Witness Reveals How Ibrahim Shehu Shema Approved The Expenditure Of Local Government Funds Without Following Due Process

During the ongoing trial of a former governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shehu Shema today, a witness, Ibrahim Dabo Bujawa has revealed how the ex-governor approved the expenditure of local government funds without following due process between 2013 and 2015.

Bujawa made the disclosure through his statement to the EFCC which was admitted in evidence and marked as exhibit 2. The witness in the statement revealed that his committee on investigation of local government finances at the conclusion of its assignment uncovered series of malpractice.

“The committee I chaired for the investigation of the finances of local governments and Sate Universal Basic Education, SUBEB observed series of malpractice bordering on non submission of payment vouchers by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, irregular payment of money on sheets of paper, improper and suspected fraudulent payments on the State Joint Local Government Account maintained under the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and non-documentation of financial transactions by local governments; all involving the loss of funds to the tune of over Thirty Four Billion Naira,” the witness said.

“In defiance of the norms as stated above, the committee observed that all payments to local government councils were processed through Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and channeled through ALGON, a Non-governmental association which the committee considered unofficial, irregular and unconstitutional,” he added.

Earlier during the trial, prosecution counsel Sam Ologunorisa SAN asked the witness if he was given any letter appointing him to chair the committee on investigation of local government expenses, to which the witness replied, ‘yes’. The witness subsequently identified the letter and the prosecution applied to tender same in evidence.

The team of counsel representing the accused persons, J.B. Daudu ,SAN, A.T. Kehinde, SAN, B.Y. Kura SAN and Uyi Igunma objected to the admissibility of the said letter but were all overruled by the court and the letter was admitted as exhibit 1.

Ologunorisa further asked the witness, if he could identify the investigation report he conducted during the period and Bujawa identified it. The document was then requested to be admitted into evidence.

Counsel representing the accused persons again objected to the admissibility of the said document.

Justice Bako subsequently adjourned the matter to July 9 and 10 for ruling on the admissibility of the investigation report and continuation of trial.

Shema is charged alongside three others, Ibrahim Lawal Dankaba, Sani Hamisu Makana and Ahmed Rufai Safana for allegedly embezzling over Eleven Billion Naira from the coffers of Katsina State local governments joint account.

Court Stops Shekarau From Traveling Abroad Over Fraud Charge

Former governor of Kano State Malam Ibrahim Shekarau has been stopped by the Federal High Court sitting in Kano from travelling out of the country.

Justice Zainab Bage Abubakar of the Federal High Court refused the application.  Recall that Shekarau approached the court with a motion on notice dated 28 May, 2018 praying the court to direct its Deputy Chief Registrar to release his International Passport to enable him travel to Saudi Arabia from May 30 to June 23, 2018 for lesser hajj.

In response to the motion, counsel for the respondent, Johnson Ojogbane filed a 9 paragraph counter affidavit opposing the motion.

When the case came up today for hearing, counsel to Shekarau, Abdul Adamu moved his application and adopted the written address attached to the application in his argument.

Ojogbane on the other hand moved his 9 paragraph counter affidavit urging the court to refuse the application.

Justice Abubakar in her ruling held that “after due consideration of the motion of the defendant applicant and the counter affidavit of the respondent I deem it unnecessary to release the passport of the defendant applicant as it is one of the conditions in the grant of his bail”. She subsequently refused and dismissed the application for lack of merit.

Shekarau was arraigned by the EFCC alongside two others, Aminu Bashir Wali and one Mansur Ahmed for allegedly conniving to collect the sum of N950,000,000 part of the $115,000,000 allegedly distributed by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke for the purpose of compromising the 2015 general election.

34 Nigerians Arrested By FBI Over Cyber Fraud

At least 34 Nigerians have been arrested by the U.S. Federal authorities for defrauding businesses and U.S. citizens of several millions of dollars, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said.

According to statement by the FBI, the fraud was a significant coordinated effort to disrupt Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes that were designed to intercept and hijack wire transfers from businesses and individuals, including many senior citizens.

It said a counter effort, ‘Operation Wire Wire’, a coordinated law enforcement effort by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, was conducted over a six month period.

“The operation culminated in over two weeks of intensified law enforcement activity resulting in 74 arrests in the United States and overseas, including 29 in Nigeria, and three in Canada, Mauritius and Poland.

“The operation also resulted in the seizure of nearly $2.4 million, and the disruption and recovery of approximately $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers,” FBI said.

