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Salami Panel Reveals How Ex-EFCC Boss Abandoned N118bn Fraud Cases, Failed To Remit N48bn Loot

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The presidential panel that probed former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu said that 14 fraud cases involving N118 billion and $309 million were abandoned by Magu.

In the final report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2020, the EFCC, under Magu’s watch, was also accused of not remitting another N48 billion loot recovered in foreign and local currencies, TheCable report.

The panel headed by former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami (retd), was set up to probe the EFCC from May 2015 to May 2020 when Magu was in charge of the agency.

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TheCable understands that the report has now been submitted to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

READ ALSO: Ex-convict Loots Shops, Steals Goods Worth N34m

A panel to produce the white paper will soon be set up, presidency sources informed TheCable.

The former EFCC boss was alleged to have mishandled the recovered loot and sold seized assets to his associates.

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Wahab Shittu, Magu’s lawyer, declined to comment on the report when contacted by TheCable “because I cannot talk on a report I have not seen”.

The report reviewed both written and oral testimonies of over 100 witnesses, having overtaken nationwide physical verification of recovered forfeited assets, comprising real estate, automobiles, vessels and other non-cash as well as cash assets.

The review of the report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets, PCARA, appeared to show that the anti-graft commission gave contradictory figures on the total number of recovered real estate.

The report reads in part: “The EFCC under the watch of the suspended Ag. Chairman in its submission to PCARA reported N46,038,882,509.87 as being the foreign currency equivalent recovered by the commission between May 29, 2015, and November 22, 2018.

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“The EFCC, however, only produced evidence of lodgements of N37,533,764,195.66, leaving a shortfall of N8,505,118,314.21.

“The EFCC reported to PCARA a total naira recovery of N504,154,184,744.04; the actual bank lodgement of the naira recoveries was, however, N543,511.792,863.47.

“That EFCC failed to produce before PCARA the evidence/record of the difference of N39,357,608,119.43.

“The EFCC, in its returns on non-cash assets, made to the president on April 7, 2017, declared 836 as the total number of recovered real estates, while in its first and second returns to PCARA, it rendered contradictory figures of 339 on 13/12/2017, leaving a difference of 497 and 504 on 9/3/2018, with a difference of 332.

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“Between 2016 and 2019, fourteen (14) procurement fraud cases involving N117,972,209,035 and $309,151,419 were abandoned under Mr Ibrahim Magu’s watch.”

The commission observed from its findings that prosecutorial decisions by Ibrahim Magu on case files were based on his personal whims, as against the law and facts. The commission also notes the prevalence of widespread corruption, abuse of power and pervasive impunity in the running of the EFCC.”

The panel also said records of forfeited assets were poorly kept by the commission.

“In 2016, Magu halted the process of disposing of two finally forfeited vessels, MT Good Success with 1,459 metric tons of PMS; and MT Askaris with 3,423,097 metric tons of crude…the cargoes eventually sank…Magu also asked the navy to release two vessels conveying illegally refined AGO to their owners,” the panel said.

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READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Debt To World Bank Rises By $660m

“Thirteen water vehicles (vessels) handed over to the EFCC by the Nigerian Navy, out of a total number of 154 vessels, have submerged (sunk) with tons of contents.

“The submissions made by the EFCC before the commission shows that, from inception to date, the total number of non-cash assets recovered under final forfeiture was 3133. The analysis of the recoveries shows that some of the assets were disposed of, forfeited to a third party or negligently lost. The commission conducted physical verification of recovered assets across the country from 1st-27th October 2020.

“The outcome of the exercise was revealing as some of the forfeited assets have been lost, deteriorated, physically possessed by the suspects, or could not be traced and in some instances remain in occupation years after their final forfeiture.

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“The EFCC reported disposal of 275 real estate, the judicial commission only confirmed 76 disposal”, the report added.

Crime

Police Declare Man Wanted Over Homos*xual Act

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Crime

Man, 41, Sent To Prison For Groping Woman’s Breast

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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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READ ALSO: Prophet Bags 21 Years Imprisonment For Defiling 10-year-old Step Daughter

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.

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Okuoimose said Lemo without lawful excuse pressed the breast of the complainant, Zainab Babalola.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Court Remands Ex-Imo Deputy Gov In Prison

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.

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(NAN)

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Crime

Hushpuppi’s Associate, Woodberry, Pleads Guilty, Forfeits $8m, Assets

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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.

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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.

READ ALSO: Calls For Abba Kyari’s Arrest Heighten As Reactions Trail Hushpuppi’s ‘Bribery’ Allegation

“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.

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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.

READ ALSO:Hushpuppi Sentenced To 11 Years In Prison

Last year, he forfeited 151.8 Bitcoin to the American government.

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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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