Fraud: Senior Lawyer Jailed Seven years
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Maiduguri Zonal office on Thursday, November 8, 2018, secured the conviction of Ahmed Mai-aji, who was re-arraigned on a-three count charge before Justice Haruna Yusuf Mshelia of the State High Court, Maiduguri, Borno for the offences of Criminal breach of trust and cheating to the tune of Three Million Naira only (N3m).
The accused person who is a senior lawyer entrusted with a land document for the purpose of intervening in a land dispute between the complainant and another party, dishonestly disposes of that plot in violation of the trust the complainant have for the accused.
It will be recalled, Mai-aji was re-arraigned as a result of an application brought by his counsel, S.M Konto seeking an order declining jurisdiction to hear and determine the charge on the ground of bias or likelihood of bias by Justice Fadawu Umar.
In his ruling on 16th May 2017, Justice Umar said, “the issue of bias arises as a result of judicial rulings delivered by this court on the grounds of the application brought by the defence counsel for lack of jurisdiction by the EFCC to initiate any criminal matter before this court and the refusal of bail”
“The Registrar of the court should return the case file to the Chief Judge of the State and I hereby decline jurisdiction not to hear the case. The accused be further remanded in the prison custody”.
On Tuesday June 13, 2017, Mai-aji was re-arraigned by the EFCC before justice Mshelia. Prosecution counsel, Khalid Sanusi in proving the case, tendered seven different exhibits and five witnesses testified against the convict.
In his judgment, Justice Mshelia stated, “the court hereby found you guilty of the offences of criminal breach of trust and cheating”.
Count Three of the charge reads:
“That you, AHMED MAI AJI, sometimes in 2016 at Maiduguri Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, dishonestly induces one Baba Yusuf Bukar to deliver to you the sum of N3,000,000.00 (Three Million Naira) only, in the name of payment for a plot of land situated at Pompamari Light Industrial Layout, Maiduguri Borno State, covered by grant of Right of occupancy N0:BO/6057 of 79.1981, which was kept in your custody for the purpose of discharging your responsibility without any right to sell same, contrary to and punishable under sections 320 and 321 of penal Code Law Cap 102, Laws of the Borno State of Nigeria 1994 respectively”.
He was sentenced to five years in prison without an option of fine in count one.
The convict was however found not guilty and therefore, discharged and acquainted on count two.
On count three, the court found him guilty and convicted him to two years in prison without an option of fine. The sentences are to run concurrently”.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
Counterfeit Currency: Spiritualist Jailed 10 Years
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC today, November 8, 2018 secured the conviction of one Abubakar Ishaq a.k.a Mairakuma who is a renowned spiritualist in Kano. He was convicted by Honourable Justice A. Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano on a two count charge of possession of counterfeit currency.
The convict was sentenced to ten years imprisonment on each of counts one and two which borders on possession of counterfeit currency.
Mai-Rakumi’s journey to prison started when the Commission received him from officers of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for being in possession of 176 pieces of Fake United States Dollars during a raid on his apartment.
Upon his reception by the Commission, Mai-Rakumi made statement under word of caution and he was granted administrative bail.
Subsequently, Mai-Rakumi was arraigned by the Commission at the Federal High Court, Kano where he pleaded guilty to count 1 and 2. Prior to his plea, prosecution counsel, Samuel Chime applied to withdraw count 3 and 4 of the charge.
In view of the guilty plea entered by the convict, Justice Allagoa adjourned the matter today for judgement during which he convicted him.
Counsel for the convict Mohammed Aliyu pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing his client. He prayed the court to give his client an option of fine instead of prison term, but Justice Allagoa ignored the prayer and sentenced Mai-Rakumi to five years imprisonment on each of count one and two.
The sentences are to run concurrently. The court also ordered that the counterfeit currency shall be destroyed.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
8th November, 2018
EFCC Arraigns Former NDDC Director, Omatsuli, Another For N3.6bn Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, on Thursday, November 8, 2018 arraigned Tuoyo Omatsuli, a former Executive Director on Projects, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and one Francis Momoh before Justice Salisu Saidu of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on a 45-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N3, 645, 000, 000.00 (Three Billion, Six Hundred and Forty- five Million Naira).
Omatsuli and Momoh, who were charged alongside their companies, Don Parker Properties Limited and Building Associates Limited respectively, were said to have shown personal interests in the consultancy contract awarded to Starline Consultancy Services Limited by the NDDC, thereby enriching themselves unlawfully.
Investigations revealed that the defendants received monies in tranches from Starline Consultancy Services Limited through their companies and used the funds to purchase properties across the country.
The offence is contrary to Section 15(2) (b) of the Money Laundering Act 2011 as amended by (Act No. 1 of 2012) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Engineer Tuoyo Omatsuli, Don Parker Properties Limited, Francis Momoh and Building Associates Limited, between August 2014 and September, 2015 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired to disguise the illegal origin of the total sum of N3, 645, 000, 000.00 (Three Billion, Six Hundred and Forty-Five Million Naira) being proceeds of unlawful activity to wit: corruption and gratification and thereby commited an offence.”
Another count reads: “That you, Engineer Tuoyo Omatsuli, Don Parker Properties Limited and Francis Momoh sometime in March, 2017 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did transfer by selling the interest of Don Parker Properties Limited in the property known as Block 4, Plot B25 Lekki Peninsula residential Scheme 1, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State measuring approximately 587.195 square metres to Redline Properties Limited, which property you had acquired from Jide Tinubu with the proceeds of corruption and gratification credited into the Diamond Bank Plc account of Building Associates Limited by Starline Consultancy Limited and thereby commited an offer.”
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to all the counts when they were read to them.
In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Ekene Iheanacho, asked the court for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the defendants in prison custody to ensure that they attend trial.
However, counsel to the second, third and fourth defendants, Norrison Quarkers, SAN, informed the court that his clients had filed and served bail applications on the prosecution.
Quarker also informed the court that the third defendant, Momoh, was battling with “serious health challenges”, adding that he was initially granted an administrative bail by the EFCC on health grounds.
He, therefore, urged the court to admit the third defendant to bail.
Counsel to the first defendant, Bode Omoboriowo, told the court that his client had yet to file and serve his bail application on the prosecution.
Omoboriowo, therefore, prayed the court for a short time to prepare the bail application.
He also prayed the court to remand the first defendant in the EFCC custody pending when the bail application will be filed and served.
Prosecution counsel, Iheanacho however, did not oppose the prayers of the defence.
He also stated that he was just served with the bail application of the third defendant in court today.
He, therefore, asked the court for time to respond to the applications.
Iheanacho further urged the court to remand the defendants in prison custody, adding that the EFCC detention facilitiy was already congested.
After listening to both parties, Justice Saidu remanded the defendants in the EFCC custody and adjourned the matter to November 16, 2018 for hearing of the bail application.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity