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Alleged N2b Fraud: Ex-Niger gov, Aliyu, knows fate on case relisting Oct 27

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The Federal High Court, Minna, Niger State, on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, adjourned ruling till October 27, 2020, on a motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for the relisting of the criminal matter, involving former Niger State governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu and Umar Nasko.

The Commission is prosecuting the duo of Babangida and Nasko, first and second defendants, respectively, before Justice A.B. Aliyu of the Federal High Court, Minna, Niger State, on amended three-count charge of breach of trust and money laundering to the tune of over N2 billion, which the court struck out on June 19, 2020.

Prosecution counsel, Faruk Abdullahi, had filed a motion on notice for the setting aside of the order made by the court on June 19, 2020, striking out the case with charge number: FHC/ABJ/CR/71/2017- Federal Republic of Nigeria V. Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu & anor (another), as well as an order, for the relisting of charge number: FHC/ABJ/CR/71/2017- Federal Republic of Nigeria V. Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu & anor (another), which was struck out on June 19, 2020, for want of diligent prosecution and other orders as the court “may deem fit to make” in the circumstance of the case.

Abdullahi supported the application with 21 paragraphs affidavit, deposed to by one Samuel Chime, adding, “we rely on all the paragraphs, we also file a written address in support, we adopt the written address as our oral submission and we pray the court to grant our prayers in the motion papers.”

Counsel to Aliyu, Musa Sulaiman, who represented Olajide Ayodele, SAN, objected to the application on the ground that it was not served to all the parties, so also Nasko’s counsel, Iloh Bekeme Asuelemeh, who equally represented Mamman Mike Osman, SAN. Osman who prayed the court to set aside the application, noted that the defence has filed a 33 paragraph counter-affidavit, deposed to by John Kyrian Etuk, and was documented as exhibit QJ1-QJ6, which he said has also been adopted as the written address of the defence.

Justice A. B Aliyu adjourned the case till October 27, 2020, for ruling on the prosecution’s application.

  

 

 

 

 

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American court jails Canada-based Nigerian Morakinyo for cyber fraud, to refund $975,863

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A court in the Western District of Texas on Wednesday sentenced Canada-based Nigerian, Olumide Bankole Morakinyo, to eight years in prison for conspiracy and money laundering.

He is also expected to refund $975,863 to the multiple victims of his crime.

According to the United States Attorney’s office, 38-year-old Morakinyo conspired with one Lukman Aminu to create illegal accounts for participants on the online portal of the Texas Employees Retirement System.

The court document, obtained by our correspondent, revealed that the duo used bank deposit information in the system to re-route pension payments to accounts controlled by Aminu.

With the physical debit cards of those accounts, Aminu withdrew the money and transfered or deposited the cash at Morakinyo’s directions.

“This defendant’s scheme and those like it victimise our most vulnerable citizens and cost taxpayers billions each year.

“Our office will use all of the available legal tools to identify and bring to justice those who commit cyber-enabled fraud and launder the proceeds,” U.S. Attorney Ashley Hoff said

During the hearing, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman also ordered that Morakinyo be supervised for three years upon completion of his jail term.

Aminu, on the other hand, was charged in a separate indictment, and was sentenced to a 51-month jail term on December 18, 2019.

Nigerian national residing in Canada, was sentenced today to eight years in prison and repayment of $975,863 in restitution to multiple victims for conspiracy to commit money laundering.

“This Defendant’s scheme and those like it victimize our most vulnerable citizens and cost taxpayers billions each year,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “Our office will use all of the available legal tools to identify and bring to justice those who commit cyber-enabled fraud and launder the proceeds.”

“According to court documents, Morakinyo conspired with Lukman Shina Aminu, a resident of New Hampshire, to create unauthorized accounts for participants in the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) internet portal. Personally identifiable information (PII) of various ERS participants was used to make changes to their accounts in the ERS internet portal. Bank deposit information on file in the system was changed to re-route retirement payments to debit cards controlled by Aminu. Aminu, who possessed the physical debit cards, would withdraw money under instructions from Morakinyo and then transfer or deposit that money at Morakinyo’s direction.

“The debit cards were also used for cash withdrawals and to purchase money orders for personal expenses and for buying used vehicles to be shipped overseas to Nigeria and Benin for resale. With these international automobile transactions, Morakinyo and his conspirators laundered the fraud proceeds by concealing the source of the funds and making the money appear to be legitimate income.

 

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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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HEDA Sues Ex-Attorney-General, Adoke For Defamation, Seeks N100 Million In Damages

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An anti-corruption group, Human and Environmental Development Agenda has dragged former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, (SAN) to court, for allegedly publishing false and malicious claims, which the group said is damaging to its image.

In a suit filed at the FCT High Court in Abuja, HEDA has requested that Adoke withdraw a statement that is considered malicious and pay a sum of N100 million in damages

Adoke is the solicitor for two oil giants, Shell and Eni, who are also main suspects in the OPL 245 scam which led to a huge loss for Nigeria running in billions of dollars.

Shell and Eni had been on trial since 2018, relating to their 2011 purchase of an offshore Nigerian oilfield, known as “OPL 245”.

The companies agreed to pay $1.3 billion for the license to explore the field. $1.1 billion of the company’s payment was to be paid to Malabu Oil and Gas, a company controlled by Nigeria’s former Oil Minister, Dan Etete.

In the latest suit, HEDA’s lawyers have demanded payment of N100 million for damages to the reputation of HEDA Chairman, Suraju Olanrewaju, and a retraction of the false claims.

HEDA has assembled a team of lawyers led by human rights lawyer, Kunle Adegoke (SAN) to prosecute the case.

In the writ of summons, HEDA alleged that there were attempts to subvert the wheel of justice in the ongoing criminal trial of parties connected with the OPL 245 settlement agreement in Italy and Nigeria.

The group alleged that the suspects, who are currently on trial have tried to cover up their dirty tracks by resorting to blackmail and arm-twisting tactics targeting HEDA, which is leading the global campaign.

HEDA also alleged injury and malice against the company and its leading officials.

Lawyers of the anti-corruption agency said the allegations in the said statements are injurious to the character, reputation, and integrity of the organisation.

They also stated that HEDA does not deserve to be credited with “committing the offence of forgery or collusion with investigators and public prosecutors in Milan, Italy, and Nigeria with the unlawful aim of procuring false documentary evidence for use in subverting the wheel of justice in the ongoing criminal trial of parties connected with the OPL 245 settlement agreement in Italy and Nigeria,” as the statement implied.

 

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