The EFCC charged Philomina Chieshe, a JAMB revenue officer who once claimed a snake swallowed the money in her custody and her boss, Samuel Umoru, the state coordinator in Makurdi office, with eight counts bordering on conspiracy, breach of trust and misappropriation.
They were accused of conspiring among themselves between August 2014 and July 2016 and misappropriated funds belonging to JAMB, an agency of the Federal Government contrary to Section 97 (2) of the Penal Code Law.
The anti graft agency alleged that the defendants committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said properties and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable by Section 315 of the Penal Code Law.
They however, pleaded not guilty.
Testifying as the prosecution fourth witness (PW2), Ani told the court in his evidence that the 2nd defendant’s accounts in Zenith and ECO banks were investigated.
He said an extraction was made on the inflows coming into these accounts.
“We discovered that a total of N29 million was credited to Chieshe’s account between January 2014 to February 2017.
“Out of it, N2 million came in as her legitimate earnings from JAMB as salaries, allowances as well as dividends as a member of JAMB co-operative society.
“We also discovered that N26.9 million came in from various agents who were contracted by her to sale e-facility cards and remit to the Zenith account.
”From her account we discovered that there were no remittance to JAMB rather, almost all her withdrawals were through ATM,” he said.
Ani told the court that Chieshe submitted copies of the original tellers showing where she deposited money into Umoru’s account on his instructions from the proceeds of the sale of the e- facility.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Ekene Iheanocho, tendered the documents as evidence.
When cross-examined by A.I. Ihejirika, Umoru ‘s counsel , the witness told the court that there was no outright statement written as money from the sale of e-facility .
He added that but, Chieshe did explain to them that her boss( Umoru ) usually collects money from the proceeds of e-facility as IOU.
After Ani’s testimony, Justice Peter Affen, adjourned until June 1 for continuation of trial.]]>
ore trouble appears to be piling up against detained former Kaduna Central Senator, Shehu Sani, over allegation that he demanded and collected the sum of $30,000 bribe from the Chairman of ASD Motors under the guise of paying same to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, in order to free him and his firm from any probe by the agency.
The cash has been retrieved and deposited in EFCC custody and to be used as exhibit against the embattled former vocal politician, who was taken into custody on Tuesday by operatives of the anti-graft agency.
The development came, as both Senator Sani and his accuser, and chairman of ASD Motors, Alhaji Sani Dauda, met face to face in EFCC headquarters on Thursday to confront each other on the offer and receipt of the said bribe.
Both men were grilled for hours on Thursday by EFCC interrogators in a bid to establish the veracity of the claims of the complainant and the accused and to prepare the grounds for the prosecution of the accused.
And, to pave the way for unfettered questioning of the accused, EFCC yesterday secured a court order to detain Shehu Sani for two weeks.
A top source in EFCC said that when the complainant appeared before interrogators on Thursday, he also accused Senator Sanio of dropping the name of the Chief Justice of Nigeria in order to extort an additional N4 million from him over a case he has in court.
Alhaji Sani said Shehu demanded the money as cash to be given out as bribe to four judges who would hear a case instituted by one Abubakar against his firm, ASD Motors.
Alhaji Sani said for that reason, Shehu Sani demanded and collected the equivalent of N5 million in Dollars with a promise to give N1 million out of that to unnamed EFCC officials.
He also claimed that the senator came back on Nov 29, 2019, saying that the prosecutor in his case could not do anything about it but that he had discussed the matter with Magu who asked him to bring $20,000 to resolve the case.
Alhaji Sani said that although he argued that Magu is said to be incorruptible and would not collect the bribe, the former lawmaker, convinced him to part with the cash, insisting that the EFCC boss was his friend and that he would accept the cash in Dollars.
According to him, Shehu had shunned him until he was arrested and detained on new year’s eve by the operatives of the EFCC.
But Sani has denied the claims by the complainant and appeared unruffled by the issues raised against him.
The two men were still being grilled by EFCC operatives at the time of filing the report last night.
The EFCC has obtained court order to detain embattled Sen Shehu Sani for 14 days to allow unfettered investigation of his alleged involvement in name dropping and extortion.
