Tag Archives: fraud

Comic moment Maina faints in Court over alleged fraud

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The former fugitive who is facing money laundering charge, collapsed before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Taskforce Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, mounted a new drama at the Federal High Court in Abuja Thursday.

He slumped after the court resumed proceedings in the 12-count charge filed against him and his company by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

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The court rose abruptly to enable officials of the Correctional Service and relations of the former pension boss to attend to him.

Maina on Wednesday after the EFCC closed its case with nine witnesses, secured permission of the court to enter a no-case-submission.

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#Newsworthy

Mr. Woodberry pleads not guilty to multiple fraud charges | Details

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Olalekan Ponle better known as Woodberry has pleaded not guilty before Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cummings of the United States District Court in Illinois.

Woodberry was arrested, alongside Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi in Dubai on June 10 for multiple fraud charges and extradited to the US on July 2.

Mr. Ponle was charged with scamming U.S. companies in Iowa, Michigan, Kansas, California and New York amounting to millions of dollars.

The U.S. court dismissed the fraud case against Woodberry but the grand jury arraignment which amounted his offenses to eight counts charge remains active.

Mr. Ponle accepted the receipt of his indictment and pleaded not guilty to all the eight counts when he appeared in court on Saturday.

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Media documents (known to Noble Reporters Media) read,

“Defendant appears in response to his arrest on 7/2/20. Attorney, Michael Nash, appears on behalf of the defendant. Defendant informed of the charges against him as well as of the possible sentence fine if convicted of those charges.”

“Arraignment proceedings held, Defendant acknowledges receipt of the Indictment, waives formal reading, and enters a plea of not guilty to each count in which he is named,”

Woodberryi is currently being held by United States Marshals Service and may be jailed for 20 years if guilty of the crimes.


#Newsworthy…

Dubai Police nab 22-year-old Nigerian for fraud

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A 22 year-old Nigerian is on trial at the Dubai Court of First Instance after robbing a Turkish national of about $8,200.

The suspect has been arraigned for allegedly luring a victim on a dating app and gaining unauthorised access to his credit card.

According to court records, the Nigerian lured his victim via a dating app, locked him inside a hotel apartment and stole his money.

Aided by other suspects still at large, the Nigerian made a social media account to deceive the victim who went to a flat in the Al Barsha area believing he will meet a girl he came across on social media.

An Emirati policeman testified that the victim, of Turkish origin, reported the incident after the defendant assaulted him and stole his money.

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The gang lured the victim to the apartment, closed the door, tied his hands, assaulted him and threatened to kill him.

“I was assaulted by the suspects and they withdraw Dh30,000($8,167) from bank account using my bank card and details. They were three men and a woman,” the victim said according to police records.

Dubai Public Prosecution charged the 22-year-old Nigerian for locking the victim inside an apartment, theft, and using his credit card without authorisation.

The Nigerian will remain in custody until the trial begins on July 16, Noble Reporters Media report


#Newsworthy…

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Fans react over report on how Hushpuppi scam EPL club for £100M

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The “English Premier League” is currently trending on Twitter and this is after Ramon Olorunwa Abbas a.k.a. “Ray Hushpuppi” was accused of conspiring to steal £100 million from a club in the UK.

The Federal prosecutors who filed a criminal complaint on June 25, alleged that Hushpuppi is “one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates computer intrusions, fraudulent schemes (including BEC schemes), and money laundering, targeting victims around the world in schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars”.

In a statement released by the US Department of Justice, the suspected Nigerian fraudster was accused of conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million (approximately $124 million) from an English Premier League soccer club. Read here

The suspected Nigerian fraudster who was recently extradited from Dubai to the United States made his first court appearance this morning in Chicago, and he is expected to be transferred to Los Angeles in the coming weeks.

If convicted of conspiracy to engage in money laundering, Hushpuppi would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

Football fans are reacting with shock on Twitter with many wondering which of the English Premier League soccer clubs nearly became victim of fraud.


#Newsworthy…

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Top Story: FBI declare 6 Nigerians wanted over N2.4B fraud

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The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has declared six Nigerians wanted over their alleged involvement in fraudulent activities estimated at over $6m (N2.3bn).

The FBI made the disclosure in a tweet via its official Twitter account, stating that the suspects engaged in business email compromise (BEC) schemes resulting in over $6 million in losses.

According to the agency, the suspects are; Richard Izuchukwu Uzuh, Alex Afolabi Ogunshakin, Felix Osilama Okpoh, Abiola Ayorinde Kayode, and Nnamdi Orson Benson.

The FBI also said that the six of them were part of an operation that sent mails to thousands of businesses in the United States requesting fraudulent wire transfer.

The tweet reads, “ Help the FBI find six Nigerian nationals wanted for their involvement in business email compromise (BEC) schemes resulting in over $6 million in losses.”


#Newsworthy…

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EFCC goes after Nigerian fraudsters in Ghana

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Mr. Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says many Nigerian are hiding in neighboring Ghana.

Speaking in Abuja on Friday, Magu said the commission was putting resources together to go after them and recover the country’s wealth stashed in that country.

The EFCC boss spoke when a delegation of the Chartered Institute of Public Resources Management and Politics (CIPRMP) visited the commission’s headquarters.

