Businessman jailed for N2.5m fraud

Businessman jailed

A Kano-based businessman, Mustapha Babangida, was sentenced to six months imprisonment with an option of N250,000 fine on Monday, Juanuary 7, for defrauding a fellow businessman, Obi Bartholomew, of sums totaling N2.5 million.

Justice Ibrahim Karaye of the Kano State High Court handed down the sentence after pronouncing Babangidan guilty of a one-count charge of criminal breach of trust preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

Babangida, according to the information on the charge sheet, had, sometimes in May 2018, presented himself to Bartholomew as a businessman who deals in the importation of drugs from Turkey. He also promised him (Bartholomew) of a profit of up to N500,000 if he could invest up to N2 million.

After being convinced, the victim released N2million for the deal, and another N150,000 which Babangida came back later to collect for ‘clearing’ of the ‘imported items’.

But the deal later turned awry as Babangida failed to fulfill his promise of mouthwatering return.

This led Bartholomew to pen a petition to the EFCC in which he gave the details of the deal and sought the intervention of the anti-graft agency.

In the petition, Bartholomew alleged that the accused person issued him two cheques of N2.5 million and N150, 000 dated May 19 and 22, 2018, respectively which turned out to be dud cheques as they were returned unpaid, due to insufficient funds in the account.

When the charge was read to him, Babangida pleaded guilty, prompting the prosecution lawyer, Michael Ojo, to pray the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.

But the accused’s defence counsel, Sani Amani, wanted him freed. He notified the court that his client had paid the entire sum in question, which was acknowledged by the nominal complainant and the EFCC.

Justice Karaye, thereafter convicted the accused and sentenced him to six months in prison with an option of N250, 000 as fine.

EFCC arrests six Yahoo boys

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have arrested six suspected internet fraudsters, also known as ‘yahoo yahoo boys’ in one of their hideouts at Kubwa area, Abuja.

The suspects are: Ihoeghian Aghasomwan, Precious Osarumen, Enabulele Osazee Frank, Osahon Scott, Efe Ehieorobo and Peter James.

The operation, which was carried out on May 11, 2018 by the Advance Fee Fraud Section, AFF, of the Commission through a sting operation, followed an intelligence report on the activities of the fraudsters.

Surveillance was carried out and the identity and location of the fraudsters, who specialize in defrauding innocent citizens both within and outside the country through internet, was identified.

On arrest, some of items recovered from the suspects include – one Toyota Camry 2009, 10 laptop computers, 4 ECOWAS International passports, 17 mobile phones, 2 flash drive, HP printer and Certificate of Award of Asian Professional Security Association in favour of Sun Yaje.

Also recovered was a traveling bag and air piece check-in bag suggesting Abuja as its destination dated March 19, 2018 labeled with two paper clearance certificate of Custom Controlling Department, International Affairs China, No: 00548 and TDK courier service worldwide express service shipment details with track No: ME103178131.

All the hardware and digital devices recovered from the suspects would be subjected to forensic examination.

The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.

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.

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.

Anti-corruption fight: Magu unveils EFCC FC jersey

Magu

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on Thursday, inaugurated the jersey for the EFCC Football Club, stressing the need for the anti-graft agency to adopt multiple approaches to its fight against corruption.
The event took place at the commission’s permanent site at Jabi, Airport Road, Abuja where the EFCC boss was joined by his management team and the officials of the football club.
Magu used the opportunity of the event to appreciate the cooperation of the EFCC management, praising them for the successes recorded by the commission, especially, for making the dream of a world class permanent site come to fruition.
He described the feat as a huge milestone which was made possible through the dedication of all members of staff.
According to him, the EFCC is exploring the sporting arena in the discharge of its constitutional mandate because of its unifying force among Nigerians and mankind.
“Football as a sport is not new and we take delight in various sporting activities, this is the reason why we want to inculcate football as a strategy to fight corruption”, he said.
While commenting on the positive attributes of football to the society, the EFCC FC Patron, Mohammed Bako, said, “Football is a social way of networking and EFCC is using this platform for dual purpose of enjoying a good game and mobilizing people while creating awareness about the fight against corruption”.
He noted that the fight against corruption was indeed for everyone to tackle individually and collectively.
Also speaking, Usman Haruna Ilerike, Secretary, FCT Football Association, commended the EFCC’s initiative noting that “the future is bright for all the Nigerian youths as football is an engaging sport that will redirect the youths from being used for corrupt practices to something purposeful”.
He recalled that, “in 2016 in the FCT FA Annual General Assembly an integrity committee consisting of 2 Desk Officers in each club including FCT was set up to check the menace of corruption and this measure is currently being developed and will be sustained worldwide”.
The EFCC FC, which was founded in 2007 with robust management and technical team and players, won the FCT FA Cup in 2017.
The EFCC FC jersey come in red and white colours for home and away games. A customized jersey with the Commission’s chairman’s name as top striker (Magu 9), was presented to the EFCC boss.

