Court Convicts Businesswoman Of N47.6m Agribusiness Scheme Fraud
An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Monday convicted a businesswoman, Blessing Adanu, for defrauding a woman of N47.6 million on the pretext of supplying her agricultural produce.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adanu traded under the name of Emerald Multipurpose Cooperative Society to defraud her victim in a purported agribusiness scheme.
Justice Mojisola Dada convicted Adanu on a two-count charge of obtaining money by false pretences and stealing.
Dada held that evidence before the court, including statements made by the convict during interrogations, proved all the essential ingredients of obtaining by false pretences and stealing.
Dada dismissed the argument of defence that the charges emanated from contractual disputes that were civil in nature.
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“As noted by the prosecution, most economic and financial crimes arose from transactions that had a semblance of contractual transactions.
“But along the line, a lot of factors come in to derail the smooth sail when the heart of man begins to dialogue with the devil to outsmart another person and he succumbs to it.
“The defendant’s oral testimony in court that the agribusiness was affected by flooding and Fulani herdsmen attack were an afterthought.
“She wanted to be living big at the expense of other people without counting the cost.
“Although the defendant seems to have absconded, having jumped bail graciously granted her by this court, the truth is that she cannot run away from justice.
“From the foregoing, therefore, evidence before the court clearly shows that the case against the defendant has been proved beyond every reasonable doubt on the two counts of obtaining the sum of N47.6 million under false pretences.
“I hereby declare the defendant guilty as charged on the two counts,” Dada said.
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NAN reports that the convict’s sentencing was, however, suspended in accordance with Sections 321 and 352 (5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJ) Act, 2015, in conjunction with Section 278 (1) of the ACJ Law 2015, pending when she will be apprehended and brought before the court.
Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Samuel Daji, had called three witnesses through whom several pieces documentary evidence were tendered and admitted against the convict.
Defence counsel, Mr Olarewaju Ajanaku, called four witnesses, including the defendant, who testified as the fourth witness.
After the closure of the case of the defence on June 30, 2022, the defendant stopped appearing in court.
Based on the above, Daji, on Nov.3, 2022, applied to the court to revoke the bail of the defendant and allow the trial to continue in her absence.
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There was no objection from defence.
Dada subsequently revoked the bail and issued a bench warrant for Adanu arrest.
The judge ordered that the EFCC should declare her wanted.
EFCC had said that the businesswoman committed the offences between Nov.30, 2018, and Jan. 11, 2019, in Lagos.
It said that she dishonestly stole and converted to her own use, a cumulative sum of N47.6 million from Mrs Favour Nnamani, in contravention of Sections 1(1) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and Section and 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2011. (NAN)
Man, 41, Sent To Prison For Groping Woman’s Breast
A Badagry Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, on Friday, ordered the remand of a 41-year-old man, Ibrahim Lemo, for groping the breast of a woman.
The court heard that Lemo beat up his victim, Zainab Babalola, when she demanded he stopped the unlawful act
Chief Magistrate Fadahunsi Adefioye remanded Lemo after he pleaded guilty to a two count bordering on assault.
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Adefioye ordered that the defendant should be remanded in Awhajigoh Correctional Centre, Badagry.
He adjourned the case until April 14 for facts and sentencing.
Earlier, the prosecutor, ASP. Clément Okuoimose, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on April 6 at 2.30 p.m. at Badagry Roundabout shopping complex, Badagry, Lagos.
Okuoimose said Lemo without lawful excuse pressed the breast of the complainant, Zainab Babalola.
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He said the defendant also hit the complainant on her left eye and caused her harm after she asked him not to touch her again.
The prosecutor said the offences contravened Sections 134 and 170 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Hushpuppi’s Associate, Woodberry, Pleads Guilty, Forfeits $8m, Assets
Olalekan Jacob Ponle, known as Mr Woodberry, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
He also agreed to forfeit $8 million in proceeds of wire fraud as well as luxury cars and watches to the foreign government.
Woodberry, a known associate of the now-imprisoned internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas, better known as Hushpuppi, recently in a plea declaration submitted at the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division on April 6, pleaded guilty to count one of the indictments, the Peoples Gazette reports.
According to his plea agreement, he is required to pay back the sum of $8 million he fraudulently received from the seven companies that he scammed.
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“Defendant understands that by pleading guilty, he will subject to forfeiture to the United States all right, title, and interest that he has in any property constituting or derived from proceeds obtained, directly or indirectly, as a result of the offence,” stated the document containing Mr Ponle’s signed plea declaration.
Woodberry was also asked to waive his rights to the luxury cars, and designer watches he had stashed in Dubai.
The high-end automobiles include Rolls Royce Cullinan with vehicle no J9153, Lamborghini Urus (N4973) and Mercedes-Benz G-class (G68816).
Other items seized are four Rolex watches, one Patek Philippe watch, three Audemars Piguet watches, three gold and diamond-studded earrings, and six gold neck chains.