According to him, the EFCC is partnering with its counterpart in Ghana on the impending asset recovery operation.

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“Corruption is a borderless crime. We are putting our resources together to allow us go to Ghana without restrictions and recovery our stolen property back home.

“I am appealing to Nigerians to trust the Commission with relevant information about corrupt practices in the country.

“ There are a lot of looters hiding in Ghana. We are already talking, we will bring them back. We will go bring the assets back to the country,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

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EFCC arrest Benue Deputy Speaker, 1 Other

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Thursday said it has arraigned the deputy speaker and clerk of the Benue State House of Assembly for alleged N5 million fraud.

The deputy speaker Christopher Adaji and the clerk Torese Agena were arraigned before Justice S. O. Itodo of the Benue State High Court, Makurdi.


“The duo are standing trial for their complicity in an alleged fraud totalling N5,040,950 (Five Million, Forty Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty Naira only),” EFCC said in a statement.

“They were arraigned on two-count charges bordering on conspiracy, bribery, criminal breach of trust and abuse of office.”


Adaji and Agena pleaded not guilty.

The two-count charges against them read: “That you, Torese Agena, on 18th day of October 2019 being Clerk, Benue State House of Assembly, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did use your position to confer unfair advantage .to yourself as bribe, to tune of N200,000 (Two Hundred thousand naira only) from N50,000,000 (Fifty Million Naira) payable to High Profile Investment Nigeria Limited by the Benue State Government for the Benue State House of Assembly legislative tour to European countries .and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same Act”.

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“That you Christopher Adaji between 8th – 14 of November, 2019 within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court spent the sum of N4,840,950 (Four Million, Eight Hundred and Forty Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty Naira only) the funds allocated to you for European legislative tour on your legal and other services and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(5) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000”.

After their “no guilty” plea, prosecution counsel, G. G. Chia-Yakua, asked the court for a date for the commencement of trial and also sought an order of the court to remand the defendants in Nigeria Correctional Services (NCS).


However, the defence counsel prayed the court to grant them bail on liberal terms or on self-recognizance adding that they would always be available in court to stand for their trials.

Justice Itodo admitted them to bail on self-recognizance and thereafter adjourned the case till July 6, 7, and 8, 2020, for the commencement of trial.


#Newsworthy…

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GoFundMe: Donors ignore Hushpuppi’s bail account. | Details

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A GoFundMe account with target of 50 thousand dollars has been created to help save/bail alleged fraudster, Hushpuppi who was reportedly arrested by the FBI and Interpol.

The GoFundMe account was created five days ago and no one has donated any funds yet.

Although reports have it that the account was created by fraudsters who intend to swindle donors of their moneys, Hushpuppi’s associates/family members are yet to refute or debunk it.

Nigerians have however taken to social media to react to it.


See some reactions below


“Even if it’s real, kobo to yo I can’t donate for him”

“People still dey scam with hush name. Mad”

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“How can hushpuppi be begging for bail money?….. Some Mumu Nigerians go don send in money already, another g boy is cashing out soon”.

Noble Reporters Media recalls that Hushpuppi was arrested days ago after he was linked to a fraud on the unemployment insurance program if states in America.

Reacting to his arrest, his former best friend, Mompha took to his official Instagram page and wrote:

“Never mock anyone who is making a trial case cos you don’t know tomorrow, for those who are worried about me, i am safe and sound. No shaking, God never disappoints his own”


#Newsworthy…

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EFCC nab famous skit creator with 4 others over alleged fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Lagos Zonal Office, has arrested five alleged internet fraudsters for their involvement in internet-related fraud, including a famous skit maker and self-acclaimed social media influencer who uses the name Adedamola Adewale a.k.a @adeherself.

The five suspects were apprehended in different areas of Lagos during a raid by operatives.

According to the EFCC, the social media influencer who originally goes by the name Lamina Hamzat Ajibola, had been an accomplice to Adewale and both were arrested at the Agungi area of Lekki, Lagos State, while the trio of Israel Onyebuchi, Emmanuel Olayode and Valentine Nwokorie, were picked up at the Ibeju-Lekki area of the state.

“The arrest of Adewale and Ajibola was sequel to intelligence linking them to online fraudulent activities with two brothers, Lasisi Wasiu Adeleke and Lasisi Riliwan Adeniyi, who are at large. They were arrested at a four-bedroom duplex belonging to the two run-away fraudsters,” the EFCC said in a statement on Tuesday.

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“Intelligence also linked them with alleged flamboyant lifestyles. During interrogation, Adewale, a self-acclaimed model, who goes by the username @adeherself on Instagram, confessed to being a picker” in cybercrimes.

“He usually poses as a lady to hoodwink her foreign preys,” the statement added.

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Items recovered from the suspects include two Toyota Camry 2009 model cars, and a sum of N9,000,000.00 (Nine Million Naira only), which was found in Adewale’s account.

According to the EFCC, the other suspects; Onyebuchi, Olayode and Nwokorie were arrested for their alleged involvement in a romance scam.
They were arrested during another raid, following a separate intelligence.

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Investigation revealed that Nwokorie was posing as a female American citizen and sending photos as a porn star to defraud his victim while Onyebuchi was engaging in a love scam as well as forging foreign cheques.

