Ododo: EFCC spits fire, vows never to tolerate obstruction of its operations

By Simon Akwu ABUJA – Shortly after the Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, helped his predecessor, Yahaya Bello to escape arrest, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has issued a stern warning to members of the public, vowing that it will no longer tolerate obstruction of its operations forthwith. In a statement signed by the Head,  Media & Publicity, Dele Oyewale , the EFCC reechoed that it is a criminal offence to obstruct officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties. According to the statement, section 38(2)(a(b) of the EFCC Establishment Act makes it an offence to prevent officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties. Adding that culprits risk a jail term of not less than five years. “This warning becomes necessary against the background of the increasing tendency by persons and groups under investigation by the Commission to take the laws into their hands by recruiting thugs to obstruct lawful operations of the EFCC, Oyewale said. “On several occasions, operatives of the Commission have had to exercise utmost restraint in the face of such …

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Alleged N80bn Money Laundering: EFCC Set to arraign Yahaya Bello April 18

By Simon Akwu ABUJA – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will on Thursday, (today) April 18, 2024 arraign a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Adoza  Bello before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja. According to.the statement released via the official X account of the Commission, Bello will be arraigned before Justice Emeka Nwite alongside three other suspects, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19-count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N80,246,470,088.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eight Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo). Bello’s arraignment is coming on the heels of a warrant of arrest and enrolment order granted the EFCC by the court on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.  Count one of the charges reads: That you, Yahaya Adoza Bello, Ali Bello, Dauda Suliman, and Abdulsalam Hudu (Still at large), sometime, in February, 2016, in Abuja within the jurisdiction  of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to convert the total sum of N80,246,470,088.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand …

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Commotion as EFCC joins force with Kogi ex-gov, Bello in amended N100bn corruption case

There was confusion on Thursday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, following amended charges filed against Alli Bello and Daudu Suleiman, including the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello. According to reports, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in the amended charge claimed they allegedly diverted about N100 billion belonging to the state government in September 2015, months before former Governor Bello assumed office as Governor. Governor Bello was not a defendant in the original suit, and was not in court. However, Ali Bello, currently Chief of Staff to Kogi State Governor and Dauda Suleman have denied the fraud allegations in the amended charges brought against them at their fresh arraignment on Thursday in Abuja. Their plea was taken by Justice James Kolawole Omotoso. Both Alli Bello and Dauda Suleman vehemently denied the allegations contained in the 17-count amended charges. Earlier, Alli Bello through his counsel, A.M. Aliyu, SAN, had objected to reading of the amended charges to his client. His ground of objection was that the anti-graft agency had failed woefully to comply with Section …

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Court admits exhibits against Gov Bello’s nephew over alleged N10 billion stolen from Kogi account

ABUJA-A prosecution witness in the trial of Ali Bello, nephew of Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello and two others, who are standing trial in a N10 billion money laundering case, on Thursday, January 11, 2023, told Justice James Omotsho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, that huge funds were transferred in tranches from the accounts of Kogi state government and that of the state’s government House Administration account in suspicious transactions. The defendants are being prosecuted on 10-count charges bordering on misappropriation and money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The witness, Bananda Edward, a Compliance Officer with United Bank of Africa, UBA, led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, presented a statement of account generated from UBA in respect of transactions in the state government and state government’s house administration accounts. In the statement of accounts, there were cash withdrawals on December 23, 2022, to tune of N20 million which were withdrawn in tranches of N10 million each from the Kogi State Government account in favour of Kudu Abdulsalam. Oyedepo moved to tender …

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Alleged N6bn Money Laundering: Court Fixes July 23 For Mompha’s Trial

By Chris Udochukwu The Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos has fixed July 23 for the trial of social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha in the alleged N6 billion money laundering case brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Justice Mojisola Dada fixed the new date for trial following information made available to the court that Mompha had been arrested. Ismaila Mustapha is facing an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activity, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity, failure to disclose assets and property, possession of documents containing false pretence and use of property derived from an unlawful act. At the proceedings on Monday, the EFCC’s prosecuting counsel, Sulaiman Sulaiman told the court that the agency’s international partners had succeeded in arresting Mompha. Sulaiman also informed the court that the defendant is not yet in the custody of the EFCC in Lagos. He asked the court for a new date for trial while assuring that the defendant would be in …

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Money Laundering: Trial Of Kogi Gov’s Nephew, Wife Resumes Monday

The money laundering trial of two family members of the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello: his nephew, Ali Bello; and his wife, Rashida Bello, will resume on Monday before Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, Abuja. Ali Bello was among four defendants remanded upon arraignment on February 8, 2023 on 18 counts bordering on criminal misappropriation and money laundering to the tune of N3,081,804,654.00 (Three Billion, Eighty One Million, Eight Hundred and Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Four Naira). The other defendants are Abba Adauda, Yakubu Adabenege and Iyada Sadat, according to a statement by EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwajeren. Count one of the charge reads, “That you, ALI BELLO, ABBA ADAUDU, YAKUBU SIYAKA ADABENEGE, IYADA SADAT, RASHIDA BELLO (at large) sometime in June, 2020 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court procured E- Traders International Limited to retain the aggregate sum of N3,081,804,654.00 (Three Billion, Eighty One Million, Eight Hundred and Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Four Naira) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to …

