EFCC News Updates on Lamido, Badeh, Nyako, Abebe
EFCC Re-arraigns Ex-Jigawa Gov, Lamido, Sons over Money-Laundering
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday October 24, 2018 re-arraigned a former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, on a 43-count amended charge bordering on abuse of office and money laundering before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja.
The case had previously been heard by Justices Adeniyi Ademola and Babatunde Quadri before its eventual transfer to Justice Ojukwu by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati.
It would be recalled that, Lamido had earlier challenged the transfer of his case at the Federal High Court, Abuja from Justice Adeniyi Ademola (now retired) to Justice Babatunde Quadri for determination.
Lamido was arraigned alongside two of his sons – Aminu Sule Lamido and Mustapha Sule Lamido; Aminu Wada Abubakar, Bamaina Holdings Ltd and Speeds International Ltd for allegedly defrauding the state to the tune of N1.35billion.
He allegedly abused his position as governor between 2007 and 2015 by awarding contracts to companies where he had interest, using his two sons as fronts.
The former governor was equally alleged to have collected kickbacks from contractors in the state, with the funds allegedly paid into accounts that were managed by his sons.
Particulars of count one of the new charge reads:
”That you, Alhaji Sule Lamido, while being the Governor of Jigawa State, Nigeria, on or about 15th of December, 2008 within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court in your account in the name of Bamaina Holdings (also referred to as Bamaina Holding Limited) domiciled at Unity Bank Plc, Kano, converted the sum of N14,850,000.00 (Fourteen Million Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) being the value of Intercontinental Bank Plc (now Access Bank Plc) cheque no;00000025 paid by Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Limited which represented the proceeds of your illegal act to wit: using your position as a public officer for gratification by purportedly obtaining contracts for company in which you have interest from Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited which was awarded contracts by Jigawa Sate Government with the aim of concealing its illicit origin and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, and punishable under Section 14(1) of the same Act”.
Count forty of the charge reads: “That you, Alhaji Sule Lamido, while being the Governor of Jigawa State, Nigeria, Aminu Sule Lamido, Mustapha Sule Lamido, and Speeds International Limited on or before 26th March, 2010 within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court retained in the account of Speeds Intl Ltd domiciled at Skye Bank Plc, Dutse the sum of N26,000,000.00 (Twenty Six Million) being the value of Skye Bank Plc cheque no.10000659 which funds you knew represented the proceeds of illegal act of Alhaji Sule Lamido who used his position as public officer for gratification by purportedly obtaining contracts for the said Speeds Intl Ltd, (a company in which he is a shareholder and director) from A.G Ferrero & Co Ltd which was awarded contracts by Jigawa State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 16(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 16 of the same Act”.
Defendants pleaded not guilty to the counts.
In view of the defendants’ plea, Chile Okoroma, counsel to EFCC, urged the court to fix a date for trial.
However, counsel to the defendants, Joe Agi, SAN, informed the court of a pending application for the bail of the defendants. He added that the defendants were currently on bail for the same offence before another court. He further told the court that the defendants had also been granted administrative bail by the EFCC, and did not violate any of its terms.
Justice Ojukwu, thereafter, adjourned to November 22, 2018 for trial.
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EFCC Closes Case In N3.9billion Charge Against Badeh
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 closed its case in N3.9billion money laundering case involving a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd).
Badeh is standing trial alongside Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja.
He allegedly abused his position by diverting Nigeria Air Force, NAF, funds for personal enrichment, and acquisition of properties in choice areas in Abuja.
The former Air Chief was first arraigned in 2015 on a 10-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust, abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of N3.9billion.
Upon discovery of fresh evidence, Badeh was re-arraigned by the anti-graft agency on July 4, 2018 on an amended 14-count charge bordering on money laundering, which he pleaded not guilty to.