Items recovered from the suspects include laptops and mobile phones and according to the anti-graft agency, all the suspects will soon be arraigned once investigations are concluded.


#Newsworthy…

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Lagos seize 2 houses use for fraudulent act.


The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, said on Tuesday, the state government had confiscated two houses allegedly used in defrauding unsuspected residents in the state.

Benson-Awoyinka, who disclosed this during the 2020 ministerial press briefing to commemorate the first year of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration, said any fraudsters caught would be prosecuted henceforth.

She said the government had resolved to take such strong measures to stop developers and real estate agents from defrauding members of the public in the state.

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The governor’s aide, who is also in charge of the Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD), said the agency was currently prosecuting two developers who allegedly duped people in Ketu and Mafoluku areas of the state.

She told journalists the government had also seized their properties and that her office was working on ways of selling them.

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According to her, the proceeds from the sale of the properties will be used to settle the victims of the duo’s fraudulent acts.

Benson-Awoyinka, however, appealed to members of the public to always patronize agents and developers, who were registered with the agency.


#Newsworthy…

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Nigerian get 4 years and 6 months jail term for $600k fraud in U.S.


A Nigerian Emmanuel Odiah has been sentenced to 54 months in U.S. federal prison after pleading guilty for money laundering.

The charge was in connection with a wire-fraud scheme that swindled victims out of more than $600,000.

U.S. Attorney Scott C. Blader, Western District of Wisconsin, announced the sentence.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Vilas County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

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“Odiah participated in a scheme that manipulated elderly and other vulnerable individuals with a total disregard for the financial and emotional devastation it caused,” said U.S. Attorney Blader.

“Bringing those who prey on our seniors to justice is a top priority of my office.”

While in the United States on a visa, Emmanuel Odiah, 33, a citizen of Nigeria, most recently of Dallas, laundered money for a network of individuals perpetrating computer-based fraud schemes in Nigeria and Ghana.

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This network defrauded victims throughout the United States out of money through a variety of schemes, including romance fraud.

Odiah’s role was to help collect, conceal, and redirect that money using bank accounts he maintained under two fake identities in the United States.

He was able to keep a percentage of the fraud proceeds as a fee for his assistance.

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As part of the scheme, Odiah opened and maintained seven U.S. bank accounts to launder fraud proceeds.

He opened these accounts using fraudulent passports in the names “James Princeton” and “Ryan Greg Mornson.”

Between 2017 and 2019, more than $600,000 in fraud proceeds were deposited into these accounts.

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Once money was deposited, Odiah, posing as Princeton and Mornson, used a series of smaller, less conspicuous financial transactions to distribute fraud proceeds to those perpetrating the fraud schemes overseas.

In announcing the sentence, the Court found that although Odiah’s role in the charged scheme was limited to money laundering, Odiah was aware that the money being deposited into his bank accounts was from vulnerable people being defrauded.

Odiah pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering Jan. 15, 2020.

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U.S. District Judge William M. Conley also considered the tremendous psychological and financial devastation to victims caused by romance fraud and other computer-based fraud schemes.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith P. Duchemin prosecuted the case.


#Newsworthy…

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Famous Hollywood star to plead over fraud allegation.


Full House actress Lori Loughlin and her husband have agreed to plead guilty to charges that they conspired to fraudulently secure their daughter’s college admission.

According to federal prosecutors, Lori and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli tried to bribe their daughter’s way into the University of Southern California.

Both of them have agreed to serve two months and five months in prison, respectively, under plea agreements filed in federal court in Boston.

They are expected to plead guilty on Friday to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. Loughlin and Giannulli also agreed to pay fines of $150,000 and $250,000, respectively.

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U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling in a statement said the plea deals ensure “these defendants will serve prison terms reflecting their respective roles in a conspiracy to corrupt the college admissions process.”

Their lawyers declined to comment.


#Newsworthy…

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Bombshell: Warren Buffet scammed of huge amount in Germany.


Warren Buffett, world’s fourth wealthiest man has been swindled by a German manufacturing company of €643million.

This happened when the normally shrewd investor was made to pay four times more than he ought to have paid to buy Wilhelm Schulz, a family-run manufacturer of stainless steel based in Krefeld, western Germany.

According to the finding of a New York arbitration court, Buffett’s company, Precision Castparts Corp ought not to have paid more than €156m for the German firm.

It ordered Schulz to make up the difference of €643m.

After the ruling in the US, a state prosecutor in Düsseldorf is now investigating the pipe maker, under suspicion of severe fraud for forging documents and falsifying balance sheets.

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The forgery was done via Photoshopping of company orders and invoices, giving the notion that the company was doing very well.

In February 2017 a unit of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, Precision Castparts Corp paid €800m (£715m) to buy Wilhelm Schulz.

After an anonymous tip-off by a whistleblower in May the same year, however, the US holding company began to question whether key documents had been doctored to create the impression of a booming business.

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In reality, the company Buffett had just purchased was struggling and at risk of bankruptcy.

On 9 April a New York arbitration court ruled that the German company had systematically led investors astray in the run-up to the purchase and then tried to cover its tracks afterwards.

“This is not a close case,” the panel said in a 132-page ruling. “The evidence strongly points to fraud, and there is little in the record to suggest otherwise.”

