Shocker: After Akinjide Refunded N650m PDP Campaign Fund, EFCC Insists on Fresh Charge
The ongoing trial of a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide, and two others continued today, Monday, June 25, 2018 before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, with a prosecution witness, Usman Zakari, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, revealing that the former minister was being investigated for an alleged fresh fraud .
Akinjide alongside Senator Ayo Adeseun and a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart, Chief Olanrewaju Otiti, were re-arraigned on January 16, 2018, on an amended 24-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N650m.
Zakari, during ‘trial within trial’ at today’s proceedings, told the court that Akinjide’s husband paid a sum of N10m to the Commission on August 9, 2016.
When asked by counsel to the first defendant, Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, if the N10m paid by Akinjide’s huband was a condition for the release of his wife, Zakari said “ No”.
Also, when Ayorinde further asked if he was aware that the remaining N640m had been paid, Zakari said “ I am aware that she has paid the balance of N640m, making a total of N650m, which she paid through a Stanbic IBTC draft to the Commission.”
The witness, however, told the court that the N650m was in respect of alleged fraud involving the former Minister.
He said: “ The team investigating the matter is headed by Shaibu Shehu, an investigator with the EFCC.
“The team was raised by the Head of Operations, Lagos Zone.”
Thereafter, Justice Hassan adjourned the case to October 18 and 19, 2018 for continuation of trial.
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25. June, 2018
N450m Fraud: Court To Rule On Belgore’s Motion Challenging Charge June 28
Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has adjourned to June 28, 2018 for ruling on a motion filed by Muhammed Dele Belgore, SAN, seeking an order of the court to expunge the charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Belgore is standing trial alongside a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, for allegedly receiving the sum of N450m on March 27, 2015 out of the $115,010,000 paid by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.
They were accused of handling the huge sum without going through any financial institution, contrary to the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
At the resumed hearing today, June 25, 2018, counsel to the first defendant, E. O. Sofunde, SAN, informed the court that he had filed a motion on behalf of his client, Belgore, seeking the court’s order to expunge the charge.
In his response, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that he had not filed a counter-affidavit because the defence was trying to stall the proceedings.
“Ever since my Lord ruled on the no-case submission, the defence has been bringing a harvest of motions trying to stall the proceedings.
“It appears the SAN is trying to re-litigate an issue that formed part of the no-case submission, which my Lord has ruled over.
“I have been served with a motion on notice, which substantially is praying my Lord to dismiss the charge.
“It was not brought pursuant to any section of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA.
“The motion is claiming that the Certificate of Identification in Exhibit 3 was uttered and they are asking the court to dismiss the charge.
“I submit that your Lordship should put in abeyance the hearing and determination of this motion, which is intended to suspend my Lord’s order calling on the defence to open its case in accordance with the provisions of Section 396 of the ACJA.
“I urge the court to direct the defence to open its case in compliance with the court’s order.”
Sofunde, however, objected to the oral submission by Oyedepo, stating that “the application has been with him for weeks and he is yet to respond.
He also asked the court for a short date to enable him reply to
Oyedepo’s submission, adding that ” My client is seeking the release of his passport to enable him to attend his daughter’s graduation on July 4, 2018 in the United Kingdom and also attend to his health sometime in August, 2018.”
After listening to both counsel, Justice Aikawa allowed the submissions of the prosecution counsel and adjourned to June 28, 2018 for the reply of the defence counsel and hearing of the motion of the first defendant.
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EFCC, FBI Partner to Fight Cyber Crime
“Trends in global security denote that cyber crimes is the latest form of terrorism and corruption and this is a growing concern affecting all nations in the 21st century”.
Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, made this assertion on Monday, June 25, 2018 at the Commission’s Head Office, Wuse II, Abuja, while playing host to a delegation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI led by Mr. George Piro.
Magu, while speaking through the Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar Abbah, said the anti-graft agency in partnership with international agencies will leave no stone unturned in tackling menace as it posed a big threat to the global world.
“Petitions evolving from cyber crimes have been on the increase on the EFCC website. These scams are being duly investigated by the Cyber Crimes Unit with a view to bringing culprits to justice”, he said.
The anti-graft czar stressed the need for more international partners to tackle cyber crimes.
He appreciated the FBI for its “invaluable” support for the Commission and called for sustained partnership.
In his remark, Piro who was excited to visit Africa for the first time said, the visit to Nigeria was borne out of the outstanding performance of the EFCC.
“The main purpose of my visit is to acknowledge the exemplary role EFCC has played and to thank you for the continuous partnership that has resulted in mutually beneficial rewards in the fight against corruption.
“The professionalism your team at EFCC has displayed is commendable; the impact of this is seen in the fortnightly briefs by the International Operations Division of the FBI which closely monitor the operations of the EFCC”, Piro said.
He acknowledged the trend of cybercrime as “truly a global trend” adding that steps are being taken to address it.
His words: “We hope to eradicate cybercrime despite the challenges by getting the right (qualified and talented) work force and station them in United States of America as well as Nigeria”.
Piro, an Assistant Director, International Operations Division was accompanied on the visit by Jay Bernardo, his Special Assistant and Paula Parkinson, Legal Attaché, Abuja.
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