“Following an investigation led by the FBI with the assistance of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, Gloria Okolie and Paul Aisosa, both Nigerian nationals residing in Dallas, Texas, were charged in an indictment filed on June 6 in the Southern District of Georgia.

“According to the indictment, they are alleged to have victimised a real estate closing attorney by sending the lawyer a spoofing email posing as the seller and requesting that proceeds of a real estate sale in the amount of $246,000 be wired to Okolie’s account.

“They are charged with laundering approximately $665,000 in illicit funds. The attorney experienced $130,000 in losses after the bank was notified of the fraud and froze $116,000.

“Adeyemi Odufuye aka “Micky,” “Micky Bricks,” “Yemi,” “GMB,” “Bawz” and “Jefe,” 32, and Stanley Hugochukwu Nwoke, aka Stanley Banks,” “Banks,” “Hugo Banks,” “Banky,” and “Jose Calderon,” 27, were charged in a seven-count indictment in the District of Connecticut in a BEC scheme involving an attempted loss to victims of approximately $2.6 million, including at least $440,000 in actual losses to one victim in Connecticut.

“A third co-conspirator Olumuyiwa Yahtrip Adejumo, aka “Ade,” “Slimwaco,” “Waco,” “Waco Jamon,” “Hade,” and “Hadey,” 32, of Toledo, Ohio, pleaded guilty on April 20 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

“Odufuye was extradited from the United Kingdom to the United States and on Jan. 3, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

“Nwoke was extradited to the United States from Mauritius on May 25, marking the first extradition in over 15 years from Mauritius. His case is pending.

“Richard Emem Jackson, aka Auwire, 23, of Lagos, Nigeria, was charged in an indictment filed on May 17 in the District of Massachusetts with two counts of unlawful possession of a means of identification as part of a larger fraud scheme.

“According to the indictment, on two occasions in 2017, Jackson is alleged to have possessed the identifications of two victims with the intent to commit wire fraud conspiracy,” the U.S. authorities said.

FBI said foreign citizens perpetrate many BEC scams adding, “those individuals are often members of transnational criminal organisations, which originated in Nigeria but have spread throughout the world”.

The U.S. authorities expressed gratitude for the outstanding efforts of the participating countries, including law enforcement actions that were coordinated and executed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Nigeria to curb business email compromise schemes that defraud businesses and individuals alike.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said: “This operation, which was funded and coordinated by the FBI, serves as a model for international cooperation against specific threats that endanger the financial well-being of each member country’s residents.

“Fraudsters can rob people of their life’s savings in a matter of minutes. These are malicious and morally repugnant crimes.

“The Department of Justice has taken aggressive action against fraudsters in recent months, conducting the largest sweep of fraud against American seniors in history back in February.

“Now, in this operation alone, we have arrested 42 people in the United States and 29 others have been arrested in Nigeria for alleged financial fraud.

“And so I want to thank the FBI, nearly a dozen U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the Secret Service, Postal Inspection Services, Homeland Security Investigations, the Treasury Department, our partners in Nigeria, Poland, Canada, Mauritius, Indonesia, and Malaysia, and our state and local law enforcement partners for all of their hard work”.

Since the Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) began keeping track of BEC and its variant, Email Account Compromise (EAC), as a complaint category, there has been a loss of over $3.7 billion reported to the IC3, FBI said.
BEC, also known as “cyber-enabled financial fraud,” is a sophisticated scam often targeting employees with access to company finances and businesses working with foreign suppliers and/or businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments.

The same criminal organisations that perpetrate BEC also exploit individual victims, often real estate purchasers, the elderly, and others, by convincing them to make wire transfers to bank accounts controlled by the criminals.

This is often accomplished by impersonating a key employee or business partner after obtaining access to that person’s email account or sometimes done through romance, lottery, employment opportunities, fraudulent online vehicle sales, and rental scams.

The FBI provides a variety of resources relating to BEC through the IC3, which can be reached at www.ic3.gov and victims are encouraged to file a complaint online with the IC3 at bec.ic3.gov.

Three Suspects In Prison Over Alleged Fraud

By Mariam Bello

A Magistrate Court in Osogbo has remanded three men, Umar Usman, 42, Ibrahim Raji, 58, and Samad Akeem, 22 in prison custody over alleged fraud of N90,000.