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Internal documents cited by the German newspaper Handelsblatt suggest some of Wilhelm Schulz’s employees inflated the company’s Ebitda – earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation – by simply scanning in letterheads of third companies and Photoshopping them to create fake orders and invoices.

At least 47 business deals that had helped create the impression of a company on the up were completely fabricated, said Handelsblatt.


#Newsworthy…

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Breaking: FG Question Perm Sec Over N7B Building Fund. [Nigeria]


The Federal Government of Nigeria has queried the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr Mohammed Bello, for allegedly buying what it described as “uncompleted carcass” building for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the sum of N7bn.

Bello was said to have superintended over the transaction for the purchase when he was still the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

He was also accused of giving out seven deep drilling rigs for borehole procured at N1.3bn to some unnamed individuals under “fraudulent arrangements.”

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The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, made the allegations in a leaked query she issued to the permanent secretary on May 11, 2020.

The query with reference number HCSF/PSO/AOD/P.030/5B has “Allegations of acts of serious misconduct in your former post of permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development: Preliminary letter/query” as its title.

Yemi-Esan said she issued the query on the order of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who she said had been briefed about Bello’s conducts.

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Quoting from the civil service rules, PSR 030401 and 030402, the HOCSF described the allegations against the permanent secretary as acts of serious misconduct which can lead to dismissal if proven.

She therefore gave the embattled permanent secretary a 72-hour ultimatum to respond to the allegations if he so desired.

The query read, “The attention of Mr President has been drawn to the acts of serious misconduct against you in your former post as the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on which he has given further directive.

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“Specifically , it was alleged that: (a) in spite of the budgetary release of the N98,405,763,678.68 in 2018 (which represents 99.44 of 2018 appropriation), you did not take necessary action to pay the eligible contractors which led to the ministry having an outstanding contractual liability in the sum of N48.429,543,895.722.

“(b) under your leadership as the accounting officer, the ministry utilised the entire 2019 first quarter release of N7,737,208, 135.18 to pay for the 2018 contracts that were fully funded in 2018 which constitutes virement without authority:

“(c) as accounting officer, you oversaw a transaction for the purchase of a building for the use of the ministry at the sum of N7,044,746,264.06 without the conduct of the mandatory statutory structural and mechanical integrity tests: and prior approval of the FCDA Public Building Department: the building was eventually found to be an uncompleted carcass requiring billions of naira to complete and make safe for occupation;

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“(f) under your watch as the accounting officer, the ministry procured seven deep drilling rigs for borehole at an average cost of N300, 000, 000. 00 without recourse to the Federal Execuuve Council;

“(e) and in April, 2019, you gave out the seven rigs procured at over NI.3bn to some individuals under fraudulent arrangements, without the approval of the minister; and one of the rigs linked to you is yet to be returned despite several written reminders; and

“(f) you misapplied the intervention funds approved for the purchase of strategic grains and the establishment of the Rural Grazing Area Settlements in violation of extent Financial Regulations; two of such misapplications are:

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“i. the use of N2.026,838,775.25 to pay contractors and execute programmes from the funds released for emergency procurement of strategic grains which is unrelated to the purpose of the funds.

“ii. the use of N3,527, 300, 419.06 for the payment of questionable contracts awarded under the 2018 appropriation from the rural grazing area settlement scheme which is not related to the purpose of the funds.”


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Court forfeit landed properties linked with Jacobs Adigun amid N21B Fraud.

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the forfeiture of 12 landed properties linked to a former Director of Finance at the Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Jacobs Adigun.

The lands located in Lagos & Abuja are to be forfeited to the Federal Government.

Justice Mohammed Liman gave the order for the temporary forfeiture of the properties on Friday following an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the properties were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of a N21.4bn fraud allegedly perpetrated by Adigun alongside Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo and a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (retd.).

The trio was alleged to have conspired to convert the funds belonging to the Nigerian Air Force, to their personal use, sometime in 2014 and are already facing trial before another judge of the court.

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In an affidavit filed in support of the forfeiture application, an investigating officer with the EFCC, Akube Okechuckwu, said the N21.4bn included N200m paid on January 7, 2014 into NAF Operations account by the Office of the National Security Adviser; N3bn maritime security support paid to NAF by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency in September 2014; and 18.2bn moved out of NAF accounts into various cronies’ companies.

He said the N21.4bn was diverted through seven firms, namely: Juda Oil and Gas Limited; Namaliki Investment; Lebol Oil and Gas Limited; Hakuri Oil and Gas Limited; Mcallan Oil and Gas Limited; Delfina Oil and Gas Limited and Trapezites BDC.

The EFCC’s counsel, told Justice Liman that it would be in the interest of justice for the court to order a temporary forfeiture of the 12 landed properties linked to Adigun.

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He identified the properties to include houses at No. 27 Agodogba Avenue, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos; No. 40A Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; Plot 164, Victoria Island Annex (Sinari Daranijo Street), VI, Lagos; Block 54A, Plot 14, Lekki Peninsula Scheme One; Capador Plaza, Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Wuse II, Abuja; Plot 762 Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja; and No. 39 Agdez Street, Wuse II, Abuja;

Others are Sand Lake Hotel, Plot 3497 Sand Lake Street, Maitama, Abuja; Plot No. 61 Lake Chad Street, Maitama Abuja; No. 2 Imo Rivers Close, off Danube Crescent, Maitama, Abuja; and No. 2 River Palata Street, Maitama, Abuja.

