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.
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.
N25.7bn Fraud: Appeal Court Affirms Ex-bank Boss’ Conviction, Reduces Jail Term
The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on Thursday affirmed the conviction of former Managing Director of defunct Bank PHB Plc, Francis Atuche, for N25.7bn fraud but reduced his sentence of 12 years to six years.
The court also affirmed the conviction of Atuche’s co-convict Ugo Anyanwu, who was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by the lower court for stealing and conspiracy to steal.
Anyanwu’s jail term was also reduced to eight years.
Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court sitting at Ikeja had on June 16, 2021, sentenced Atuche, to 12 years’ imprisonment for N25.7bn fraud in the bank.
While his former Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Anyanwu, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for stealing and conspiracy to steal and Atuche’s wife, Elizabeth, was discharged and acquitted.
But dissatisfied with the judgement of the lower court, Atuche approached the court of Appeal to challenge the judgment.
Warri Chief Docked, Remanded In Edo Prison
The police in Edo on Tuesday arraigned 54-year-old Chief Johnson Asteruleghe the Iyesere of Warri, before a Benin High Court, over alleged assault, malicious damage in Ologbo Dukedom, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.
The defendant, Johnson Asteruleghe, the Iyatsere of Warri, is being tried on a seven -count charge of assault and malicious damage with charge No:B/Co 126/22
Police Prosecutor, DPP, Okunbor Orobosa Esq. told the court that the defendant committed the offence on the 2nd day of February, 2022, at Ologbo in the Benin Judicial Division.
According to him, “You did conspire amongst yourselves to carry on warlike undertaking malicious damage, punishable under section 517 of the Criminal Code, cap.48.vol.11. laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976 as applicable in Edo state.”
Okunbor urged the court not to grant the defendant bail, maintaining that he is fond of fermenting trouble when granted bail, citing previous criminal cases of murder against the defendant in which he was granted bail before he committed these offences.
The defendant’s Counsel, Eghedosa Imhandegbelo (SAN) in his oral bail application urged the court to grant the defendant bail.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
The presiding judge, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba adjourned the case to 27th of June 2022 for hearing of application for bail.
Court Remands Book Publisher Over $156,711 Fraud
Justice Mojisola Dada of the Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos State, on Monday, ordered one of Macmillan’s book publishers, Fasasi Bola, to be remanded in a custodial centre over alleged fraud.
The defendant, alongside Macmillan Nigerian Publishers Limited, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on an amended six counts bordering on obtaining goods by false pretences.
The charge read, “Macmillan Nigerian publishers, Professor Adesanya Iyiola Adelekan, who is now at large, and Fasasi Bola, sometime in 2018, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired among yourselves to obtain goods by false pretences, property of BHS Printing SDN BHD of Selangor Malaysia.
“That Macmillan Nigerian Publishers, Professor Adesanya Iyiola Adelekan (now at large) and Fasasi Bola, sometime in 2018 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, obtained books for sale worth $156,711.87 by false pretences from BHS Book Printing SDN BHD of Selangor, Malaysia, under the pretences that you would sell the books and remit the money from the sales within two weeks of receiving the bill of lading, which pretence you knew or ought to know is false.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The EFCC prosecution counsel, Ayanfeoluwa Ogunsina, however, prayed the court for a trial date and that the defendant be remanded.
Justice Dada adjourned the matter till July 8, 2022, for further hearing.
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