One of the new charge reads:
“That you, AIR CHIEF MARSHAL ALEX S. BADEH (RTD) and IYALIKAM NIGERIA LIMITED on or about 24th February 2016 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did retain possession of the sum of $1,000,000.00 (One Million Dollar) only which you kept at No.6 Ogun River Street, Off Danube Street, Maitama, Abuja which funds you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceed of your unlawful activity to wit: theft, criminal breach of trust or corruption and you thereby committed on offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
At the resumed sitting today, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the court that the prosecution would be closing its case, after calling 21 witnesses to prove the charge against the defendant (Badeh).
With the close of the prosecution’s case, the stage is set for the defendant to prove his innocence on the charges preferred against him.
However, Badeh’s counsel, Akin Olujimi, SAN, informed the court of the defence’s intention to make a no-case submission, noting that the prosecution had failed to establish the necessary ingredients as to warrant explanation from the defendant.
Justice Abang asked the defence to serve the prosecution with the processes within 21 days and the prosecution to respond within 10 days after service.
Thereafter, the case was adjourned to November 21, 2018 for adoption of written addresses on the no-case submission.
N29bn Fraud: Court Grants Nyako’s Request to Travel for Medicals, Adjourns To October 25
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama Abuja, on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 granted an application by a former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako seeking the release of his travelling documents to enable him travel to Germany for medical check-up.
Moving the application dated September 20, 2018, Ibrahim Isiyaku, SAN, representing the 4th and 8th defendants urged the court to grant the application on health grounds.
Responding, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, who raised no objection to the application said, “the defendant has never made such application and as such I have no reason to object”.
Justice Abang granted the application and directed the Chief Registrar of the Court to release Nyako’s international passport for renewal to enable him travel for medical check-up
The judge, however, added that Nyako should ensure that “he is back in the country on or before December 30, 2018”, upon which he shall re-submit his traveling documents to the court.
Earlier, Jacobs had informed the court that the matter was for continuation of hearing of the PW20, adding that the said witness was unavoidably absent in court. He asked the court for another date to present the witness.
Isiyaku SAN, who held brief for Nyako’s counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN, did not oppose the application.
Justice Abang granted the prosecution’s prayer and adjourned to October 25, 2018 for continuation of hearing.
Nyako is facing trial in a N29billion fraud charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
He is being prosecuted alongside his son, Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako, Abubakar Aliyu and Zulkifikk Abba on a 37-count charge of criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering.
Five companies that allegedly served as conduit pipes for illegal diversion of the funds- Blue Opal Limited, Sebore Farms and Extension Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Tower Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited, were equally charged before the court as the 5th to 9th defendants.
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Forgery: John Abebe Loses Bid To Stall Trial As EFCC Presents Two Witnesses
Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, dismissed an application filed by John Warimeme Abebe, seeking to strike out the four-count charge of
forgery, fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence and attempt to pervert the course of justice preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
One of the count reads: “That you, Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, on or about the 22nd day of June, 2010 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly forged BP Exploration Nigeria Limited’s letter dated 30th November,1995 to Inducon (Nigeria) Limited by inserting in page 2 of the said letter the following words: “Also note that the ‘Buy-Out Option’ only applies to the pre-production stage of the NPIA. The $4m buy-out is thus irrelevant from production of oil in any of our fields” and purported same to have been issued by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited and committed an offence contrary to Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.”
Another count reads: “That you, Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, on or about the 22nd day of June, 2010 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly used a fabricated evidence in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/224/2010 Between Dr. John Abebe, Inducon Nigeria Limited and Statoil Nigeria Limited, before the Federal High Court, which evidence was admitted and marked exhibit BB in the said suit and committed an offence contrary to Section 120 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.”
The defendant, who was arraigned on Thursday, July 26, 2018, pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.
He was subsequently granted bail by the court on August 2, 2018.
At the resumed sitting today, counsel to the defendant, Kanu Agabi, SAN, argued that judgments had been delivered on the same matter in favour of his client by a Federal HighCourt and also by the Court of Appeal, thereby leaving the matter pending before the Supreme Court.
He also challenged the jurisdiction of the Special Offences Court to hear the matter.
However, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the charges before the Supreme Court were entirely different from what is before the High Court.
He, therefore, urged the court, to dismiss the application, saying it was raised to arrest the trial.
In a short ruling, Justice Dada dismissed the application and held that parties in the charges in the Supreme Court and High Court are different.
Consequently, prosecution counsel, Oyedepo called the first prosecution witness, Paul Piche, a former Managing Director, Statoil Nigeria Limited, who told the court that a consultancy agreement was signed between Inducon Nigeria Limited, owned by the defendant, and Statoil Nigeria Limited in 1991.
He said that the agreement was, however, terminated in 1997.
Giving further testimony, he said another NPIA agreement, which was entered into between Statoil and Inducon Nigeria Limited in 1995, was later amended and eventually terminated in 1999, which left Statoil with no further agreement with Inducon till 2010.
“There were discrepancies in a copy of letter provided by Abebe in 2010 in an attempt to enter another agreement and also in the copy of letter tendered before the Federal High Court before now.
“The same letter was provided by BP Exploration Limited to Statoil Nigeria Limited and it was noticed that a new paragraph was inserted in page two of the agreement letter dated 1995 provided by Abebe.
“The address, “National West Minister Bank” on the letter brought by Abebe was in a line, while the one made available by BP Exploration Limited was addressed in two lines.
“The post code of the address on each letter was different,” he further stated.
In her testimony, a second prosecution witness, Elizabeth Cross, an Assistant General Counsel , in-house Lawyer and Dispute Resolution Personnel for BP Exploration Limited, confirmed to the court that there were agreements entered into by Inducon Nigeria Limited and Statoil Nigeria Limited in 1993 and 1997.
She further told the court that Statoil Nigeria Limited requested from BP Exploration Limited, the original copy of the agreement letter tendered by the defendant, which was made available to Statoil from BP Exploration Limited’s archive system and was couriered to Statoil.
The case was adjourned to October 24, 2018 for the continuation of trial.
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EFCC Docks Two over N16.4m Fraud
Two suspected fraudsters, Allen Ruskin and Prince Amakiri Geoffrey, were on October 22, 2018 arraigned before Justice A. B. Mohammed of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Gudu, Abuja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Ruskin and Amakiri were arraigned on a two count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of N16.4million.
The long arm of the law caught the defendants following a petition by one Festus Nnamdi Chukwu alleging that they approached him for financial assistance to fix their vessel which was siezed by the EFCC and also to execute a contract they won from Symbol Regency Oil and Gas Limited. The contract according to them was for the shipment of crude oil allocation to Namibia, at the cost of $15.75 million.
The complainant allegedly gave the defendants the sum of N16,450,000 (sixteen million, four hundred and fifty thousand naira).
Investigations into the matter revealed that there was no contract between the defendants and Symbol Regency Oil and Gas Limited and that the money was fraudulently collected by the defendants for personal use.
The offence is contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No 14, 2006.
One of the counts reads:
“Allen Ruskin and Prince Amakiri Geoffrey sometime between July 2017 and November 2017 at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N16,450,000.00 (Sixteen Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) from Festus Nnamdi Chukwu under the pretence that you own a shipping company named Decok Marine Nigeria Limited and the money is for fixing of your shipping vessel to execute a contract with Symbol Regency Oil and Gas Limited for the shipping of crude oil allocation to Namibia at the cost of US$15.75 million, which representation you knew to be false”.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In view of their pleas, Elizabeth Alabi, counsel to EFCC, prayed the court for a trial date to enable the prosecution present its witnesses and prove its case. She also prayed the court to remand the defendants in prison custody.
In admitting the defendants to bail, Justice Mohammed said the first defendant (Ruskin), shall present two serving Directors with landed properties in Abuja Municipal Area. He shall also deposit his international passport with the court.
The second defendant (Amakiri), according to the judge shall be remanded in Kuje prison, until the next adjourned date, November 5, 2018, which is the date for hearing of his bail application.
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