A FORMER Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nicholas Mutu Ebomo has been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja on charges of fraud and abuse of office.
Nationonline reports that Mutu was arraigned on Monday, with two firms – Airworld Technologies Ltd and Oyien Homes Ltd – on an 11-count charge, marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/123/2019 filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to Nation, Mutu pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him. Pleas of not guilty were also entered for the other defendants.
After the arraignment, the prosecuting lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho requested for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the 1st defendant (Mutu) in prison.
His lawyer, Patrick Ikweto (SAN) said the defence was equally ready for the trial.
Ikweto then prayed the court to grant bail to the 1st defendant, noting that he has been on the administrative bail garnted him earlier by the EFCC.
He noted that Mutu attended court on Monday from his home and on his own volition.
Responding, Iheanacho objected to bail for the 1st defendant and said: “My lord we cannot take the risk we took in 2018 when we granted him bail, he was released in the name of one Anthony John Ikpoyi, SAN.
“From that day till date, the defendant dishonoured the terms and conditions of bail, and never showed up to EFCC office. So many efforts were made including arresting the sureties, yet he refused to show up.
“Even the record of the court shows that the matter came up on three different times, but it couldn’t go on because they couldn’t produce the first defendant.
“So, my lord, his coming today to court is not voluntarily, but because of fear that arrest warrant is to be issued against him.”
In a ruling, Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo allowed Mutu to remain on the administrative bail earlier granted him by the EFCC.
The judge adjourned till February 25 this year for trial.
A count in the charge reads:”That you, Hon. Nicholas Mutu Ebomo (m) whilst being the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission, between August 2014 and August 2016 in Abuja, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did procure Airworld Technologies Ltd to conceal of the sum of N320,159,689.63 (Three hundred and twenty million, one hundred and fifty-nine thousand, six hundred and eighty-nine naira, sixty-three kobo) to be paid by Starline Consultancy Services Ltd when you reasonably ought to have known that the said sum of N320,159,689.63 formed part of proceeds of corruption, gratification and fraudulent acquisition of property and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(c) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended by Act No. 1 of (2012) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.”
Police Declare Man Wanted Over Homos*xual Act
A 50-years old man, Edo Omusi, has been declared wanted by the police in Benin City, the capital of Edo State, for disappearing after being ‘caught’ in a same s*x act in Ogiso community.
A source close to the police in the state, told our correspondent that the suspect, and one of his male friends, whose name was not given, were sighted at an undisclosed location by some youths as they were comitting the act.
Under Nigerian Laws, any person caught in the gay act is liable to 14 years in prison and if found by the community could be killed.
The duo were said to have been deeply engrossed in the act when they were found but before the person who saw them in the , “sinful and abominable act”, went for back up, they had escaped the location.
The incident which occurred on 25/4/23 at Ogiso area of the town almost threw the community into a turmoil as irate youths welding sticks and cudgels rampaged the community in search of the duo to lynch them.
It was also learnt that worried by the trend the youths in the community had to set up a surveillance team to monitor his movements. It was on one of the surveillance trips that he was reportedly caught on the fateful day, with the unidentified male partner.
It was gathered since the community reported the incident to the police, the whereabouts of the suspect, Edo Omusi has since remained unknown by all and sundry.
Speaking on the development, a top Police official confirmed the matter and explained that the Crime Investigation Department of the command is working round the clock to arrest the suspect, having declared him a wanted person.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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