The suspects who appeared before the court on a two-count charge bothering on conspiracy and stealing pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

The prosecutor, Inspector Fagboyinbo Abiodun said the accused persons committed the offence sometimes in March, 2018 at Dipson Plastic Company Ring Road area in Osogbo.

He told the court that the defendants conspired together to commit the offence.

Fagboyinbo explains further that the suspects fraudulently used a truck with registration number LSR 252 XV belonging to Dipson Plastic to collect a sum of N90,000 for a service on behalf of the company and converted the money into their own.

The prosecutor added that the offence is contrary to and punishable under Section 490(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 34 vol. II Laws of Osun State Nigeria 2003.

Counsels to the suspects are, Mr. Okobe Najite for the first and second accused person and Mr. Adebayo Odetunde for the third accused person.

The counsels prayed the court to grant their clients bail in the most liberal and affordable terms.

They assured the court that the suspects were ready to provide reliable sureties if granted bail.

The Magistrate, Mr. Olusegun Ayilara rejected the bail application and ordered that the suspects should be remanded in Ilesha prison custody.

He then adjourned the case to June 1, 2018.

EFCC Urges Banks To Disclose Customers Information

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, urged banks to provide the agency with a list of corrupt customers ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Speaking during an interactive session with Association of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria, ACCOBIN, in Lagos on Thursday, May 31, 2018, Magu said: “We need to find a common ground to work together. You have a responsibility to fight corruption.

Magu urged compliance officers of banks in Nigeria to be more diligent in their responsibilities, as a way of tackling money laundering and other fraudulent practices in the sector. He said compliance officers in various banks in Nigeria must also take ownership of the fight against corruption, which he described as one of the problems bedeviling the banking industry.

“The Commission is ready to partner with you to ensure a healthy economy. We are ready to assist the banks in recovering their debts, but compliance officers must ensure due diligence, especially when giving out loans to customers. I know you sometimes need to protect some of your customers.  But it is sometimes better that you do without some of these people; otherwise, you will be seen as conspiring with them to steal public funds.”

He further charged banks’ compliance officers to always provide the Commission with necessary information to assist it in carrying out its responsibilities, adding that “We must work together to save this country. Most of the banks are sitting on water. In fact, some of these banks are almost collapsing.

“I know there are questions you can’t ask, particularly it involves some individuals, but if you give us information on such people, we will move in. If there are fundamental issues that can affect your banks, you can give us the information, especially as another general election approaches. I don’t want to be charging banks alongside suspected criminals because doing so can wreak havoc on the economy. It will even discourage investors from coming to the country.”

Provost Suspended Over Fraud In Cross River

The Provost of the Federal College of Education Obudu, Cross River State, James Ejue has been suspended by the Nigerian government over an alleged theft of N125 million from the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) salary account of the college.

According to reports, the governing council of the college on December 15 recommended to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to suspend Mr. Ejue for three months from January 1 to March 31.

GIFMIS is an IT-based system for budget management and accounting that is being used by the federal government to improve public expenditure management processes, and enhance greater accountability and transparency across its ministries and agencies.

It was designed to help government plan and use its financial resources more efficiently and effectively.

It was gathered that the governing council of the college appointed an acting Provost, Mecha Nduma, on January 24 after obtaining the minister’s approval.

When contacted via telephone, Mr. Nduma confirmed his appointment.

“I received my letter to to be the acting Provost on Wednesday January 24 and it was signed by the council chairman,” he said.

Meanwhile, a source in the college, who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation, said Mr. Ejue was suspended based on alleged misappropriation of funds in connivance with the bursar of the college, Ushie Sixtus, who has been on suspension since September 29.

“Ordinarily, the provost should be dismissed by the government because of the gravity of his crime according to the Civil Service Rule, Financial Regulation, and the Scheme of Service. But the report was doctored by some people,” the source said.

The source further also alleged that some persons in the Federal Ministry of Education tried to bury the suspension letter.

“I learnt that the minister minuted on the letter since December 2017 but the letter disappeared between the minister’s table and the Permanent Secretary’s table but was later found in the second week of January when some staff of the institution visited the ministry, ” the source said.

According to Section 5.5.7 of the conditions of service for Colleges of Education, under the act governing colleges of education in the country, only the minister of education can suspend a provost.

“If a council after considering the report of the investigating committee is satisfied that the officer, whose conduct is the subject matter of the investigation ought to be suspended from office, the council may by instrument in writing ( i) suspend the staff and (ii) in the case of the Provost, such recommendation should be forwarded to the Hon. Minister of Education through the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education.”