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Malami Recants, Says No Evidence Kyari Laundered Money

By Ogechi Okorie Abuja (Precise Post) – There are strong indications that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, may be plotting to save a former Commander of the Police Intelligence Response Team, Abba Kyari, from facing criminal prosecution for alleged money laundering. Weeks after directing the police to probe him for allegedly receiving 33 proceeds of crime, stating that a case of money laundering had been established against Kyari, the justice minister in a new legal advice said there was no evidence to show that money was laundered by the senior police officer. Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, who is wanted in the United States for alleged involvement in a $1.1m scam carried out by a notorious Internet scammer, Ramon Abass, aka Hushpuppi, was suspended by the police last July. He is also facing eight counts of conspiracy, obstruction and dealing in cocaine, and other related offences at the Federal High Court, Abuja. The other defendants in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/57/2022 are four members of the IRT, Sunday Ubia, Bawa James, Simon Agirigba …

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Again, Mompha Arrested Over Alleged Money Laundering

By Chris Udochukwu Abuja (Precise Post) – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Lagos State Command) on Monday confirmed the arrest of a suspected internet fraudster, Ismailia Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha, for allegedly, laundering funds obtained through unlawful activities and retention of proceeds of crime. The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed this in a statement, titled, ‘EFCC re-arrests Mompha for alleged money laundering.’ According to the statement, Mompha who was arrested on Monday, is currently standing trial alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, on an amended 22-count charge bordering on cyber fraud and money laundering to the tune of N32.9 bn brought against him by the EFCC. Recall that Mompha had earlier been arrested by the Nigeria Immigration Service at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on October 18, 2019, while boarding an Emirates Airline flight to Dubai, following a watchlist by the EFCC. The statement read, “The account of one of his companies, Ismalob Global Investment Limited Bank, a Bureau de Change company, domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc, was allegedly used to launder funds derived from unlawful activities. …

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MBA Forex CEO, Maxwell Chizi Odum Declared Wanted For By EFCC (Photo)

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has declared MBA Forex CEO, Maxwell Chizi Odum wanted. Odum is said to have engaged in alleged money laundering. Read full statement below: The General Public is hereby notified that MAXWELL CHIZI ODUM, A.K.A. MBA TRADING AND CAPITAL INVESTMENT LIMITED, whose photograph appears above, is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in an alleged case of Conspiracy, Obtaining Money by False Pretence and Money Laundering to the tune of N213,000,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Thirteen Billion Naira) only. Odum is a native of Ikwerre in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State. His last known address is at 7, Odum Street, Elekahia, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Anybody with useful information as to his whereabouts should please contact the Commission in its Benin, Kaduna, Ibadan, Sokoto, Gombe, Maiduguri, Makurdi, llorin, Enugu, Kano, Lagos, Gombe, Port Harcourt and Abuja offices orthrough these numbers 09-9044751-3, 08093322644, 08183322644, 070-26350721-3, 070-6350724-5; its e-mail address: info@efccnigeria.org or thenearest Police Station and other security agencies.

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2 Nigerian fraudsters to spend combined 22 years in US jail

Two Nigerians, Opeyemi Abidemi Adeoso, 46, and Benjamin Adeleke Ifebajo, 47, have been jailed in the US for internet fraud. The duo bagged a 22 years combined jail term in federal prison. Their sentence was announced by acting U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham. In a statement by the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Texas, titled, ‘Nigerian Email Scammers Sentenced to Combined 22+ Years in Federal Prison,’ Adeoso pleaded guilty in June of 2020 to 17 counts of wire fraud, eight counts of money laundering, six counts of use of a false passport, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Also, Ifebajo pleaded guilty to seven counts of wire fraud, six counts of money laundering, four counts of use of a false passport, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The statement read, “Two Nigerian fraudsters arrested in DOJ’s Operation reWired have been sentenced to a combined 22 ½ years in federal prison, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Chad E. …

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CBN rule bars BVN violators from opening bank accounts

It will no longer be business as usual for violators of Bank Verification Number (BVN). They have been barred from opening new bank accounts going by a fresh Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rule. The new policy is contained in a Revised Regulatory Framework for Bank Verification Number (BVN) operations and Watch-List for the banking industry released by the apex bank in its Update Report circular. According to the bank, the new framework has been designed to enhance the effectiveness of customer due diligence and Know Your Customer (KYC) processes. The CBN described the policy as part of its overall strategy for promoting a safe and efficient banking and payment system. In the circular, the Director, Payments System Management Department, Musa Jimoh, explained that the watch-list is a database of customers identified by their BVNs, who have been involved in confirmed cases of breaches. He explained that under the new framework, breaches on the part of customer could see the individual getting barred from entering a new relationship with any participant (banks). Musa said that where a financial institution chooses …