The development came just as the Chairman/CEO of ASD Motors, Alhaji Sani Dauda, debunked the claims of Shehu Sani, insisting that he is relying on complaints against the senator.
The complainant also alleged that Shehu Sani dropped the name of the CJN, asking him to pay N4million which the CJN would give to 4 judges who would ensure that the case by one Abubakar against the ASD boss did not see the light of the day.
The complainant also alleged that the senator demanded another N1million for the EFFC officials.
He added that he paid N5million in the equivalent of dollars for the 4 judges and EFCC officials to Shehu Sani.
He also claimed that the senator came back on Nov 29, 2019, saying that the prosecutor in his case could not do anything about it but he has discussed with Magu who asked him to bring $20,000 to resolve the case.
He alleged that he was shocked on the grounds that Magu is incorruptible. But the senator alleged that Magu is his friend and would collect the bribe.
The complainant further claimed that he gave $10,000 to Shehu Sani on November 29, 2019.
He also alleged that since then, Shehu Sani refused to pick his calls and ignored his messages.
He added that the Senator only refunded his $25,000 on December 24, 2019, after the involvement of the EFCC, following his petition to EFCC.
He alleged that when he told the senator that there was the need to report the development to the EFCC, the senator remained incommunicado until his arrest on December 31, 2019. The said $25,000 cash is now with the EFCC as an exhibit.
The complainant and the senator are now being quizzed by investigators and about to confront each other over the allegations.
EFCC disclosed this on its twitter handle on Thursday, that the ex-AGF left Dubai following pressure from the anti-graft agency.
“The EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, and Dubai authorities have held a series of meeting in respect of the former Attorney General. He was accompanied by INTERPOL officers on Emirates Airlines Flight 785.
“The aircraft departed the Emirate commercial capital at about 11am Dubai time (8am Nigerian time) and touched down at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja at 3:45 pm.
“Officers of the EFCC were on the ground at the airport when he arrived,” the Commission tweeted.
Meanwhile, counsel to Adoke, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), in a statement on Thursday stated that the ex-minister was arrested moments after the aircraft which he boarded touched down at the Abuja airport.
“He was picked up at the foot of the aircraft by Interpol, refusing anyone access to him.
“He is believed to be on his way to the Interpol office at Area 10, Garki, Abuja,” Ozekhome stated.
The former AGF is facing charges bordering on alleged abuse of office and money laundering with respect to the granting of the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 to Shell.
This was what ENI filed against him and four others by the EFCC on behalf of the Nigerian Government.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says its academy in Karu, Abuja will soon be certified as the first anti-corruption degree-awarding institution in Nigeria.
The commission’s spokesman, Mr Tony Orilade made this known in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
Orilade quoted the Secretary to the Commission, Mr Olanipekun Olukoyede, as saying that the acting chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, had inaugurated a committee to fast-track the process for the certification.
Olukoyede said that the academy would soon begin to run Certificate, Diploma and Degree courses in Anti-corruption Investigation Studies.
He added that the training on cyber-crime investigation was designed to help increase the capacity of the investigators.
Mr. David Tukura, Commandant of the academy said that it had the capacity to conduct all necessary anti-corruption trainings aimed at meeting the human capacity needs of the commission.
“Training facility is not just about the space or land mass occupied, but the quality of available trainers available,” he said.
Tukura assured that the commission remained committed to ensuring that the Nigerian economic system was insulated against the criminal tendencies of cybercriminals.
“That is why we catch and get the criminals punished,” he said.
Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri
he operatives of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission have sealed Rochas Foundation College, Owerri, Imo State.
The anti-graft agency also sealed East High Primary and Secondary school, Owerri which belongs to Rochas Okorocha’s first daughter,Uloma Nwosu.
Also sealed is All-In Supermarket, Owerri, said to belong to a member of Okorocha’s family.
Okorocha who was governor of Imo State between 2011 and 2019 is currently representing Imo West senatorial district in the Nigerian senate.
The sealed assets simply read “under investigation by EFCC.keep off.”
But the management of East High Primary and Secondary School in a statement on Wednesday said that its school was only under investigation and not sealed by the EFCC.
The statement which was signed by Jones Onwuasoanya said that while the EFCC had the constitutional power to investigate the school, the funds used in establishing the schools were legitimate.