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Last year, he forfeited 151.8 Bitcoin to the American government.
On June 10, 2020, Woodberry was arrested in Dubai alongside Ramon Hushpuppi Abbas, who is currently serving an 11-year sentence for a similar fraud charge.
Prior to his arrest, Woodberry was known for rocking and flaunting expensive designer wear and showing off his illicit wealth to his massive Instagram followers, the majority of whom had no idea his luxury lifestyle was funded by cybercrime.
17 Suspected Terrorists Bag 5 Years Over Conspiracy, Illegal Possession Of arms In Ondo
A Magistrates Court sitting in Akure, Ondo state, weekend, sentenced 17 suspected terrorists to five years in prison, for alleged conspiracy and illegal possession of firearms.
The driver of the bus, Abubakar Aliu and his conductor, Aruna Tukur, were also sentenced to four year imprisonments after being found guilty of illegal possession of firearms.
Other convicts include; Abdularasaq Idris, Rufai Nura, Sagri Musa, Imarana Bello, Tasiu Suliaman, Musa Bala, Saliu Saidu, Musur Adamu, Abduhlai Ibrahim, Imarana Yusuf, Abdulahi Mustafa, Haruna Tukur, Nura Saidu, Abubarka Aliu, and Mubarak Tsalhs.
The trail Magistrate, Damilola Sekoni, convicted the defendants after they were found guilty of two out of the three counts charges levelled against them.
Sekoni said “I’m satisfied with that circumstantial evidence given, in the instances of the avalanche of evidence before me, all defendants were guilty of the first charge, the 11th and 13th defendant who are the driver and his conductor, were guilt of the second charge while all the defendants are aquitted of the count.”
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The trail Magistrate added that both sentences are to run concurrently without an option of fine.
Sekoni said the action of the defendant is unacceptable in the society and the judgment would serve as deterrent to those who would want to indulge in such act.
The defendants were arraigned by the men of the State Security Outfit, Codenamed ‘Amotekun, on three counts of conspiracy, illegal possession of firearms and wondering in public places.
Prosecuting counsel, Olusegun Akeredolu, told the court that the defendant was arrested on November 4, 2021, along Akure/ Ondo expressway by the men of the Amoteken Corps after their buses attempted to overrun the security agents and speed off.
Akeredolu said the defendant conspired to commit a felony.
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The passengers were said to have conspired with the driver not to wait for the officers of the law when they were stopped at a checkpoint but instead sped off.
The Prosecutor added that the defendants were in posssesion of firearms without a valid license
They were also said to be found wondering on a public place at about 2a:m and under such circumstances that led to the conclusion that they were at the place for an illegal and disorderly purpose.
According to the charge, the offences contravene Section 516 and 260 of the Criminal Code Law of Ondo State, 2006 and Section 6(b) cap R11 Robbery and Firearms (special provision) Act, laws of the federation 2004.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge
The defence counsels, O.J. Emmanuel and P.O. Attah during the trial told the court that the defendants were innocent travellers that boarded a bus from a park in Katsina heading to Lagos.
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Emmanuel, in his address told the court that the driver of the bus knew nothing about the sack containing daggers found inside the bus as they were just a message given to him for someone in Lagos.
He added that the defendants refused to wait when they were asked to stop by the security agents and had to be pursued from Akure to Ondo town.
The defendants in their evidence individually denied the ownership of the sack of weapons found inside the bus, insisting that they were just passengers.
They equally said that they thought thise that stopped them were armed robbers hence they took off without stopping.
The driver claimed that no gun was found in the bus and that the sacks containing knives and daggers were message given to him at the park in Katsina expected to be delivered to someone in Lagos.
He claimed that he did not bother to he k the content of the message.
Recall that 18 persons in a bus conveying weapons in Ondo town were arrested by the personel of Amotekun.
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The bus was loaded with 500 pieces of weapons such as guns, knives, carriages and swords.
The items were reportedly concealed inside a sack and were kept under the seat of one of the buses.
According to the state Commander of Amotekun, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, three buses escaped from different checkpoints in the state but one of them was arrested in Ondo town.
“They had a brief stop just before they entered the town and when our men tried to stop them, the three buses escaped.
” We had to radio all our control points and we were able to bring the three buses to a stop at a point on Ondo road by a combined team including the police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
“The buses attempted to overrun the security agents and speed off.
” The speed was so much that they hit the barricades on the road. We discovered that it was difficult pursuing them and didn’t want to cause any accident. So we radioed our station at Owena and the security men there blocked the road.”
Adeleye said that ” On getting there, they were able to escape by hitting the barricades again. “We continued pursue them while we called the Ile-Oluji junction, saying that they should block the road properly but the suspects also escaped. We now had a complete blockade before the Akure garage in Ondo town and there we were able to apprehend them.”
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