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N8.5bn Fraud: EFCC presents seventh witness against ex-NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi

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Ex NIMASA DG
Ex-NIMASA DG, Patrick Akpobolokemi,

The trial of Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and three others for an alleged N8.5billion fraud before Justice Ayokunle Faaji of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos continued on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, presenting its seventh witness.

Akpobolokemi is standing trial alongside Major-General Emmanuel Atewe (rtd.), a former Commander of the Joint Military Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, and two other staff of the agency, Kime Engozu and Josphine Otuaga.

They are standing trial on an amended 22-count charge bordering on money laundering.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Patrick Ziadeke Akpobolokemi, Major General Emmanuel Atewe, Kime Engozu, and Josphine Otuaga sometimes in 2014, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Court, with intent to defraud, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: conversion of the sum of N8,537,586,798.58 property of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

Deal of the day

They had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, thereby prompting the commencement of their trial.

At the resumed sitting today, November 16, 2021, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo ,presented the seventh prosecution witness, (PW7), Moses Ngbekan, a compliance officer with Zenith Bank, Plc.

While being led in evidence by Oyedepo, the witness confirmed that the EFCC and Zenith Bank Plc had shared correspondences with respect to the case.

Ngbekan further identified some exhibits before the Court, including the account opening package, statements of account and the instruments of transaction used to perpetrate the alleged crime, stating that the documents emanated from Zenith Bank Plc.

The case has been adjourned till November 17, 2021 for continuation of trial.

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Two Men Stabs RCCG Pastor To Death After Giving Life To Christ In Lagos

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Dada.webp

Suspected hoodlums have attacked and killed a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in FESTAC Town, in the Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.

Punch reports that the victim, Pastor Babatunde Dada, was killed inside the RCCG Chapel of Resurrection on 13 Road, 6th Avenue, FESTAC Town.

The killing, which happened on Thursday, December 2, was saidd to have been perpetrated by two new converts who came to the church for the first time a Sunday before the incident.

 The two youths were said to have come out during an altar call and surrendered their lives to Jesus.

The church accommodated them on its premises after they claimed to be stranded.

They had barely spent a week in the church when they reportedly stabbed the cleric to death.

A senior pastor in the church, Akin Odejare, declined comment on the incident.

However, the wife of the pastor, Bose, narrated the incident to newsmen she said she called her husband on the day of the incident and he promised to come home to rest.

She said, “My husband was killed on December 2 at the church. He was the admin/accounts officer, as well as the parish pastor. I was not with him when he was killed, but I was told that they collected money from him. I heard that those who killed him were new converts.”

A family member, who is also a security expert, Mr Abolarinwa  Olatunbosun, said the pastor was killed after withdrawing money from a bank.

He said, “The pastor went to a bank to withdraw some money and went to rest on the first floor of the church. Two persons said to be new converts went to meet him upstairs, broke his head and killed him.

“The matter was reported to the police and one of the suspects, who ran to Ilorin, has been arrested.”

Olatunbosun said the killing might be for ritual purposes, adding that the assailants were suspected Internet fraudsters, aka Yahoo boys.

The expert said criminals were beginning to attack churches and pastors because they believed there was money in church.

He advised religious centres to be security conscious and put in place strategies that could stop criminals from killing, kidnapping and robbing leaders and worshippers.

A friend of the slain pastor, Fred Enemigin, who is the founder, Highflyers International, Lagos, said in a Facebook post that the pastor was stabbed multiple times.

He wrote, “Two boys had come to church last Sunday and they responded to the altar call by giving their lives to Christ. After church service, they waited to see the head pastor and told him that they were stranded without any place to stay.

“On compassionate grounds, the pastor allowed them to stay somewhere within the church premises pending when they would be resettled. Pastor Tunde Dada, who had for almost a decade been the accountant of RCCG Chapel of Resurrection Parish, was assigned to provide needed welfare for the boys until their matter would be sorted.

“On the fateful Thursday, Tunde was seated in his office and the boys targeting that they were alone on the church premises with him, entered his office and attacked him with knives and other sharp weapons. He was stabbed multiple times and places until they had him killed right there on the spot.

“Our minds are still searching for what the rift between the boys and Tunde was considering the fact that the Tunde we knew was a very gentle soul. Could they have asked for more welfare than what was approved for them and Tunde declined? What on earth would warrant this brutal killing by those who were recipients of a server of the church’s benevolence? There are many more questions that we have not found answers to.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu, said he had yet to be briefed about the case.

