N700m Fraud: ‘We Did Not Charge Anenih Alongside Ize-Iyamu, Others’ – EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that Chief Tony Anenih was not charged along side Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and four others for alleged laundering of N700m
The commission said it only charged five persons and that the name of Chief Anenih only appeared to enable it present the facts the way it is.
Counsel to the EFCC, Aso Larry, said this why adopting his written address on motion filed by the defendants that the charges against them were no longer competent since Chief Anenih is dead.
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Pastor Ize-Iyamu, Mr. Lucky Imasuen, Tony Azigbemi, Efe Erimuoghae Anthony and Chief Dan Orbih were arraigned on an eight-count charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering to the tune of N700 million.
The Commission said the offence contravened section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended which is punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.
The EFCC alleged that the defendants were arraigned for receiving N700 Million prior to the 2015 general elections, from former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.
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Ize-Iyamu and four others are, however, challenging the competence of the charges preferred against them by the EFCC.
At the resumed hearing, Larry said the defendants were alive to face trial, noting that the argument was a ploy to delay taking of plea by the defendants.
According to him, it was not the defendants that should state the way and manner they should be charged, noting that it was not possible to amend the charges because Chief Anenih is no more.
“We have a right to fair hearing. The proof of evidence is before your Lordship. Chief Anenih is not charged. His name appearing does not affect them taking plea. Our duty is to present the fact the way it is”.
Earlier, Counsel to the defendants while adopting written addresses urged the court to dismiss the EFCC’s reply based on incompetence.
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Kingsley Obamogie, Counsel to the first defendant, urged the court to strike out the charge because the EFCC filed its reply out of time and that there was no reply from the EFCC as it was not signed.
He said it was the height of incongruity for a Counsel to affix his stamp and another Counsel will sign it.
On his part, Counsel to the 4th defendant, Ferdinand Orbih, urged the court to strike out the charge for gross incompetence.
He said the prosecution ought to have amended the charge to remove all irrelevant content as the court was not set up to deal with frivolities.
According to him, there was no dispute to the fact that Chief Anenih was dead.
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The Presiding Judge, Justice Mohammed Umar, however, adjourned to March 26, for ruling on whether the trial will continue.
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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