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N700m Fraud: ‘We Did Not Charge Anenih Alongside Ize-Iyamu, Others’ – EFCC

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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.

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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.

READ ALSO: Involve Women In Governance, NILOWV Charges Bauchi PDP

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.

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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.

READ ALSO: The Crowning Of Shekau

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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.

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“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.

READ ALSO: Naira Marley Tackles EFCC Over Phone Content

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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.

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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.

READ ALSO: Breaking: Veteran Yorubas Actor Is Dead

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The Presiding Judge, Justice  Mohammed Umar, however, adjourned to March 26,  for ruling on whether the trial will continue.

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Crime

US Intel: NDLEA, EFCC Bust Cartel With Fake $269,000

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has uncovered a fake dollar cartel in Lagos.

Media Director, Femi Babafemi announced the bust in a statement on Saturday.

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The joint operation involved operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Babafemi said the agency worked on intelligence received from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the United States.

The federal law enforcement agency under the Department of Justice (DoJ) is tasked with combating drug trafficking and distribution.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: NDLEA Confirms Shooting Of Officials In Lagos

NDLEA said the Lagos cartel had been involved in the trafficking of fake American currency, with its base in the commercial city.

A total of $269,000 counterfeit US dollars were recovered from the syndicate at Oniru Shoprite area of Lekki, Lagos, where three suspects were arrested”, Babafemi confirmed.

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NDLEA Chairman, Buba Marwa has directed that the fake dollars and suspects be transferred to the EFCC for prosecution.

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Man, 21, Bags Three-year Jail Term Over Theft Of Generator

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A 21-year-old man was on Friday sentenced to three years imprisonment for stealing a generator valued at N500,000.

Victor Isaac was convicted by a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure, Ondo State capital.

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Isaac was said to have committed the crime on January 8, 2023, at Imade street in Ijapo Estate, a highbrow axis of the state capital.

While pleading guilty to the one-count charge of theft he was charged with; the convict informed the court that after stealing the generator, he sold it for N9,000.

READ ALSO: Tackle Insecurity In Anambra Or Resign, Group Tells Soludo

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Counsel to the convict, Kehinde Osadugba, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy and pleaded that the convict did not give the court a tough time.

He was found guilty of the crime by Presiding Magistrate Tope Aladejana, who sentenced him to three years in prison without an option of a fine.

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Court Remands 8 Sharia Judges, 7 Others For Allegedly Stealing N99m

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Court Remands 8 Sharia Judges, 7 Others For Allegedly Stealing N99m

A magistrate court in Kano State has ordered eight Sharia Court judges and seven Sharia Commission staff members to be remanded in prison custody over the allegation of diversion of N99 million belonging to orphans in the state.

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Magistrate Mustapha Sa’ad Datti gave the order on Thursday following charges of diverting N99 million instituted against the 15 persons before the court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC.

Magistrate Datti ordered that the defendants be kept behind bars pending the next sitting of the court.

The defendants include Gazzali Wada, Yusuf Abdullahi, Sani Ali, Bashir Baffa, Sani Uba Ali, Hadi Tijjani Mu’azu, Mustafah Bala, and Alkasim Abdullahi.

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Other defendants in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Center facility are Abdullahi Sulaiman Zango, Jaafar Ahmad, Bashir Ali Kurawa, Adamu Balarabe, Garba Yusuf, Aminu Abdulhadi, and Usaina Imam.

As presented, the judges and the staff were accused of “conspiracy, betrayal of trust and theft of N99 million.”

Meanwhile, the defendants all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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READ ALSO: 500m Theft: Magistrate Remands 2 Shari’a Court Judges

Accordingly, the lead counsel for the plaintiff, Zaharaddin Kofar Mata, called for an adjournment to present substantial evidence before the court.

Following a request by the counsel for the defendants to have their clients released on bail, the court declined to grant the application and ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.

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