After listening to the submissions of the counsel, Justice Liman made an order for the temporary forfeiture of the properties.

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The judge ordered the anti-graft agency to publish the forfeiture order in a national daily newspaper so as to put interested parties ‘on notice’.

He then adjourned till June 9 for anyone with interest in the properties to appear in court to give reasons why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Senate set to probe NDDC over $40BN lavish.

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The Senate Tuesday resolved to carry out a probe on alleged financial recklessness by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Precisely, the Senate in carrying out the probe, want the sum of N40 billion allegedly lavished by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Commission within the ninety days, to be accounted for.

In line with the move, the Senate has set up an Ad-hoc committee to be headed by Senator Olubunmi Adetunbi (APC Ekiti North), to look into the financial transactions carried out by IMC on behalf of the Commission within the last three months and report back in four weeks.

These were sequel to a motion promoted to that effect by Senator Thompson George Sekibo (PDP Rivers East).

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Sekibo had in the motion titled: “Urgent Need to Investigate Alleged Financial Recklessness in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) alleged reports from the Commission, indicate State of Financial Recklessness that must be investigated and stopped.

According to him, while President Muhamnadu Buhari set up the IMC to coordinate forensic auditing of financial transactions carried out by the now-dissolved Board of the Commission, reports emanating from IMC, indicate financial Recklessness on its part too.

He added that aside financial recklessness being carried out by the IMC is also indulging in the alleged arbitrary sack of the management staff of the Commission.

He said: “While President Buhari’s action of setting up an IMC and the forensic audit may have been conceived to forestall the financial Recklessness of the commission and reposition it for fast-tracking of the development of the region, the IMC has been more bedevilled with the same financial misuse, misapplication, misappropriation or outright fraud in the management of the funds of the Commission.

President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, presiding over plenary on Tuesday at the National Assembly, Abuja.1

President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, presiding over plenary on Tuesday at the National Assembly, Abuja.2

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President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, presiding over plenary on Tuesday at the National Assembly, Abuja.3

President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, presiding over plenary on Tuesday at the National Assembly, Abuja.4

President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, presiding over plenary on Tuesday at the National Assembly, Abuja.5

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“Within the last three months, the Commission has spent over N40billion of the Commission’s fund without recourse to established processes of funds disbursements, which has open up further suspicion among stakeholders of the Niger Delta Region.

“IMC is also alleged to be arbitrarily using executive power for the wrongful sacking of management staff of the commission without recourse to established civil service rules and practices.

“Consequently, the IMC has lost credibility and seen as a financial conduit pipe based on opinions of stakeholders in the region, which therefore urgently calls for an intervention by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to instil confidence in the people for whom the commission was primarily established.

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“In particular, Section 88 of the constitution (as amended), has conferred on the National Assembly and in this case the Senate, to ascertain whether the sum of N40billion so appropriated and in the coffers of the Commission, has been properly applied judiciously and appropriately to programmes meant for.”

Though during the general debate on the motion, Senators Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC Kebbi South) and Ajibola Basiru (APC Osun Central) through the different constitutional point of orders, tried to stop it from sailing through, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan ruled and many other Senators pushed it through.

Na’Allah and Basiru kicked against the motion on the grounds of being driven by allegations.

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But Lawan in his ruling countered by saying at the level of investigation, the veracity or otherwise of the allegations would be established.

Members of the Ad-hoc committee are Senators Jika Dauda Haliru (APC, Bauchi Central), Mohammed Tanko Almakura (APC Nasarawa South), Abdulfatai Buhari (APC Oyo North), Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North), Ibrahim Hadeija (APC, Jigawa North East) and Degi-Eremienyo Biobarakuma Wangaha (APC Bayelsa East).


#Newsworthy…

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Angry Fans call out Popular Actress for Giveaway Fraud. [Nigeria]

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Nollywood actress, Eniola Badmus is under attack by her followers on Instagram for allegedly holding onto a sponsors N500,000.

According an Instagram blog, Eniola Badmus was given N500,000 to share to some poor Nigerians to help cushion the effect of COVID-19 in the country and she held onto the money after the sponsor refused to pay her N150,000 for the giveaway services.

The Screenshots of the DM leaked online shows that Eniola Badmus only mentioned the 150,000 charges after the man had sent the money.

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She had already posted the 500,000 giveaway on her Instagram page before the deal went sour.

To worsen the case, Eniola Badmus has allegedly blocked the sponsor from reaching her.


#Newsworthy…

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DMO: Nigerian govt turns N850bn Nuclear borrowing to Domestic, and other stories…

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>>> Donald Trump speak with Buhari, vow US total support to Nigeria in COVID-19 fight <<<


US President Donald Trump made the pledge to Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari in a phone call on Tuesday, a presidential aide Bashir Ahmad disclosed.

“President Muhammadu Buhari had a phone conversation with the US President Donald Trump today, the two leaders discussed Nigeria’s efforts to defeat the COVID–19 Pandemic,” Ahmad tweeted.

“President Trump pledged US support and solidarity.”