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.

Court orders interim forfeiture of N204.2m Ikoyi property

Justice Chuka Austin Obiozor of the Federal High Court, Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of a property worth the sum of N204, 200,000 to the Federal Government.
The property, which is located at 20, Cameron Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, was recovered from one Joy Obiageli Oti by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The judge gave the interim forfeiture order, following an ex-parte application filed by the Commission.
The respondent, was alleged to have sold 3.02 hectares of land belonging to a company, Industrial Support Services Limited, to P.S. Investment Limited in the sum of N300,000,000.00.
Also, the respondent, in the bid to cover up the fraud, allegedly opened an account domiciled in First Bank Plc in the name of Industrial Support Services, where she made herself the sole signatory to the account.
Consequently, the Chairman, P. S. Investment Limited, Patrick Sule Ugboma, issued a Zenith Bank manager cheque in favour of Industrial Support Services on October 22, 2007.
The respondent, upon maturity of the cheque, allegedly bought the said property from the proceeds of the crime.
In his ruling on Wednesday, April 25, 2016, Justice Obiozor ordered an interim forfeiture of the property to the Federal Government.
The judge further directed the Commission to publish the interim forfeiture order in a national newspaper within 14 days from the day of ruling for the respondent or anyone who is interested in the property to show cause why it should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The case was adjourned to May 15, 2018 for hearing of the motion on notice for final forfeiture.

EFCC seeks final forfeiture of properties, N11.4m

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, moved an application before Justice M.S. Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.seeking a final forfeiture of some properties and the sum of N 11,040,000.00 (Eleven Million, Forty Thousand Naira) belonging to Capt. Olotu Olumuyiwa Morakinyo, Capt. Ebony Emmanuel Aneke and Lakewood Garden Ventures Limited to the Federal Government.
The first respondent, Morakinyo, served as Maritime Guard Commander, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, from January to September, 2013.
The second respondent, Aneke, served as Maritime Guard Commander, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, from September 2013 to December, 2014.
The third respondent, Lakewood, is a company jointly owned by the second respondent and his sister, Jimmie Aneke.
The judge had, on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, ordered the interim forfeiture of the properties and the money.
In a 38-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Idris Adamu, an operative of the EFCC, the applicant had sought an interim order of the court forfeiting to the Federal Government a three- bedroom terrace duplex at Lekki Gardens Limited Estate , Phase IV, Lekki-Ajah, Lagos recovered by the Commission from the first respondent.
The applicant had also sought an interim order forfeiting to the Federal Government another five-bedroom duplex at Lekki, Lagos State recovered by the Commission from the second respondent.
Also, the applicant had sought an interim order of the court forfeiting to the Federal Government the sum of N11,040,000.00( Eleven Million Forty Thousand Naira) recovered by the Commission from the third respondent.
In his ruling , the judge had granted all the prayers sought by the applicant.
Justice Hassan had further directed the applicant to notify the respondents to appear before the court and show cause within 14 days why the properties should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.
The judge had also directed the publication in any national newspaper of the interim order for the respondents or anyone who is interested in the properties to show cause within 14 days why the final order of the forfeiture of the properties as well as the money should not be made in favour of the Federal Government.
At the resumed hearing today, counsel to the applicant, Rotimi Oyedepo, brought the application before the court for the final forfeiture, having published the interim forfeiture order in the The Nation newspaper of Thursday, April 19, 2018, as ordered by the court.
He also informed the court that the first and second respondents had been served the motion on notice and that they acknowledged service.
Oyedepo added that “The respondents were also informed that the case would be going on today. But they made no mention of their supposed absence in court today.”
Consequently , Justice Hassan adjourned the case to May 3, 2018 for ruling.
The Commission had launched investigation into the activities of the respondents, who were posted to NIMASA as Maritime Guard Commanders between September 2011 and September 2015, after receiving intelligence report of a case of conspiracy, stealing and money laundering against them.

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.