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EFCC Presents First Witness In Alleged N1.3billion NSITF Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has presented its first witness in the ongoing trial of Dr. Ngozi Olejeme, a former Chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), on Monday before Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Jabi Abuja. Olejeme is facing a nine-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds and money laundering to the tune of over N1 billion. She was first arraigned on October 21, 2021. At the resumed hearing, the prosecuting counsel, Sir. Steve Odiase presented the first prosecuting witness Salihu Dantsoho Sadiq, a Bureau de Change operator. The witness narrated how he met Henry Sambo, an employee of the NSITF who is on the charge. Sadiq told the court that sometime in 2014 at First Bank, Abuja, Sambo approached him and requested for foreign exchange. “He transferred the money into my account the same day the transaction started and the transaction involved hundreds of millions in about eight to ten tranches. He did not know my office, but he normally sent his driver …

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Court finds Maina guilty of laundering N2bn pension fund

The Federal High Court in Abuja has convicted former chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team Abdulrasheed Maina of money laundering. Giving his judgement on Monday, Justice Okon Abang ruled that Maina is guilty of money laundering in the sum of N171,099,000. Justice Abang also found him guilty of concealing his true identity as a signatory to accounts opened in two banks – UBA and Fidelity Bank – by using the identity of his family members without their knowledge. These accounts had cash deposits of N300million, N500million, and N1.5billion The court held that Maina stole funds meant for pensioners as he could not prove where he got them from. Maina had called only one witness during his defence in the case instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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CBN begins enrolment of 25,000 ‘unbanked’ women, youths in Gombe

The Central Bank of Nigeria has commenced the enrolment of about 25,000 unbanked women and youths in Gombe State. The apex bank also said it was building on the account opening drive to ensure digital financial inclusion, in order to consolidate on efforts to implement the framework for advancing women’s financial inclusion in Nigeria. Speaking in the Deba Local Government Area, on Tuesday, Director, Development Finance Department, Yusuf Yika, said the drive would feature awareness creation on financial literacy as well as provide an opportunity for women and the youth in the community to take advantage of the financial products and services. Recall that in December 2019, a pilot account opening drive was held with over 82,000 new accounts opened across six states: Bayelsa (South-South), Ebonyi (South-East), Gombe (North-East), Kano (North-West), Nasarawa (North-Central) and Ondo (South-West). Represented by the branch manager, Gombe CBN, Shehu Goringo, Yika noted that the programme would be held across five Local Government Areas including, Biliri, Kaltungo, Yemaltu- Deba, Akko, and Dukku. Yika said, “The financial inclusion drive is an initiative of the Central Bank of …

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Obi Cubana’s wife breaks silence on EFCC arrest

Obi Cubana’s wife, Mrs. Iyiegbu, has opened up about her husband’s arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The Anambra State-born philanthropist, Obinna Iyiegbu, aka Obi Cubana was arrested on Monday.He was questioned on Monday at the EFCC headquarters over allegations of money laundering and tax fraud. Reacting to the incident on her Instagram page, Mrs Iyiegbu described her husband as a hard-working and resilient man. While pledging support for her husband, the entrepreneur said Jesus went through worse and prayed that God will turn everything around for his good. Alongside a picture of him, she wrote: ”He is STRONG. He is RESILIENT. ”He is a HARD WORKER. He is a LEADER… and He is GREAT! ”I call him Nwachinemelu! Okpataozueora worldwide. Oji uno eme ogo. “A man with a heart of Diamond. Nwoke ike! Odogwu m! We love you and we are solidly behind you. Even Jesus went through something worse than this so no stress”. “The grace is overwhelming and it’s overflowing. God himself raised you. Again, I repeat…”Whom God has blessed, no man can curse” …

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Real estate used for money laundering, illicit financial flows —ICPC Chairman

The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, has said real estate is often used as cover for money laundering and Illicit Financial Flows. He said this at a public hearing on real estate organized by the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Investigation of Operations of Real Estate Developers in FCT, Abuja. Spokesperson, ICPC, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, in a statement titled, ‘Real Estate used for Money Laundering, IFFs – ICPC Chairman,’ said Owasanoye fingered public officers, saying they use real estate developers as conduits for IFFs. The ICPC boss was quoted as saying, “Corruption in real estate aids illicit financial flows. The real estate sector is globally recognized as attractive to IFFs largely because it is informal, unregulated and thus open to abuse, shell-companies, use of intermediaries and third parties to acquire high value real estate with proceeds of crime and/or illicit funds.” He further said, “Corrupt public officers use real estate investment as vehicle for hiding ill-gotten wealth and money laundering. Public officers acquire estates in pseudo names to conceal …

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