Ex-banker bags 7 years for N700m fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, on Friday, May 4, 2018, secured the conviction and sentencing of one Nsa Ayi, a former Relationship Officer, Coronation Merchant Bank, to seven years imprisonment before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, Lagos.

The convict, who was arraigned on February 26, 2018, on an 11-count charge bordering on fraudulent accounting to the tune of N700, 000, 000.00 (Seven Hundred Million Naira), was said to have connived with unknown parties to move funds using customers’ electronic instructions meant for investment in the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Bonds,Treasury Bills and Fixed Deposits.

The defendant also allegedly altered instructions and falsified signatures of customers to transfer money into various accounts outside the bank.

The money was allegedly transferred in tranches into his Guaranty Trust Bank account No. 0001600855 as well as his Zenith Bank account No. 1002771899.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Nsa Ayi, on or about 4th day of February, 2015, being an employee of Coronation Merchant Bank, in Lagos within the Lagos Judicial Division with intent to defraud, falsified account No. 1990000158 belonging to African Alliance Insurance Plc in possession of your employer by debiting the said account to the tune of N172, 076, 712.33, using an instruction which you purported to have been issued by the said African Alliance Insurance Plc.”

Another count reads: “That you, Nsa Ayi, on or about 13th day of January, 2014, being an employee of Coronation Merchant Bank, in Lagos within the Lagos Judicial Division with intent to defraud, falsified account No. 2990001176 belonging to Ogunjemiyo E. Mascot in possession of your employer by debiting the said account to the tune of N4, 277, 000.00, using an instruction which you purported to have been issued by Ogunjemiyo E. Mascot.”

When the 11-count charge was read to him, he pleaded not guilty, thereby setting the stage for his full trial.

Counsel to the defendant, Robert Clarke, SAN, had pleaded with the court to grant the defendant bail on the grounds that he needed to take his son abroad for surgery.

However, the prosecution opposed the bail application, saying that “he is a flight-risk who had plans to relocate with his entire family to the United States of America last year, if not for the timely response in arresting him by the EFCC.”

The prosecution had further said that there was no document showing that the defendant’s son was critically ill to warrant him being flown abroad for treatment.

The judge, while denying him bail, said that if the defendant’s son was truly ill and needed medical treatment abroad, he should not be pleading with the court to allow him travel out with his entire family only to treat his son.

The judge, therefore, remanded him in Kirikiri Prisons, Lagos .

During the proceedings on March 6, 2018, the defendant changed his plea from ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’.

In view of this, the prosecution reviewed the facts of the case and tendered documents that were admitted in evidence.

The judge subsequently convicted Ayi on all the charges and deferred sentencing to today.

Delivering her judgment today, the judge sentenced him to seven years imprisonment on each count of the charge.

The sentences are to run concurrently from the day of arrest.

The Judge further held that all properties traced to the defendant be confiscated till it amounts to the sum of N700million and should be restituted to the plaintiff, Coronation Merchant Bank.

Man remanded for attempt to rape 110-year-old woman

Rape

An Ado Magistrate’s Court in Ekiti State has ordered that a 56-year-old man, Abraham Benjamin, be remanded in prison custody for an allegedly attempt to rape a 110-year-old woman in her home.
The Magistrate, Mrs. Taiwo Ajibade, gave the order on Thursday when the accused was arraigned before her by a police prosecutor, Caleb Leranmo.
Ajibade, who adjourned the case to May 22 for mention, directed that the case file be duplicated and a copy be sent to the State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), for proper advice on the charges to be prefered against the middle-aged man.
Leranmo earlier had told the court that the accused committed the offence on April 30 at No. 12, Igbehin St., Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
According to him, the accused attempted to rape the 110-year-old woman in her home.
The offence, he added, contravened Section 359 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ekiti State 2012.

