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$6.2m Fraud: Presidency Asks INTERPOL To Arrest Three Suspects

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The Special Investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu to probe cases of fraud in the Godwin Emefiele-led Central Bank of Nigeria has written the International Police,  National Central Bureau to place three Nigerians—a CBN staff member and two others—on its red notice.

Monday’s request is connected to an alleged conspiracy and forging of signatures and documents in the name of former President Muhammadu Buhari to steal $6.23m from the CBN.

A letter obtained by The PUNCH on Tuesday named Odoh Ocheme, a staff member of the apex bank, Adamu Abubakar and Imam Abubakar on the list directed to Interpol.

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The letter with reference number CR:3000/TSI/ABJ/VOL.1/85 and dated February 12, 2024, was addressed to the IGP and signed by the Head of Operations, Office of the Special Investigator, DCP Eloho Okpoziakpo,

READ ALSO: 6.2m Theft: FG Declares CBN Staff, Others Wanted For Forging Buhari’s Signature

It noted that the three persons who are now at large had conspired and forged documents in the name of the former President, carting away $6.23m.

It read, “The Special Investigator appointed by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to investigate the Central Bank of Nigeria, Related Entities and other Key Government Business Entities kindly requests you to place the above-named individuals on INTERPOL RED NOTICE.

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“In the course of the Special Investigator’s assignment, Mr Odoh Eric Ocheme, (staff of the CBN) now at large and the other two accomplices, also now at large, were discovered to have conspired and forged documents in the name of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria with which they stole about US$6,230,000  in cash from the coffers of the CBN.

“Consequent upon the above, a charge was filed and warrants of arrest have been issued by the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Abuja Division presided over by Hon. Justice ILE. Ekwo in Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/19/2024 B/w: Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Adamu Abubakar & 2 Ors for the arrest and production of the Defendants named above for their arraignment.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Breweries Hikes Prices Of Beer As Production Costs Soar

“The data page of Odoh Eric Ocheme’s Nigerian International Passport No. B50082800, duly certified true copies of the warrants and the Order of the Court to that effect are hereby attached.”

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, had slammed Abubakar, Ocheme and Abubakar with six-count charges.

The charges read, “That Adamu Abubakar (now at large), Imam Abubakar (now at large), Odoh Eric Ocheme (now at large), Bashirudeen Maishanu and others also now at large, on or about January 23, 2023, at the Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja Branch, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, by false pretence that one man who held out himself as Jibril Abubakar is a Staff from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and had approval of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to source money from the Central Bank of Nigeria for foreign Election Observers, and with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of $6,230,000.00 from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja Branch and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)[a] and punishable under Section 1(3) & Section 10 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, Cap. A6 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010.

READ ALSO: [BREAKING] Emefiele: Forged Documents Used To Pay Foreign Observers $6.2m — Ex-SGF

“That Adamu Abubakar (now at large), Imam Abubakar (now at large), Odoh Eric Ocheme (now at large), Bashirudeen Maishanu and others also now at large, on or about the 23rd day of January 2023, at the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, conspired among themselves to commit offence to wit; Uttering forged documents and thereby committed an offence contrary to paragraph 3(6) and punishable under Section 1(2)[c] of the Miscellaneous offences Act, Cap. M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010.

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“That Adamu Abubakar (now at large), Imam Abubakar (now at large), Odoh Eric Ocheme (now at large), Bashirudeen Maishanu and others also now at large, on or about the 23rd day of January, 2023, at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, forged the following documents: (i) The Presidency, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Identity Card in the name of Jibril Abubakar; (i) Letter dated 23rd January, 2023 purportedly written by Muhammad Buhari to the Mr. Boss Mustapha; (ili) Letter dated 26th January, 2023 purportedly written by Boss Mustapha to M.r Godwin Emefiele; (iv) Central Bank of Nigeria Internal Memo dated 31st January, 2023 purportedly written by the Director, Banking Services Department to the Governor; and (V) Central Bank of Nigeria Internal Memo dated 7th February, 2023 purportedly written by the Director, Banking Services Department to the Branch Controller, Abuja, Branch, with the intent that the Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja Branch may in the believe that the documents are genuine be induced to pay you the sum of $6,230,000.00 and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(2)[c] of the Miscellaneous offences Act, Cap. M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010.”

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JUST IN: Iran Summons French, British, German Envoys Over Reactions To Israel Attack

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Iran summoned the French, British, and German ambassadors to Tehran on Sunday over reactions to Iran’s missile and drone attack on Israel.

“The British, French, and German ambassadors to Tehran were summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the irresponsible positions of certain officials of these countries regarding Iran’s response to the actions of the Zionist regime (Israel) against the nationals and interests of our country,” the official IRNA news agency said.

READ ALSO: Tension Heightens As US, Britain , France, Others React To Iran Strikes On Israel

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Details later…

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Tension Heightens As US, Britain , France, Others React To Iran Strikes On Israel

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Western powers condemned Iran’s strikes on Israel late Saturday, warning the attack threatened to escalate the destabilisation of the Middle East.

Here are some of the main reactions so far:

– United States: ‘ironclad’

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US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson reiterated President Joe Biden’s “ironclad” support for Israel’s security.

“The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defense against these threats from Iran,” she said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Over 300 Drones, Missiles Fired From Iran Injured 12, Says Israel Army

She said “President Biden is being regularly updated on the situation.”

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– EU: ‘unprecedented’

The European Union’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell condemned the strikes as “an unprecedented escalation and a grave threat to regional security,” in a message on X.

– Britain: ‘reckless’

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in a statement condemned the “reckless” strikes that he said “risk inflaming tensions and destabilising the region. Iran has once again demonstrated that it is intent on sowing chaos in its own backyard.”

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READ ALSO: III World War Looms As US Openly Supports Israel, Downs Drones Fired By Iran

– France: ‘new level’

France’s Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne on X said that “in deciding to take this unprecedented action, Iran has reached a new level in its acts of destabilisation and is risking a military escalation.”

– Italy: ‘concern’

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Italy’s Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said his country was following the situation “with attention and concern” and was “ready to manage any kind of scenario”.

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III World War Looms As US Openly Supports Israel, Downs Drones Fired By Iran

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President Joe Biden said Saturday that US forces helped take down “nearly all” the drones and missiles fired by Iran at Israel, adding that he had reaffirmed his “ironclad” support to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Biden added in a statement that he would convene his fellow leaders of the G7 group of wealthy nations on Sunday to coordinate a “united diplomatic response” to Iran’s “brazen” attack.

“Iran — and its proxies operating out of Yemen, Syria and Iraq — launched an unprecedented air attack against military facilities in Israel. I condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms,” Biden said.

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He said he had ordered US military aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the Middle East in recent days as the likely Iranian threat to the key US ally became clear.

READ ALSO: Over 300 Drones, Missiles Fired From Iran Injured 12, Says Israel Army

Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles,” Biden said.

Biden added that he had spoken to Netanyahu to “reaffirm America’s ironclad commitment” to Israel’s security.

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“I told him that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks — sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel,” he said.

No US forces or facilities had come under attack from Iran, he said.

AFP

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