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N761m Subsidy Fraud: Cross-examination of EFCC chairman stalled over Covid-19 infection



EFCC partners CYMS on vote buying, cyber crimes, corruption

Cross-examination of the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, in a case of N761 million fraud was stalled in Lagos on Friday due to the defendant’s absence.

The defendant, Abubakar Peters, contracted Coronavirus and is in an isolation centre, according to his counsel, Mr E.O. Isiramen.

Peters is standing trial along with his company, Nadabo Energy Ltd. for oil subsidy fraud.

Bawa is a prosecution witness in the case before an  Ikeja high court.

At the start of proceedings, Isiramen informed the court that the defendant tested positive for Coronavirus.

“He is ill with coronavirus.

He tested positive for the virus and he is at an isolation centre where he is receiving treatment,” Isiramen said.

Justice Sedotan Ogunsanya, however, asked the defence counsel to be specific on the isolation centre.

“There are several isolation centres; moreover, there is no medical report before the court,” Ogunsanya said.

In response, Isiramen said, “I don’t know precisely where he is, the report was sent via email.”

Also read: Money Laundering: Absence of EFCC witness stalls trial of ex-governor’s aide’s wife

Expressing surprise, the judge said that the court was a “court of records not of speculation”.

In his submission, prosecution counsel, Mr Seidu Atteh, told the court that the same reason was given for the defendant’s absence in another fraud case against him before Justice Christoper Balogun of a Lagos high court sitting in Ikeja.

“Over a month ago, the defence gave the same reason for the absence of the defendant and the court ordered the defence to serve the prosecution with a copy of the medical report, but till now, we have not been served,” he said.

The judge consequently held that the defence was wasting judicial time.

“The court is very displeased with you.

Why not inform the court before now?

“You are responsible for bringing him to court, and this is the only matter listed.

This is not a civil matter, but a criminal matter.

“The court would have revoked the bail but for the illness.

No bench warrant for now,” she said.

The prosecution counsel asked the court to impose a  penalty on the defence and order it to produce a medical report to support its claim.

The judge gave the defence a seven-day period to provide the medical report to the prosecution and the court.

She ordered that the defendant should pay N309,000 within seven days to offset the costs incurred by two witnesses (Bawa inclusive) who the prosecution brought to court from Abuja for the matter.

Newsmen report that Peters and his company are facing a 21-count charge bordering on forgery and fraud.

In his evidence-in-chief during the last court proceedings in the case on Sept. 22, Bawa said that EFCC received petitions from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and some concerned Nigerians in 2015, alleging fraud in the subsidy regime.

He alleged that EFCC’s investigations uncovered forged documents used by the defendant to claim subsidy funds for 12,000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) whereas only about 6,000 metric tonnes were imported by the defendant”.




N43.5m Fraud: BDC Operator Testifies Against Fatuyi, NOGASA Chairman



N43.5m Fraud: BDC Operator Testifies Against Fatuyi, NOGASA Chairman

A Bureau de Change Operator, Mr Musa Mohammed, on Thursday testified against the Chairman of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), Philips Fatuyi, charged with N43.5 million fraud.

Fatuyi is standing trial alongside his company, Oceanview Oil and Gas Ltd., on a two-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretences.

He, however, pleaded not guilty before an Ikeja Special Offences Court.

Mohammed was led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mr  Spife Owede.

The witness told the court that he received an invitation from EFCC to come for questioning as part of investigations into the alleged offences of the defendant.

“I came across the defendant sometime in September 2016. He gave me $40,000 cash to help him change.

“I called my colleague to come and help pay the money into his account at the rate of $1 to N463 sum of N18,520,000.

“Afterwards, I received an invitation from the EFCC to come for questioning as part of investigations into the offences by the defendant.

“I wrote a  statement at the EFCC in which I told investigators how I got to know the defendant and the business transaction we had together,” the witness said.

The statement of the witness was admitted in evidence and marked  Exhibit P8, following no objections from defence counsel, Mr Olarewaju Ajanaku.

The witness told the court while being cross-examined by Ajanaku that he got to know the defendant in 2016 and that the business transaction he had with him was the only one between them.

Owede thereafter informed the court that Mohammed was the prosecution’s last witness, adding that the prosecution would be closing its case against the defendant.

Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned the case until May 26 for the defendant to open defence.

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EFCC arrests 23 suspected internet fraudsters in Enugu



EFCC arrests 23 suspected internet fraudsters in Enugu

Its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, stated in Abuja on Wednesday that the suspects were arrested around Monark, Emene and Golf Course axis of Enugu, following actionable intelligence.

“The suspects are Ugwuanyi Kasiemobi, Emmanuel Agwu, Onyeama Arinze, Hycienth Emmanuel, Chibueze Oluebube, Ogaraku Obinna, Chibueze Onyedikachi, Austus Chiemerem, Ikechi Faithful and Okafor Chika.

“Others are Chimaobi Joshua, Onuoha Oluebubu, Udo Stanley, Igbo Ikenna, Nweke David, Obinna Obumneme, Okocha Ewah, Nweke Chidera, Justice Mba, David Nweke, Eze Chiwetalu, Nweke Chidubem and Ikechi David.

“Items recovered from them included one Mercedez Benz E350, one Lexus ES350, one Mercedes Benz CLE, one Toyota Camry, a Toyota Avalon and a black Mercedes Benz,’’ he stated.

Uwujaren added that other items recovered from the suspects who had made useful statements to the EFCC were 43 mobile phones, 11 laptop computers and charms.

They would be charged in court upon conclusion of investigation, he assured.

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Alleged BVN fraud: Investigation outcome’ll determine fate of ex-agitators -PAP



Alleged BVN fraud: Investigation outcome’ll determine fate of ex-agitators -PAP

 The Office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) says findings from the ongoing investigation into multiple accounts of ex-agitators linked to one BVN will determine the fate of protesting beneficiaries.

This is contained in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja by Mr. Freston Akpor, Media Aide to the PAP Interim Administrator.

Akpor disclosed that the names of all those involved in the alleged BVN fraud had been forwarded to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) for investigation.

He said that the Amnesty Office also blamed bank officials for colluding with the ex-agitators to aid the “financial crime”.

“So, investigation is ongoing, I must tell you there is nothing the PAP can do now over this matter until the investigation is concluded and then the ONSA will take a decision on what to do.

“This is a financial crime which is why the ONSA is investigating the matter.

“The policy is one name, one BVN. But in a situation where you have more than 30 names linked to one BVN, it becomes an issue.

“We discovered that 513 names were linked to 1370 accounts. And these are the people who have cases to answer.

“As it stands, those who are protesting are the people who fall within those who have multiple accounts linked to their BVN,” Akpor explained.

On the purported “gentleman agreement” with leaders of the ex-agitators to receive monies in bulk to pay the boys, Akpor said

“it is these same boys, that also complained that when the money is collected by these so-called leaders, the money doesn’t trickle down to them”.

A handful of ex-agitators on Tuesday gathered at the premises of the National Assembly to express anger over the stoppage of their monthly N65,000 stipends.

The PAP office had explained that the stoppage of payment was necessitated by the issues surrounding the BVNs of beneficiaries.

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