N9.9bn Fraud | Court Freezes Lagos Accounts linked to Ambode

Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, ordered the freezing of the sum of ₦9.9bn belonging to the Lagos State government.

The funds are domiciled in First City Monument Bank, FCMB, account number 5617984012; Access Bank account number 0060949275 and Zenith Bank account number 1011691254, respectively.

Justice Chuka Obiozor gave the order, following an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The EFCC had prayed the court to freeze the account pending the conclusion of investigation and possible prosecution of Adewale Adesanya, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Chief of Staff to former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

The applicant, EFCC, in an affidavit deposed to by Kungmi Daniel, an operative of the Commission, stated that there was “a huge inflow of ₦9,927,714,443.29” from the state accounts into an FCMB bank account opened on September 17, 2018 during the administration of the immediate past governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode, and operated by Adesanya.

It was further stated that the schedule of the FCMB account showed how Adesanya and other signatories to the account made fraudulent transfer from the accounts of the Lagos State Government and dissipated the funds housed in the said accounts.

In his submission, counsel to the EFCC, Mohammed Abbas, said “The trend in the account is that the account always witnessed huge inflow from Lagos State Government in the above scheduled accounts managed by the respondent (Adesanya)”.

Abbas, therefore, prayed the court to grant an order to temporarily attach and take over the accounts to enable it conclude its investigations.

“There have been concerted efforts and attempts to dissipate the contents of the accounts listed in the schedule to this application.

“Without freezing the nominated accounts and temporarily forfeiting the money to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there is no way the fraud being perpetrated using the scheduled accounts can be stopped,” he further told the court.

Consequently, Justice Obiozor granted the prayers of the counsel to the Commission.

The Judge adjourned further proceedings to August 9, 2019.

Ex-Vanguard NewsPaper Chief Accountant Jail for 7 years Over N40m Fraud

A Lagos High Court in Ikeja presided over by Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye has sentenced a former Chief Accountant of Vanguard Newspaper, Bhadmus Abiodun, to 7 years imprisonment. He was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on an eight-count charge of conspiracy, forgery and stealing to the tune of N40.66million belonging to his employer, Vanguard Newspapers Limited.

The court also sentenced former circulation representative of Vanguard newspaper for Benin, Joseph Ejike Ezeobi, to three years imprisonment over his involvement in the stealing and forgery. They were jailed without an option of fine.

Prosecution counsel, Abba Mohammed, informed the court that Abiodun committed the offencc in collaboration with the Vanguard Media Representative for Benin, Joseph Ezeobi.

Mohammed added that Abiodun committed the offense alongside Ezeobi between January 20, 2006 and January 7, 2009.

The prosecuting counsel further informed the court that the convict and his accomplice had on various dates, illegally converted N4.52million, N18million, N18.14million belonging to Vanguard.

Mohammed said, “Abiodun and Ezeobi had on January 7, 2009 in Lagos, with intend to defraud the Complainant (Vanguard Media Limited), fraudulently converted N800,000 property of Vanguard Media Limited.

“Abiodun and Ezeobi had on November 21, 2007 in Lagos, with intend to defraud Vanguard Media Limited, conspired to forge a Wema Bank Plc deposit slip No. 0278679 purporting to be in the value of N740,000.00 dated November 21, 2007.

According to Mohammed, the offences are contrary to Sections 390 (7), 467 (2)(i) and 516 of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State 2003.

In his verdict over the case, Justice Ipaye held that the money Biodun and Ezeobi kept for themselves belongs to Vanguard newspaper.

The judge convicted and sentenced the accountant to seven years in prison on count one to eight. The prison terms for counts two to eight are to run concurrently.

Magu | “Nigeria Loses $50billion to Corruption Annually”

The Acting Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has decried the scourge of corruption in Africa, stating that the country loses over ₦50billion annually to illicit cash flows. Magu made this known on July 11, 2019, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State at the commemoration of the African Anti-corruption Day, with the theme, “Towards a Common African Position on Asset Recovery”.

Ibrahim magu

Magu, who was represented by Garba Dugum, Head, Uyo Zonal Office, said the height of corruption in Africa, informed the choice of July 11 every year as the African Anti-corruption Day, by the African Union.

More than $50billion is being stolen from African continent annually. Most of these monies go on acquiring assets all over the world and we should know that tracing these assets and eventual repatriation of these assets is very difficult for a country. That is why the African nations decided to come together to fight for a cause”, Magu said.

Ex-Ekiti Gov, Fayose Re-arraigns Over Alleged N6.9bn Fraud By EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal Office, on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, re-arraigned a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on an 11-count charge bordering on money laundering and stealing to the tune of N6.9billion (Six Billion, Nine Hundred Million Naira).

Fayose was arraigned alongside one of his firms, Spotless Investment Limited, for the alleged fraud.

The former governor was first arraigned on October 22, 2018 before Justice Mojisola Olatotegun alongside a company, Spotless Investment Limited, on an 11-counts bordering on stealing and money laundering.

Following the commencement of the trial before Justice Olatoregun, the prosecution had some witnesses, including a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.

However, the Commission subsequently wrote a petition to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati, seeking the transfer of the case from Justice Olatoregun to Justice Aneke.

At today’s sitting, Fayose pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him by the EFCC.

In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi, asked the court for a trial date.

In his response, Fayose’s lawyer, Ola Olanipekun, SAN, pleaded with the court to allow his client to continue to enjoy the bail terms and conditions granted him by Justice Olatoregun.

The prosecution, however, did not oppose the prayer of the defence.

In his ruling, Justice Aneke held that “The defendant is hereby allowed to continue to enjoy the bail on same terms and conditions granted him by Justice Olatoregun.”

The defence counsel also moved a motion seeking leave of the court for Fayose to travel to South Africa for medical examination during the court’s long vacation scheduled to start in July.

Justice Aneke ordered the temporary release of the international passport of the first defendant, Fayose.

The Judge also ordered that the passport be returned to the court “on or before September 16, 2019.”

The case was adjourned to September 16 and 19, 2019 and October 21 and 25, 2019.