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FROM EFCC/ICPC

2015 election slush funds: EFCC stops criminal charges against ex-First Bank’s Executive Director

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday discontinued criminal charges against a former Executive Director, First Bank, Dauda Lawal, who is being prosecuted for alleged money laundering.

In the charges before the Federal High Court in Lagos, Lawal was accused of handling $25m out of a total of $153m, which a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, allegedly doled out to influence the 2015 general elections.

Already the EFCC had called three witnesses in the matter which had been before Justice Muslim Hassan since December 2018.

The case was being handled by an internal prosecutor of the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, who is now on suspension alongside others, in the wake of the arrest and probe of the suspended acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, for alleged abuse of office and mismanagement of recovered assets.

At the Wednesday proceedings, another EFCC counsel, U. U. Buhari, who appeared in the absence of Oyedepo, came with three witnesses.

Rather than continue with the case, however, Buhari told Justice Hassan that the EFCC was withdrawing charges against Lawal to enable it conduct further investigation.

He added that the EFCC was still making moves to arrest other suspects in the case, particularly Diezani.

Lawal’s lawyer, P.I.N. Ikwueto (SAN), told the judge that he welcomed the EFCC’s decision to withdraw charges against his client, and thanked the prosecutor for his “kind request.”

Ikwueto urged the court to “discharge and acquit” his client of the four counts, so that the EFCC could start afresh whenever it was ready.

In his ruling, Justice Hassan lambasted the anti-graft agency for wasting the time of the court.

He said, “This case suffered several adjournments at the instance of the prosecution….

“I am satisfied that the appropriate order to make is an acquittal. The defendant is hereby discharged and acquitted on the said amended charge.”

 

 

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FROM EFCC/ICPC

EFCC Hunts Tambuwal’s Aide Over N2.2m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is currently trailing  Bello Malami Tambuwal, an aide of Governor Aminu Tambuwal, over an alleged N2.2 million fraud.

The zonal head of the anti-graft agency, Mr Usman Kaltungo, who announced this, alleged that the governor’s aide has been using his position to dupe car dealers.

He added that most of the cars he collected deceptively were Hyundai products.

“He has been going to car dealers to collect cars under a false pretence. He used to tell them that it was the Governor who wanted to buy the car for somebody,” Kaltungo said.

“After collecting the car, he sells them and use the money for something else,” he said.

According to Kaltungo, the Special Adviser who ought to be arraigned on Thursday had jumped several administrative bails.

He noted that the sum of N1.6m had already been recovered from him, aside the N2.250 million.

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COURTS CASES

Anti-graft Agency Sets to Probe Ogun Assembly Speaker, others For Alleged Misappropriation

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to probe the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, over alleged financial misappropriation, forgery and money laundering.

Others being investigated by the anti-graft agency are the Assembly Clerk and some former members of the House.

In a letter obtained by SaharaReporters, the EFCC asked the Clerk to provide it with information on all budget appropriations and allocations of the House from May 30, 2015 till date.

“The Speaker and others are under probe for different allegations. First one is financial misappropriation. About N85,000,000 monthly for running cost of the Assembly cannot be accounted for since June 2019 till date by Mr Speaker and Clerk, the approving officer and accounting officer respectively.

“This led to a rift between the Speaker and the recently impeached Deputy Speaker after the latter demanded accountability and transparency. Even doing Covid-19 lockdown, running costs such as local/international travel, cost for fuelling the generator were diverted to private accounts. 

“Diversion of constituency allowance funds (each member of the 8th Assembly collected N20,000,000 twice between 2015-2019. Most of the retired receipts were forged and fictitious pictures of purported ghost projects were filed by members. The current Speaker and 3 other current members were part of the 8th Assembly under investigation. A current Special Adviser to the Governor of Ogun state who also has a school certificate scandal case over him, was part of the 8th Assembly under the EFCC radar.

“Forgery of Financial Bills (i-The House passed a resolution to approve only N75 billion Bond for the State Government sometime in June 2020, but Speaker secretly falsified the content of the resolution letter in favour of the Executive, changed it to N200 billion after members had already passed and signed resolution for just N75 billion on the floor of the House before the camera. 

“Speaker falsified some contents {S.7(4)} of Ogun State Legislative Funds Management Bill, after passage, for personal/selfish grounds. After the passage on the floor of the House, he falsified the contents in his favour before sending a clean copy to the Government for assent.

“Speaker in connivance with Mr Clerk, also falsified the current Standing Order of the House before the commencement of the 9th Assembly, to favour his election as the Speaker and disqualified others to contest, amongst other contents,” a lawmaker told SaharaReporters.

 

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FROM EFCC/ICPC

N150m fraud: Appeal Court Dismisses Suspect’s Bail Appeal

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The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, has dismissed an application filed by a suspected fraudster, Nelson Emuobosa Omo-Ode, challenging the ruling of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos denying him bail.

Omo-Ode, a 34-year-old Business Administration graduate of the Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan College, Malaysia, was arrested on July 18, 2019 at his residence at the Address Homes, Onikani Foreshore Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, following a petition received by the Commission about his suspicious lifestyle.

Investigations showed that over N150, 000,000 (One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) had passed through his account in recent time, which he could not account for.

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