidence placed before it and not on speculations as to why the payments were made”, the Judge added.

He held that the prosecution failed to discharge the burden of proof placed upon it by the law.

It will be recalled that Justice Ademola who is a grandson to a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, was among seven superior court Judges that were arrested after a sting operation the Department of State Service, DSS, conducted between October 7 and 8, 2016.

The National Judicial Council, NJC, had asked him to temporarily step down from the bench pending determination of allegations FG raised against him.

Paris Club Scam: EFCC report indicts Saraki

Image result for Bukola SarakiA report by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari has linked Senate President Bukola Saraki and some of his aides to the diversion of about N19bn from the N522bn Paris Club refund. EFCC says Saraki and his aides may have diverted money that belonged to government. The report also indicted one Robert Mbonu of Melrose General Services Limited, a former Managing Director of Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, the commercial bank owned by Saraki’s family. According to the report, also under investigation is the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the relationship manager to Saraki in Access Bank Kathleen Erhimu and Saraki’s aides Obiora Amobi, Gbenga Makanjuola, Kolawole Shittu and Oladapo Idowu. The report alleges that sometimes in December, Saraki introduced the ex-bank MD, Mbonu, to Erhimu where his aforementioned aides were also present. After the meeting, N3.5bn was lodged in Melrose General Services Company account number 0005892453 domiciled in Access Bank from the Nigeria Governors Forum on December 14, 2016. The report stated that two of Saraki’s aides, Obiora Amobi and Gbenga Makanjuola, were introduced to Access Bank as representatives of Melrose General Services Limited by Mbonu to enable them to make cash withdrawals from the account. From this amount, Amobi and Makanjuola made cash withdrawals ranging from N5m to N10m. “Based on the foregoing findings, it is clear that Robert Mbonu, the Managing Director of Melrose General Services Company and his company were used to help divert proceeds of unlawful activities under the guise of payment for contractual obligations with the Nigeria Governors Forum. “Suffice to apprise that all payments received by Melrose General Services Company from the NGF have hitherto been diverted directly via cash withdrawals and indirectly through transfers by Gbenga Peter Makanjuola, Kolawole Shittu and Oladapo Joseph Idowu, who are principal aides to the Senate President. “Furthermore, other payments from Melrose General Services Company have also been linked to companies that Dr. Bukola Saraki has interest in and carries out transactions with. “This includes the sum of $183,000, which was transferred to Bhaska Devji Jewellers, Dubai, a company Dr. Bukola Saraki had repeatedly made payments to. “Also, the sum of N200m was transferred to Wasp Networks Limited that subsequently transferred the sum of N170m to Xtract Energy Services Limited, a company that routinely made deposits into Dr. Saraki’s Access Bank US Dollar Domiciliary account,” the report read in part. It then concluded that a prima facie case of conspiracy to retain the proceeds of unlawful activities and money laundering, contrary to sections 15(3) and 18(9) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2004, could be established against the aforementioned suspects.

However,the special adviser to Saraki on media and publicity Yusuph Olaniyonu said he would not react except he saw the report. “Send the report to me and I will be able to read it and contact the necessary people. If I don’t see the report, I cannot react to it in abstract. Send me the report if you want our reaction,” he said. EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren confirmed that investigations were ongoing into the Paris Club scam but said he did not know the specifics of the probe. “I can only confirm that there are investigations but I don’t have details,” he said.

But in a statement released on Monday, February 13, the EFCC said not only was the story against Saraki and the governors untrue, also false were allegations that officials of the agency were trying to cover up the indictments.

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