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Disclosing details of the phone conversation, Nigeria’s information and culture minister Lai Mohammed said the US president promised send ventilators to Nigeria.

“President Buhari used the opportunity to brief the American President on the steps that Nigeria was taking to contain the spread of the disease,” Mohammed said.

“On his part, President Trump assured that the United States stands in solidarity with Nigeria in this difficult time and promised to send ventilators to support the country in its fight against the pandemic.”

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President Trump and Buhari are among majority of world leaders whose countries are fighting against the spread of coronavirus which has infected over two million people globally.

Nigeria currently has 1337 cases of of the virus with 255 discharged after recovery and 40 deaths.

The US, the epicenter of the global pandemic, has the highest death toll of over 57,000 and most confirmed cases of over one million coronavirus patients.

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>>> DMO – FG convert N850bn external loan borrowing to domestic <<<


The Debt Management Office (DMO) says the Federal Government has reappraised its Borrowing Plans and decided to raise the N850 billion earlier approved as External Borrowing from Domestic Sources.

The DMO made this known in a statement by its head of media, Mrs Chinenye Onu, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Onu explained that with the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant effect on the world economy and the International Capital Market, the Federal Government felt it was more expedient to raise the N850 billion earlier approved as External Borrowing from Domestic Sources.

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She said this conversion from external to domestic was to ensure that the implementation of the 2020 Appropriation Act was not jeopardised by lack of funds.

“Thus, the N850 billion is not New or Incremental borrowing, rather it is an amendment of the source of borrowing from External to Domestic.

“For compliance with the law, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded requests to the Senate and House of Representatives to convert the source for raising the N850 billion from External to Domestic.

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“The Senate approved the request on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, while the approval of the House of Representatives is expected.

“Upon approval of the request by the House of Representatives, the DMO will issue FGN Securities in the Domestic Market to raise the N850 billion, thereby providing high-quality investment opportunities for the investing public” she explained.

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>>> Scammers offering Fake Agric Loans – NDDC warns Nigerians <<<


The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has warned the public against activities of scammers offering non-existent agriculture cooperative loans in the name of the commission.

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Mr Charles Odili, NDDC Director of Corporate Affairs, said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Tuesday that the scammers had collected money from unsuspecting Nigerians to obtain ‘fake’ agric loans.

“NDDC is compelled to alert members of the public, especially those in Bayelsa and Rivers activities of scammers offering non-existent agric cooperative loans.

“We have received several reports from some victims in Bayelsa, who were deceived into believing that NDDC was currently running an agric loan scheme.

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“The victims were asked to pay N6,000 as processing fees for the agric cooperative loans,” he said.

Odili said the scammers told their victims that they were representatives of officials of the Agriculture and Fisheries Directorate of NDDC.

“The criminals, after deceiving members of the public, go to the length of demanding signed blank cheques from their victims.

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“The scammers must have taken advantage of the promise made by NDDC Managing Director, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, to promote agriculture in the Niger Delta.

“It is unfortunate that while NDDC is still working out details of the agric programme, scammers have gone to town to dupe members of the public,” he added.

The spokesman called on individuals with genuine businesses with NDDC to always cross-check information from the commission’s website and other social media handles.

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He urged the public to be vigilant to activities of such criminals parading themselves as representatives of the commission’s managing director.

“We assure members of the public that relevant security agencies are already investigating activities of criminals behind the fake loan offers,” he said.

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>>> A/Ibom Cult Clash – 3 Wasted <<<


The police command in Akwa Ibom has confirmed the death of three persons in clashes between two rival cult groups in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, CSP Nnudam Fredrick, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Uyo on Tuesday.

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Nundam said that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Oruk Anum would ascertain the number of suspects arrested during the incident.

“The DPO of the area actually called me that there was a clash between two rival cult groups and that three persons were killed,” Fredrick said.

He said that the command had deployed the police personnel to the area to restore normalcy.

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“I have not heard of any incident today. But the police have been drafted to restore normalcy in the area. The police van has also been positioned in the area,” he said.

Earlier, an eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, had said that no fewer than three persons were killed in a cult clash at Inen community in Oruk Anam.

He said that one of the victims was allegedly killed on Monday by a five-man gang and his body dismembered near the Community Primary School at Inen, Ikot Etim.

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The source said that the victim was lynched in Odoro Ikot, a boundary village between Ukanafun and Oruk Anam council areas.

“Another victim was murdered in Inen Ikot Obio Idang, where houses were looted, with residents scampering for safety,” he said.

The source further said that the third victim was murdered near the Community Primary School, Ikot Etim.

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He said that the gang members descended on the victim, inflicting several cuts on him until he slumped and died.

“They just swooped on the young man and started inflicting cuts, which dismembered his body before he started bleeding and eventually died,” the source said.


#Newsworthy…

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EFCC investigate Ex Governor Odili’s N100bn fraud case.


Former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, is currently under probe for allegedly diverting N100 billion for personal use.

Odili, who was governor between 1999 and 2007, was alleged to have moved about N4 billion in cash to a bank between 2004 and 2006, in favour of his Aide-De-Camp, Isaac Onyesom, and Emmanuel Nkata who worked in the Rivers State liaison office in Abuja.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in a fact sheet on the probe also alleged that N1.5 billion out of the amount was used by the ex-governor to obtain a doctorate degree and naming of a Hall after him in Lincoln University, USA.