When contacted, Okorocha’s media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo, said that he was putting a press statement on the development together.
Onwuemeodo said that the statement would be ready in less than an hour.
Two officers of the Nigerian Air Force have been dismissed for their alleged involvement in the murder of a police sergeant securing a farmhouse owned by the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.
The officers, Awua Theophanous and Sunday Paul, were disengaged from the service and handed over to the police after facing disciplinary actions.
The duo and three others, Francis Ochife, Inalegwu Omikpa and Vincent Michael, who is also a dismissed Air Force officer, had invaded Magu’s farmhouse in Abuja to find a huge sum of money reportedly buried in a septic tank within the facility.
During the invasion, the gang allegedly killed a police sergeant, Haruna Sarki, who was guarding the farmhouse.
Speaking to City Round during the week, one of the dismissed Air Force officers, Theophanous, said he did not know the farmhouse belonged to Magu before they carried out the raid.
The 27-year-old father of two said sometime in November 2017, Omikpa met with him at a bar and told him that some stolen money was kept in the farmhouse.
He said Omikpa sought his help on how to recover the funds through the ‘whistle-blowing’ policy so that they would have a share from it.
Theophanous stated that he involved Paul, who contacted an EFCC official, to seek advice on how to recover the money.
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He said the EFCC official advised them to be sure of their claim, and ascertain if the money was actually there.
He stated, “I joined Nigerian Air Force in 2012. I was serving at the Logistics Department, Defence Headquarters, Abuja. Omikpa met me at the Mammy market where I was drinking and he told me there was a farmhouse where stolen money was buried.
“In December 2017, I was called to rectify an electrical fault in an office at the Defence Headquarters. While I was there, a senior officer came in and asked Paul to accompany him to the EFCC office to dispatch a letter. I quickly told Paul about the farmhouse and asked him to enquire at the EFCC office how the ‘whistle-blowing’ policy works.
“When he returned, he told me that he spoke with an EFCC official about it and that the man advised him to verify the allegation that money was kept in the farmhouse before the commission would act so that it did not cause it an embarrassment.
“I gave Omikpa feedback. He said the person who gave him the information worked in the farmhouse and that the person was ready to take us to the spot where the money was kept.”
Theophanous, who said he did not know how the policeman was killed, explained that he left the scene when he realised that the police had been alerted to the invasion.
Omikpa, 35, said a friend of his known as Cacidi, who is still at large, also participated in the operation, adding that he was informed about the alleged hidden money by Ochife.
He said, “Ochife told me that there was a container filled with foreign currencies in Magu’s farmhouse. I initially thought it was a lie, but he kept on disturbing me, saying that his informant who lived around Magu’s farmhouse was so sure the money was in the septic tank.
“I then contacted my friend, Theophanous, who was an Air Force officer. I also told another friend, Cacidi, who advised that if we informed the EFCC, the matter would die completely. Cacidi told Michael who was also an Air Force officer.
“On December 12, 2017, we went to the farmhouse in two vehicles. I was outside while Theophanous and his colleagues went into the premises. After a while, I entered and saw a policeman tied to the ground. They also arrested one other security guard.
“Michael was breaking the septic tank when I received a call from Ochife, who was outside, that another policeman outside was calling for reinforcement. We quickly left the place. Cacidi and Michael took two police rifles they found on the premises. They promised to sell the rifles and give us our own share.”
The native of Benue State added that he was on his way from church on January 25, 2018, when he was arrested by the police.
In his account, Ochife, 38, said a motorcycle rider, who resides close to the farmhouse and has access to the facility, divulged the information on the alleged hidden funds to him. He, however, did not mention the name of the motorcyclist.
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He said, “The man told me that the owner of the farmhouse had instructed those working in the farmhouse not to use any of the toilets there. He convinced me that there was money hidden inside the compound. I thought I would get some share in reward which would be a very huge amount of money.
“I contacted my friend, Omikpa, and informed him about it. He advised me not to tell anybody else and promised to involve his military friends. He introduced one Cacidi and three military men to me and we went to the farmhouse in two vehicles.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, re-arrested Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, few minutes after a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja struck out the suit against her.
