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2015 Campaign Funds: EFCC Arraigns Gombe Senator over N450mn
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Gombe Zonal office today arraigned the duo of Senator Saidu Umar Kumo (Garkuwan Gombe) and Hon. Nuhu Poloma before Justice Nehizena Apolabi of the Federal High Court Gombe on five counts conspiracy and money laundering

The duo were alleged to have on March 27 , 2015 collected the sum of Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N450m) at the Gombe branch of a new generational bank, being part of funds allegedly paid out to influential political figures and electoral officials by a former petroleum minister to influence the outcome of the 2015 general election.

Specifically, Senator Kumo took the sum of One Hundred and Eleven Million Naira (N111m) out of the Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N450) and instructed one Abba Sunday Agaba to deliver the balance of Three Hundred and Thirty Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira only to cashier Government House, Gombe.

From his share, Senator Kumo allegedly gave Two Million Naira only to Hon. Nuhu Poloma, used the sum of Three Million Naira personally and failed to account for the balance of One Hundred and Six Million Naira.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the five count charge.
The prosecution counsel, Israel Akande then prayed the court for a date to commence trial

While adjourning the case to 5th of December, 2018, Justice Afolabi granted the defendants bail in the sum of Ten Million Naira each with two sureties in like sum. The sureties will further undertake to produce them at every court sitting.

Wilson Uwujaren
Head, Media & Publicity

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Court Adjourns Ex-JTF Commander, Atewe’s N8.5bn Fraud Trial To Nov 27
Justice A.O. Faji of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 adjourned till November 27, 2018 further hearing in an N8.5bn fraud case involving Maj.- Gen. Emmanuel Atewe ( retd.), a former Commander of the Joint Military Task Force, JTF.

Atewe is standing trial alongside Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Kime Enzogu and Josephine Otuaga on a 22-count charge of conspiracy, stealing and money laundering to the tune of
N8.5billion.

The defendants allegedly conspired among themselves to defraud NIMASA of the said sum, using six companies namely Jagan Limited, Jagan Trading Company Limited, Jagan Global Services Limited, Al-Nald Limited, Paper Warehouse Limited, Eastpoint Integrated Services Limited and De-Newlink Integrated Services Limited.

At the last adjourned sitting, the second defendant, Atewe, opposed the tendering of his statements in evidence by the second prosecution witness (PW) Adamu Usman, an operative of the Economic and FinancialCrimes Commission, EFCC, on the grounds that they were involuntarily obtained and that they were dictated to him.

He claimed that he was threatened by Kanu Idagu, the team leader of the Special Task Force(STF) Unit of the EFCC and that he was subjected to inhuman treatment.

The presiding Judge, however, ordered a trial-within- trial to determine the voluntariness or otherwise of the statement.

At the resumed sitting today, the prosecution counsel, Nnaemeka Omewa, asked the defendant if he had met Idagu prior to his meeting with him at the EFCC, to which he answered in the negative.

“I had not met Kanu before my visit to the EFCC, but he had my picture and I know he got it from the public domain.

“Immediately he saw me, he told me I was under arrest and threatened me.

” As a military man, I had to apply soft strategy and succumb, ” he said.

Atewe also claimed that the office where he wrote the statement was highly restricted and fully armed with policemen.

He further added that no one was allowed into the office while he was writing his statement.

He, however, later said that one Mike Oyadogha, his account officer in the Army, came into the office before he finished writing the statements.

When he was asked if he was granted administrative bail by the EFCC, he answered in the affirmative, saying, “I was granted bail by the EFCC , but with very stringent terms.

“They asked me to get a Level 17 Officer who resides in Lagos, and this was a deliberate effort to further detain and frustrate me.

“Even when I asked to see the Head of Operations, they did not allow me see him until after several pleas.

“When I eventually saw him, he told me to volunteer my statement, that it was the routine.

“I agreed to volunteer my statement. But while I was writing, Kanu came in and annoyingly tore all that I had written down. He said that was not what he wanted me to write.

“He read the cautionary words to me and dictated all he wanted me to write down , which I did because of the threats and the yelling.

“After writing them down, I appended my signature as a sign of protest, the way it is done in the Army.”

When asked if it wasn’t a sign of cowardice that a whole Major General chickened out at the purported yell of a mere civilian, Atewe said: ” No. I had to succumb because of the environment I was. Besides, I had been trained to apply soft strategy in the face of an unknown enemy.”

Consequently, Justice Faji adjourned the matter to November 27, 2018 for hearing of
written addresses and responses respectively.

Wilson Uwujaren
Head, Media & Publicity

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Court Jails Five Persons for Oil Theft
Justice P. I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court sitting in Benin City on Tuesday September 25, 2018 convicted and sentenced five persons to one year imprisonment each on a two count charge bordering on oil theft.

The convicts are Ernest Seimodei, Fred Kemezide, Friday Ojugbeli, Lucky Okpowo and Samuel Chidi Akomas. The court also convicted their company, De-Ernesto oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.

The Convicts who were arraigned by the Benin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC, pleaded guilty to the 2-count charge when it was read to them. Based on their plea, the prosecution counsel, Larrys Aso Peters prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly.

The defence counsel, P. E. Ejiga however prayed the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first time offenders. Justice Ajoku consequently sentenced the five defendants to one year imprisonment on each of the two counts. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Count one of the charge reads; “That you Ernest Seimodei, Fred Kemezide, Friday Ojugbeli, Lucky Okpowo, Samuel Chidi Akomas, De-Ernesto Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited and Amtari Ekenekeme (now at large) on or about the 28th February, 2018 in Facados, Delta State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire with yourselves to commit an offence to wit: fraudulently take 392,103 litres of crude oil from SPDC Oil Well Custer 51 at Estuary, Forcados and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004”.

Wilson Uwujaren
Head, Media & Publicity

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