It alleged that about N100 million was doled out to a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party on November 28, 2005.


But while still under probe, the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike was alleged to have transferred suspicious N2billion (public funds) to some firms belonging to Odili between 2016 and 2018.

There were indications that Odili might be put on trial by the EFCC.


But Odili in a suit FHC/ PHC/C3/26/2020 dated March 12, 2020, asked a Federal High Court to restrain the EFCC from investigating him.

He said the EFCC was bound by the 2007 judgments of the Federal High Court on the perpetual injunction against his arrest and prosecution.


He said the EFCC had been threatening to arrest, detain and prosecute him.

According to document on the status of investigation on Odili, the EFCC claimed that the ex-governor allegedly laundered the N100billion under the guise of pursuing a Power Project in Rivers State.


The document reads in part: “The Commission wishes to once again explain the case being investigated for which some restraining orders were obtained by both the representative of Rivers State Government and Dr. Peter Odili and also the new intelligence that were got against the third party which had link with some group of companies belonging to Odili.

“For the purpose of clarity, the commission wishes to put more light on the ongoing investigation in 2006 before it was aborted by some high court, based on a suit instituted by the former Governor of River State and some officials of the State govt.


“The petitioner had alleged that Dr. Peter Odili, then a governor of Rivers State had conspired with officials of his government and the chairman, Rocksons Engineering Group of Companies to divert over N100billion from the account of Rivers State, alleging that he used same for Power Project in Rivers.

“The petitioner also went further to say that part of the state fund was moved to the Government House account, from where it was distributed to the then governor and his relatives and investigation commence.


“The said account of the Government House was immediately obtained and details of the account revealed that about N4 billion between 2004 and 2006 was moved in cash in favour Odili’s ADC, Isaac Onyesom and one Emmanuel Nkata of the Rivers State liaison office, Abuja.

“These funds were withdrawn in cash for the former governor of Rivers State. Emmanuel Nkatah was arrested and he confirmed that the funds were withdrawn for the former governor through his ADC.


“ Investigation was on when the ADC, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), suddenly retired from the Police and disappeared into thin air.

“ Among those who also benefited from the funds from Rivers State was a former National Chairman of PDP who received a manager’s cheque of N100 million from the same account on November 28, 2005.
Read Also: We will reopen Odili’s investigation, says EFCC


“ Between 2005 and 2006, the former governor Odili paid about N1.5billion which was used to obtain a doctorate degree and naming of a Hall after him in Lincoln University, USA and so many others.

“ From the same account, he moved N3 billion to an oil company for shares, N1.4 billion to a bottle water company, and about N1.8billion to a communication company which as of 2006, had no share as it was not a quoted company.


“ When the investigation commenced, he quickly involved the State Govt to take over the shares but the State Govt was not comfortable and requested that the companies return their money.

The EFCC said despite being under investigation, about N10billion questionable deposits were found in some accounts traced to Odili and a retired Assistant Superintendent of Police.


It said N2billion out of the suspicious N10billion was lodged in some companies belonging to Odili by the Rivers State Government between 2016 and 2017.

The document added: “Sometimes in 2018, information was received that some Companies belonging to a retired ASP: NUMAC Project Company Ltd and NUMAC Global Resources Ltd, had between 2004 and 2018 received over N5 billion into the account and the funds came in tranches of N500, N300 millions etc, which is suspicious.


”These Companies and their accounts were thoroughly investigated. It was discovered that the inflow into these accounts are mostly cash.

“ On few occasions, about N2billion came in from Rivers State Government account between 2016 and 2017.


“These funds were traced to the following Companies: Pamo Group of companies Ltd, Pamo Clinic and Hospital and Pamo Educational Foundation. The above companies were found to have belonged to Dr. Peter Odili and his family.

“Based on the above, and in view that the above companies were not part of restraining order of the Federal High Court, the EFCC commenced further investigation.


“ It was further established that the funds were moved from the banks in Abuja contrary to the claims that the money formed part of the security .

“The ADC, the principal suspect in the alleged fraud has been in hiding, he has refused to honour the invitation of the Commission. The commission reliably gathered that it was because of the case that he prematurely retired from the police voluntarily.”

The former governor is however fighting back by approaching a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt seeking a fresh injunction against EFCC.


#Newsworthy…

Update: Mompha in more trouble as witness spill out some secrets in Court.


The trial of Ismaila Mustapha aka Mompha continued on Wednesday today, before Justice A. Mohammed Liman of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, as a prosecution witness told the court that Mompha did not remit tax to the Nigerian Government for a period of seven months while his company was already in existence.

Mompha is standing trial alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investments Limited, on an amended 22-count charge bordering on cyber fraud and money laundering to the tune of N33bn brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.


The defendant, who is fingered as a major figure in an organised transnational cyber fraud network, allegedly used his company to launder the funds, part of which he used in acquiring properties in Dubai.

At the resumed sitting on Wednesday, the prosecution called four witnesses, three of which are Bureau De Change operators and an investigator with the EFCC.


Led in evidence by Rotimi Oyedepo, prosecution counsel, Kaina Garba, an investigator with the EFCC, narrated to the court how Mompha ran an unlicensed BDC and lied about the date operations commenced in his company leading to his evasion of tax for a period of seven months.