The Commission defended her re-arrest, which it said was done to enable it prefer a fresh criminal charge against her.
The court dismissed the suit against Ofili-Ajumogobia, a Federal High Court judge, Ilorin, Kwara, for lack of jurisdiction.
She was arraigned for unlawful enrichment and breach of code of practice. The EFCC alleged that about $667,000 and N54 million were deposited into her personal and company accounts by clients and associates. She was charged together with Godwin Obla, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
The Commission had surrounded the premises of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja as soon as Justice Hakeem Oshodi ruled on the matter.
The anti-graft agency later arrested her while her co-defendant, Godwin Obla (SAN) left the court.
The drama began as soon as the court delivered its judgment and Ofili-Ajumogobia in company with her husband was leaving the courtroom.
She had not left the premises when she got information that officials of the agency had surrounded the court waiting to arrest and move her to Abuja. She ran back to the court room apparently to evade arrest. Sensing that it might be easier for the proverbial camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for her to shake off her pursuers, she stepped out of “hiding” and walked down where she was arrested.
Stationed at the court premises for the operation was a white truck with registration number Abuja, BWR 63780.
The Commission said her re-arrest was to enable it prefer a fresh criminal charge against her and in line with the decision of the Appeal Court, Lagos Division, in a case involving Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, where it said a judge could not be prosecuted until he or she had either been dismissed or compulsorily retired by the National Judicial Council, NJC.
Consequent upon the fact that the Commission had presented Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia before the NJC for disciplinary action and that the NJC had taken a position, the Commission would now approach the court to prefer fresh charges her.
The Commission had first arraigned Ofili-Ajumogobia and Obla on a 30-count charge on Monday, November 28, 2016 on offences bordering on perversion of the course of justice, graft, unlawful enrichment, providing false information and forgery.
They were, however, re-arraigned on an amended 31-count charge bordering on an alleged perversion of the course of justice, unlawful enrichment and forgery.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them, thereby setting the stage for the trial.
Having presented 12 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court in the course of the trial, counsel to Ofili-Ajumogobia, first defendant, Robert Clarke SAN, in an application dated November, 27, 2018, said the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case and urged the court to discharge and acquit his client.
However, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) counsel for the second defendant, Obla, on January 25, 2019, told the court that the charges preferred against his client could be entertained.
He, therefore, urged the court to separate the charges so that his client could continue with his trial.
After listening to both parties, Justice Oshodi ruled that “the issue of substantive jurisdiction must be cleared before the issue of no-case submission could be heard.”
The Judge further directed both parties to make their submissions based on the application on the jurisdiction of the court.
In his ruling at yesterday’s sitting, Justice Oshodi said based on the judicial precedent set by the case of Hon. Justice Nganjiwa V. FRN, the High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit as the EFCC “jumped the gun” in filing the first amended charge.
The Judge further held that “As at Monday, December 11, 2017, the EFCC was aware of the decision reached by the Court of Appeal in Nganjiwa vs FRN.
“As at that date, the amended information was yet to be filed and the 12 prosecution witness was still giving evidence.”
EFCC said in view of the ruling by Justice Oshodi and having complied with the NJC procedure, it is set to prefer fresh criminal charges against the first defendant, Ofili-Ajumogobia.
The ongoing trial of former Peoples Democratic Party Spokesman, Olisa Metuh over alleged N400 million fraud was on Wednesday stalled at the Federal High Court, Abuja due to the absence of his counsel in court.
Mr. Abel Ozioko, counsel to Metuh wrote a letter informing the court that he would be absent because he was bereaved and prayed the court for an adjournment.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir said that since death was an act of God, he would not oppose the request for an adjournment.
“The reason given is bereavement of the sister-in-law of the counsel to Metuh. Death is an act of God and that being the case, we shall not be opposing.”
In a short ruling, the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang said that he was inclined to grant the application for an adjournment for the reasons stated by counsel.
Justice Abang adjourned the matter until May 13, May 14 and May 15 saying that the court was billed to commence Easter vacation on April 22.
Metuh is standing trial alongside his company, Destra Investment Limited, on a seven count charge which involves laundering $2 million.
He is also charged with fraudulently receiving N400 million from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.