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Six Students Expelled From Kwara State Poly For Submitting Fake OND Result

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Kwara State Polytechnic has expelled six Higher National Diploma (HND) students for submitting fake Ordinary National Diploma (OND) certificates.

The school management made the announcement on Wednesday.

A statement by the Principal Assistant Registrar, Academic Matter Board, Mr Onikoko Saliu, accused the affected students of forging their ND certificates.

The statement read in part, “Sequel to the discovery of your involvement in the submission of fake/forged National Diploma certificates, contrary to the matriculation oath you swore to, the Kwara State Polytechnic management has approved your immediate expulsion from the polytechnic.

“Your expulsion is in line with the provision in the reviewed Students’ Information and Regulation Handbook, 2019.”

“You have therefore ceased to be a student at the polytechnic and should hand over all polytechnic properties in your possession to the Head of Department or the appropriate polytechnic officials.

The affected Students include Jessey Osariemhen, Department of Estate Management (HND19ETMFT137); Quadir Toheeb Olamilekan, Department of Business Administration (HND19BAMFT600); and Eyeowa Tomiwa Oluwakemi, Department of Public Administration (HND19PADFT592.)

Others are Yusuf Zainab Abake, Department of Public Administration (HND19PADFT592); Lawal Abdulrahman Lawal, Department of Banking and Finance (HND19BFNFT380); and Adeyeye Ademola Blessing, Department of Banking and Finance, (HND19BFNFT555).”

The polytechnic also advised the affected students to strictly comply with the directive so as to avoid litigation.

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EFCC arraigns lawyer for N4.2m land fraud

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Hussaini Mohammed Hussaini
Hussaini Mohammed Hussaini arraigned for land fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Maiduguri Zonal Command today, December 8, 2021 arraigned one Hussaini Mohammed Hussaini, a legal practitioner before Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the State High Court sitting in Maiduguri on a one count charge of land fraud to the tune of N4, 200, 000.00 (Four Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira).

The defendant allegedly swindled the nominal complainant over sale of two plots of land which he claimed he had the owners’ instruction to sell.

However, investigation revealed that the defendant was neither a custodian of the land nor acquainted with the owner.

The charge reads: ‘‘That you, Hussaini M. Hussaini sometime in September, 2021 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court fraudulently induced Suleiman Abiodun by deceiving him to deliver the total sum of Four Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N4, 200, 000.00), being money allegedly for the payment of two plots of land measuring 200ft by 100ft lying and situated at 44G Damboa Road, between Federal Road Safety Office and Federal Metro Radio Station, via Bank transfer from his Zenith Bank account number 2083694059 to account number 2119265725 domiciled at UBA, with account name; Alhassan Sanusi, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320 of Penal Code Law Cap 102, Laws of Borno State 1994 and punishable under Section 322 of the same Law.’’

The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge.

Upon his plea, prosecution counsel, Fatsuma Mohammed asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendant in the Correctional Centre. Attempt by counsel to the defendant, Ernest Bayo to move oral bail application for his client was refused as Justice Kumaliya insisted that bail application must be filed and served on all parties including the court before his prayer could be heard.

She adjourned the matter till January 17, 2022 for commencement of trial.

The defendant was remanded in the Correctional Facility.

In a similar development, one David Osigbe Irumekhai was also arraigned before Justice Kumaliya for his alleged involvement in a N9, 900, 000.00 (Nine Million, Nine Hundred Thousand Naira) contract scam.

David obtained the money from his victim under the guise of financing five ‘Purchase Orders’ purportedly emanating from Terres Des Homme, International Medical Corps and International Organization for Migration and promised to pay back once the contracts were executed.

He however converted the money for his own use, deploying a huge chunk into funding his sports betting account.

The charge reads: ‘‘That you David Osigbe Irumekhai sometime in November, 2020 in Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dishonestly converted to your own use the total sum of Nine Million Nine Hundred Thousand Naira (N9, 900, 000.00) being money belonging to Nuhu Titus and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of Penal Code Law Cap 102, Laws of Borno State 1994 and Punishable under Section 309 of the same Law.’’

He pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.

In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, Fatsuma Mohammed asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendant in prison.

Justice Kumaliya adjourned the matter till January 25, 2022 for commencement of trial and remanded the defendant in the Correctional Centre.

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