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Ex-NDDC Committee Chair, Mutu, Arraigned For ‘Fraud’

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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).

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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.

READ ALSO: Rampaging Youths Block Road, Set bonfire Over Killing Of Their Friend In Benin

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.

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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.

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READ ALSO: 2023: Return Ex-President Jonathan To Villa, Legal Luminary Suggests

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.

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“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.

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The judge adjourned till February 25 this year for trial.

READ ALSO: Ondo 2020: ‘We Did Not Endorse Akeredolu For Second Term’ -APC Elders

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.”

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(NATION)

(PHOTO: File)

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Police Arraign Cryptocurrency Marketer Over Alleged N51.7m Fraud

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The Lagos State Police have arraigned a cryptocurrency marketer, Temitope Longe, before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos for allegedly obtaining the sum of N51,789,222 by false pretence and fraud.

Longe was docked before Justice Tijjani Ringim on the alleged offences by the officers of the Police Special Fraud Unit Ikoyi, Lagos.

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The PSFU’s prosecutor, Mr Justin Enang, told the court that the cryptocurrency operator and others now at large, committed the offences in Lagos sometimes in 2017.

Enang told the court that the defendant fraudulently obtained the sum of N25,894,711 from one Dr. Abiodun Adefunrin with false pretence of investing same in cryptocurrencies and forex trading.

He further told the court that the defendant fraudulently obtained the sum of N25,894,711 property of Francis Aremu, and converted same to his personal use.

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According to the prosecutor, the offences committed contravened Sections 8(a) and 1(1){a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

He also told the court that the offence was contrary to and punishable under Section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as Amended in 2012.

However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the allegations levelled against him.

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READ ALSO: Lawyer, Two Others Arraigned In Kogi Over Alleged N2.4m Fraud

Following the defendant’s plea, the prosecutor asked for a trial date and also urged the court to remand him in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services until the determination of the charges against him.

But the defendant through his counsel pleaded with the court to admit him to bail in the most liberal terms.

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His counsel told the court that his client was a first-time offender and that charges against him were bailable ones.

Justice Ringim, after listening to the counsels’ submissions, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum.

The Judge further ordered that one of the sureties must be a civil servant not below Grade Level 14, among others.

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Justice Ringim ordered that the defendant be remanded in NCS custody until when he is able to meet the bail conditions, and adjourned the case to March 30, 2023, for trial.

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Akwa Ibom YPP Guber Candidate Bags 42 Years In Prison Over Corruption

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The senator representing Uyo Senatorial District, Bassey Akpan has been sentenced to 42 years in prison without an option of fine for corruption.

Akpan, the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party, (YPP), Akwa Ibom State, was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissíon (EFCC).

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Delivering her judgement at the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, the presiding judge, Justice Agatha Okeke found Senator Akpan guilty on a six-count charge bordering on money laundering and receipt of exotic cars worth two hundred and four million naira (N204m).

During the court proceeding, Defense Counsel Solomon Umoh (SAN) pleaded with the Court for leniency as the convict has a young wife and children to cater for.

He also pleaded that the court should temper justice with mercy by including an option of fine. But that was opposed by EFCC, citing legal authority to convince the court not to give fine as an option, particularly in the light of the fact that the court has not opted for the maximum sentence.

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Akpan was arraigned by the anti-graft agency on June 24, 2019, at the Federal High Court, Uyo for corruption charges.

He was accused of receiving from Jide Omokore, a BMW X5 (bulletproof) worth N50 million in December 2012 and another Infinity QX 56 (bulletproof) worth N45 million from the same source.

In November 2013, he also received a Toyota Landcruiser V8( bulletproof) valued at N40 million and in March 2014, he received a Range Rover, valued at N40 million. Also in September 2014, another Toyota Hiace High Roof bus valued at N27 million was received from the businessman.

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READ ALSO: Lawyer, Two Others Arraigned In Kogi Over Alleged N2.4m Fraud

Additionally, he was prosecuted for receiving at different times between 2012-2014, Toyota Hiace High Roof buses valued at N16 million and six units of Toyota Hilux vehicles valued at N36 million.

The EFCC which was investigating money used for the 2015 elections, spotlighted Jide Omokore, who was suspected as a conduit through which illegal funds were used for elections. While interrogating the businessman, he mentioned his numerous transactions with Obong Bassey Albert, who was a commissioner in the state and now a senator.

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Meanwhile, the senator has been taken to the Correctional Centre, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, where he is expected to serve his jail term.

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How Lagos RCCG Pastor Was Killed –Brother

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A prosecution witness, Omoniyi Dada, in the ongoing trial of two teenage boys, Farouk Mohammed, and Kasali Jamiu, who allegedly killed a Redeemed Christian Church of God’s pastor, Babatunde, has told the court how he found out about his brother’s death.

Omoniyi, who is the first prosecution witness, told a Lagos State High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos State that he got to know that his brother was killed in the church when he received a phone call from his younger sister.

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Justice Sherifat Sonaike remanded Mohammed and Jamiu on October 20, following their arraignment over the murder of the 46-year-old pastor.

At the commencement of trial, Omoniyi, who was led in evidence by the Director of Public Prosecution, Dr Babajide Martins, told justice Sonaike that before he got to the church, his sister informed him that the pastor’s corpse had been taken to the Navy Town Hospital.

The witness said, “According to my sister, Oluwakemi, on that fateful day, my deceased brother told her and the other laundry workers that he was going to the bank and that he would be back.

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“She said when he returned, he went upstairs in the church to rest, and she was now thinking of why her brother had not come down after resting for quite some time.”

One of the laundry workers went up to pick a cloth to wash, on getting there, he screamed.

“The worker screamed and called the rest; they all met the pastor in a pool of blood and he was coughing out blood. They noticed that the two strange boys, Farouk and Jamiu, were not there.”

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READ ALSO: Teenage Artistes Stab RCCG Pastor To Death During Robbery

During cross-examination, the counsel for the first defendant, Oyekanmi Isijola, asked the witness how he got to know about the incident.

The witness confirmed that the whole incident was related to him by his sister, as he didn’t witness it.

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The court could not proceed with the second witness, Inspector Daniel Olumuyiwa, because his name was not listed on the list of witnesses.

 

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