Three bag jail terms for internet fraud

Internet Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction of three members of an internet fraud gang at the Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State.
Two of the convicts, Prince Henry Ofeyi and Afatakpa David were convicted and sentenced by Justice P. I. Ajoku on Wednesday April 2 while the third convict, David Abumhere was convicted and sentenced on Thursday April 3, by the same judge.
Ofeyi and Afatakpa were prosecuited by the EFCC on one count of internet fraud each.
Ofeyi was said to have on October 5, 2017 falsely represented himself to be one Dexter Smith, a false identity he used in defrauding his victims.
The charge against him reads: “that you Prince Henry Ofeyi at Benin within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court with intent to defraud falsely represented yourself to be Dexter Smith, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 484 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, C39, 2004 and punishable under same Act.”
For Afatakpa, he was alleged to have represented himself as Vin Diesel, an American Movie Star on social media, an identity he used to defraud his victims.
The charge against him reads:” that you Afatakpa D.Tageme on or about September 9, 2017 at Benin within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court with intent to defraud on Instagram social media network falsely represented yourself to be Vin Diesel, an American Movie Star and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 484 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, C39,2004 and punishable under same Act”.
Upon arraignment, the duo pleaded guilty prompting the prosecution counsel, Aso Larry Peters to ask the court to convict the accused persons accordingly. He also told the court that the EFCC recovered the sum of Four Hundred Thousand, Five Hundred and Ninety Naira(N400,590.00) and a Toyota Corolla Saloon car from Ofeyi, while the sum of Two Hundred Thousand ,Three Hundred and Forty Two Naira, Ninety Nine Kobo (N200,342.99) was recovered from Akatakpa. D.Tageme .
The defence counsel Moses Oriazowan pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy saying the accused persons were remorseful and have promised never to go back to such despicable act.
After listening to both counsel, Justice Ajoku sentenced the accused persons to one month imprisonment each and ordered that the proceeds of crime be forfeited to the Federal Government so that their victims can be restituted.
On Thursday April, 3, 2018, the EFCC secured the conviction of David Abumhenre on one count of internet fraud. The convict was sentenced to one month imprisonment by Justice Ajoku after pleading guilty to the charge. The convict is to forfeit the sum of N3.5million recovered from him to the Federal Government. Abumhere was said to have falsely represented himself as Tom Hanks, an American Movie Star, an identity he used to defraud his victims.

Court jails Nwobike, SAN, over bribery

Nwobike

A Lagos State High Court on Monday convicted Joseph Nwobike, a Senior Advocate of Nigera, for bribery and perversion of justice, and sentenced him to one month imprisonment.
The presiding judge, Justice Raliat Adebiyi, pronounced the senior lawyer guilty, saying she was satisfied with the arguments and evidence brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, who prosecuted the case.
The convict was prosecuted on an 18-count charge bordering on an attempt to pervert the course of Justice, but he was found guilty in 12 of the charges.
One of the counts reads: “That you Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN) on the 19th day of March, 2015 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, intentionally gave the sum of N 750,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only) to Hon. Justice Mohammed Nasir Yunusa of the Federal High Court directly through your United Bank for Africa Plc Account No. 1002664061 in order that the said judge acts in the exercise of his official duties”.
Another count reads: ” That you, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), on the 15th day of December, 2014 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, intentionally and directly gave the sum of N 250,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only) to one Mrs. Ogunleye Helen Aderonke, Senior Executive officer, Federal High Court Lagos judicial division in order that the said Mrs. Ogunleye Helen Aderonke acts in the exercise of her official duties.”
Nwobike pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him, thereby setting the stage for his full trial.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, presented several witnesses and tendered various documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.
Delivering her judgment today, Justice Adebiyi said the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubts and with credible evidence that the convict perverted the course of justice.
Consequently, Justice Adebiyi sentenced Nwobike to one month imprisonment on each of the 12 counts.
The sentences are to run concurrently.

N2m fraud: Court convicts Fraudster Who Cloned Ex-Custom’s boss aide’s phone

Justice D.Z. Senchi of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Jabi, on April 16, 2018 found Usman Baba Yusuf (a.k.a Usman Dakingari) guilty of his involvement in the cloning of the phone number of Abdulmumini Bako, a former Special Assistant to the former Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko Inde, and sentenced him to 12 months in prison.
The convict, an indigene of Kebbi State and a businessman had pleaded “guilty” when he was arraigned by the EFCC on March 29, 2018 to a four-count amended charge of cheating, impersonation and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of N2 million.
Yusuf, who was being charged along with Balarabe Abdullahi had initially absconded, but was later arrested by EFCC operatives who found him in his hideout and brought him to court. He was alleged to have connived with Abdullahi to defraud a Customs officer. Abdullahi, however, maintained his “not guilty” plea.
Based on Yusuf’s “guilty” plea, which was part of a plea bargain he entered in with the prosecution, Justice Senchi, noted that he had no record of conviction and “seems to have shown remorse”. The trial judge, thereafter, sentenced him to 12 months in prison with an option of N200,000 fine.
Meanwhile, the trial of his accomplice, Abdullahi, who has since remained in prison custody for his inability to perfect his bail conditions, continues on May 7, 2018.