Kaina narrated to the court that sometime in 2019, the EFCC received intelligence on Mompha’s activities.


The intelligence was analysed and found to be credible.

“Investigation commenced and the defendant was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on his way from Dubai where he stays.


“A bank verification was ran on his Fidelity Bank account and it was revealed that he is associated with some accounts one of which is Ismalob Global Ventures Limited.

“Letter of enquiry was sent to the Corporate Affairs Commission and it revealed that he is a director at the company and the sole signatory to the account.


“Letter of enquiry was sent to the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering and the Central Bank of Nigeria to ascertain if the company was registered and licensed to carry out BDC activities and the responses showed that Ismalob was not a licensed BDC neither was it registered with SCUML,” he said.

Kaina also revealed to the court that a letter was written to the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the response showed that there was a suppression of seven months on the date when transactions commenced at Ismalob and for those months, there were no payment of taxes by the company.

He further said that the analysis of the Statement of Account on the Fidelity Bank account of Ismalob revealed a total turnover of over N8bn between December 2015 and September 2019.

Justice Liman adjourned further hearing in the matter to Thursday.


#Newsworthy…

13 internet fraudsters arrested in Ilorin.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Office, has arrested 13 persons over their alleged involvement in offences bordering on Internet fraud and other fraud related offences.

This is contained in a statement signed by the commission’s spokesperson, Mr Tony Orilade, and made available to newsmen in Ilorin on Wednesday.


The suspects are Babatunde Omiyale, Salau Olumide, Akinsanya Ridwan Olamide, Akinola Eniola, Bashir Abdulbasit, Jide Owolabi, Kolade Balogun and Salawu Oluwadamilare.

Others are Akinola Opeyemi, Adewumi Johnson, Abiola Adedeji, Oyeyemi Caleb and Salawu Victor.


According to the statement, the suspects were arrested at strategic locations within Ilorin metropolis based on intelligence reports gathered by the commission.

According to the information received, the suspects were involved in offences bordering on Internet fraud, and they have confessed to the crime.

“Several incriminating documents were printed from their mobile phones and laptop computers recovered from them.

“They will soon be charged to court,” /mOrilade said.


#Newsworthy…

Update: EFCC re-arraign suspected fraudster, Mompha.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has introduced new counts into the charge against internet celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha popularly known as Mompha.

He was re-arraigned today at the Federal High Court Lagos, on amended 22 counts which now includes offenses of making false statements to officials of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and engaging in foreign exchange transactions other than through the foreign exchange market.


He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

After his plea, his counsel, Mr. Gboyega Oyewole (SAN) asked the court to grant a short adjournment to enable him to study the new charge.


He told the court that he had only seen the new charge a few minutes before the court commenced sitting and consequently, urged the court to allow him to study same.

Following the agreement of parties, the court adjourned the case until March 18 for the continuation of trial.


Background:

Mompha was first arraigned by the commission on 14 counts bordering on fraud, money laundering and running a foreign exchange business without the authorisation of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He was arraigned alongside his firm, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd.


He had pleaded not guilty to the counts and was granted bail in the sum of N100 million with one surety in like sum.

The trial has since commenced in the suit, with the witnesses of the EFCC testifying.


So far in the trial, the commission had called witnesses from commercial banks, CBN as well as the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML).

In the charge, EFCC accused the defendant of procuring Ismalob Global Investment Ltd and retaining in its account, an aggregate sum of N32.9billion between 2015 and 2018.


The prosecution alleged that Mompha laundered the sum through Ismalob Global Investment Ltd.

Both defendants were alleged to have negotiated foreign exchange transactions in various sums like N9.4million, N20 million, N10.4 million, N2.4million, N100million, N61million, N40.7million, N42million among others.

Mompha was alleged to have aided Ismalob to retain an aggregate sum of N 14 billion in its account, which was procured from Pitacalize Ltd.

The offences are said to contravene the provisions of sections 15(2) and 18(3) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended.


#Newsworthy…

Beware of fraudsters – Police warns Job seekers


The Police Service Commission (PSC) has cautioned Nigerian job seekers against falling prey to conmen out to extort them by promising to assist in job placements.

The commission’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani gave the warning Wednesday as he debunked reports that it is carrying out recruitment of cadet assistant superintendents and cadet inspectors.


He said the report was embarrassing to the chairman of the commission, Musiliu Smith.

“The Commission notes that it is in possession of messages and requests to notable Nigerians informing them of a phantom recruitment exercise and asking them to send three names for recruitment. The messages were purported to have originated from the Honourable Chairman of the Commission, Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police.


“The fraudsters according to information in the Commission’s possession, are requesting from their contacts, payments to some account names and numbers of different Nigerian banks.

“The Commission is deeply embarrassed that fraudsters associate the name of the Commission’s Chairman with this fraudulent disposition.

“It is also instructive to note that recruitment in the Commission is handled by the Commission as a body and not by individuals. The Chairman only chairs the meetings where decisions of the Commission, including that of recruitment, are taken.

“The Commission warns that Nigerians should beware of these fraudsters who are on the prowl to dupe unsuspecting citizens,” Ani said.


#Newsworthy…