EFCC docks Yanping, a Chinese, for concealing $300,000

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on March 28, 2018 arraigned a Chinese, Li Yanping, before Justice Babatunde Ouadri of the Federal High Court, Abuja on one-count charge of concealing a sum of $300,000 to the officers of the Nigerian Customs Service while attempting to board a flight en route Dubai, as required by law under Section 2 (3) of the money laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012).
Yanping was arrested by the Presidential Task Force on Trans Border Cash Movement on March 15, 2018 for failure to disclose the said sum while attempting to board an Emirate flight, EK 8786 en route Dubai and handed over to the EFCC for further investigation and possible prosecution.
The charge reads:
“That you, Li Yanping on or about the 15th day of March, 2018 at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, had in your possession cash in the sum of $300,000 (Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) during your outbound clearance for travel to Dubai and failed to declare the said sum of $300,000 to the officers and men of the Nigerian Customs Service as required under the provision of Section 2 (3) of the money laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 ( as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012) and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 2(5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 ( as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012).”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Following his plea, counsel to the EFCC, Ene Emonye, asked the court to fix a date for trial and to remand the defendant in EFCC custody pending trial.
On the other hand, Yanping’s counsel, Chinedu Eze, told the court that he had a pending bail application praying the court to admit the defendant to bail.
While moving the application brought under Section 35(1) & (4) and 36 (5) and (6) of the 1999 constitution and Section 158, 162, 163 & 165 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, Eze urged the court to exercise its discretion in favour of his client by releasing him on bail pending trial.
In response, Emonye said that she was served with the application dated March 28, 2018 whilst in court and expressed desire to respond to it formally.
However, Justice Quadri granted the accused person bail in the sum of N10million with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must not below salary GL12 in any of the Federal Ministries or Parastatals and must have traceable addresses. The sureties must comply with a bail bond accompanied with their international passport.
“The defendant is to be remanded in the custody of the EFCC until the perfection of his bail conditions”, the judge added.
The case has been adjourned to April 17, 2018 for hearing.

Witness reveals how FSMLT Provost, Etukudo, accomplices mismanaged N359m

EFCC

The trial of the Provost of Federal School of Medical Laboratory Technology, FSMLT, Jos, Plateau State, Dr. Nkereuwem Sunday Etukudo, and four others over their alleged complicity in the diversion of funds to the tune of N359million continued on Thursday, February 22, 2018 before Justice D.D.Longi of the Plateau State High Court, Jos.

Other accused persons are Yusuf Samuel, Accountant, FSMLT; Ernest Demtoe, Secretary of Tenders Board, FSMLT; Goodluck Echewa, and Esio Udoh, both contractors of FSML.

Etukudo and his co-accused are standing trial on a 15-count charge of conspiracy, diversion of funds and official corruption preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The matter, had on December 12, 2017, been adjourned to 21 and 22 February, 2018 for trial to commence de novo, following the re-arraignment of the defendants upon the appointment of former trial judge, Justice Y. G. Dakwak, as the state’s Chief Justice.
However, proceedings were stalled on February 21, after Justice Longi disallowed the witnesses subpoenaed by the prosecution to testify owing to the absence of their names in the proof of evidence.

At resumed proceedings on Thursday February 22, the prosecution presented its first witness, Mrs Ethel Ekam, former staff of the FSMLT.

Led in evidence by Samuel Okeleke, Ekam who testified as PW1, narrated to the court her knowledge of the matter before it.

“I was posted to FSMLT, Jos in November 2006 and transferred out in March 2014. My main duties were: lecturer, head of department, parasitology, project supervisor, project coordinator, practical coordinator and exam supervisor. My ad hoc duties were: hostel supervisor, student affairs officer, secretary, academic board, secretary, senior staff committee, secretary, scientist association, secretary to some organizing committees.

“I was invited by the EFCC to their office in Abuja sometime in March 2014. On reaching there, I was shown a petition written by some concerned staff of the school against the provost (the first defendant). I agreed with the petition and adopted it because it was the situation of things in the school at that time.”

Ekam narrated to the court how a 7-member committee had been nominated by the school for foreign trainings in the United Kingdom and Ethiopia, but was not informed or mobilized accordingly, despite the funds being allegedly disbursed to some other persons.

“I was the sixth person on the list of nominated committee members to travel to Ethiopia for professional conference and to travel to the UK for professional training. I am here to say that I did not travel for any professional training. I was never paid any duty tour allowance or estacode for journeying abroad in respect of that training”.

Thereafter, cross examination by the counsel representing the first, third, fourth and fifth defendants commenced.

However, attempts by the defence counsel to pose questions to the witness relating to a document was objected to by the prosecution as the document referred to was not in an admissible form.
Justice Longi, thereafter adjourned the matter to April 19-20, 2018 for continuation of cross examination and trial.

NSCDC officer convicted for job scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on December 12, 2017 secured the conviction of one Joshua Dan-Daura a Deputy Superintendent of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps,NSCDC, who was prosecuted for job scam before Justice Dije Abdu Aboki of the Kano State High Court.
The convict was arraigned by the Commission on December 22, 2016 for allegedly defrauding the complainant the sum of N450,000 (Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira Only) under the pretext of securing job for him.
Upon arraignment, the convict pleaded not guilty which compelled the prosecution counsel Musa Isah to proceed to trial that lasted for 12 months.
Delivering judgment on Tuesday, Justice Aboki found the accused person guilty as charged and convicted him.
After listening to the plea for mercy from the defence counsel Amos Ango, Justice Aboki sentenced the convict to 9 months imprisonment with option of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira Only) fine.
The convict was also ordered to restitute the sum of N370,000 to the complainant or spend 18 additional month in prison if he fails to do so.