When contacted on Monday, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the college, Anthony Obi, said he had not seen the minister’s response to the council’s recommendation on Mr. Ejue. But he did not deny that there is a new acting Provost.

“The Council is yet to receive the minister’s memo on the recommendation,” he said on phone. “The council made a recommendation and the council will stand by its decision,” he said.

Meanwhile when contacted, Justin Egba, the spokesperson of the college, said he was at a meeting and could not speak on the issue.

Effort to get reactions from the Federal Ministry of Education was unsuccessful as the spokesperson, Chinyere Ihuoma, did not respond to calls and text messages.

 

Court Remands Man Over N166M Fraud

By Oluwapelumi Fasoyin

A 35-year old Adeyemi Ajiboye has been remanded in Ilesha prison custody by an Osogbo Magistrate court over fraudulent activities.

The charge sheet disclosed that the accused person obtained the sum of N166,410,000 from one Azeez Razaq and others that he would use the money to invest into palm kernel which he (suspect) knew to be false, thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 419 of the criminal code law of Osun State 2003.

It further disclosed that the accused person fraudulently stole and converted the property of Azeez Razaq that worth N166,410,000 to his own use and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 390(9) of the state penal code.

The accused person committed the offence sometimes in November 2017 at Osogbo.

The suspect pleaded not guilty to the two count charge leveled against him.

His defense counsel, prayed the court to grant his client bail in the most liberal terms in accordance with the 1999 constitution of the Federal Constitution of Nigeria.

The police prosecutor, opposed the bail application of the accused person, saying over 50 petitions have been written against him concerning the issue of fraud.

He also argued that the accused is a serial bail non-compliant.

The presiding Magistrate, Aisha Oloyade remanded the suspect in Ilesha prison custody till the next day of hearing.

Five Nigerians Jailed In London For £610,000 Telephone Banking Fraud

An Inner London Crown Court has sentenced five Nigerians to various jail terms over the theft of £610,000 from business bank accounts.

According to reports, Victor Oke, 39, of Galleons Drive, Barking, used stolen data provided by Desmond Uyiosa Abifade, 25, of Henniker Road, Stratford, to falsely impersonate company directors via telephone banking.

Once Oke gained access, he diverted funds to ‘mule’ beneficiary accounts monitored by Moses Kuye, 28, of Connaught Road, Silvertown.

Melinda Mensah-Oke, 37, also of Galleons Drive, impersonated company directors when a female voice was necessary, while Arinola Kuye, 27, also of Connaught Road, acted as the group’s money launderer.

They were caught after being spotted by fraud investigators at HSBC, who passed the case to the dedicated card and payment crime unit (DCPCU) to investigate.

The DCPCU is sponsored by the banking industry and made up of officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, bank investigators and support staff from UK Finance.

Police were able to analyse when and where the calls were made to identify the phones used and from there, the perpetrators.

All five were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, which they pleaded not guilty to.

On Wednesday, Oke was sentenced to four years in prison, while Moses Kuye was jailed for three years and three months.

Mensah-Oke received a fourteen month suspended sentence and Abifade a two year suspended sentence.

Arinola Kuye was given a 12-month community order and instructed to complete 50 hours of unpaid work.

DC Dave Cass, who investigated the case for the DCPCU said: “This was a concerted effort to commit fraud against two companies and profit from crime.

“The police take fraud very seriously and these sentences should send a message to fraudsters that you will be caught and punished.”

All losses were refunded to the genuine business account holders.

Newham Recorder

Two Arraigned For Fraud

By Olaniyi Olanrewaju

For allegedly obtaining the sum of N80,000 from one Ajibowu Azeez, two persons have been arraigned before an Osogbo magistrate court presided over by Mrs. Fatimah Sodamade.

The suspects are Tiamiyu Akanbi, 70, and Moshood Odofin 45, who conspired among themselves for stealing.

The prosecutor, Inspector Oladoye Joshua disclosed that the accused persons committed the alleged offence on April 20, 2017 at Ajegunle Area of the state capital.

According to the charge sheet, the accused persons obtained the stated sum of money from the victim with pretence to sell one Honda saloon car for him thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under section 419 of criminal code cap 34 volume ii. Laws of Osun state of Nigeria 2003.

It further stated that the accused persons conspired among themselves to obstruct, prevent, pervert and defeat the cause of justice, an offence contrary to and punishable under section 126 (1) of the criminal code cap 34 volume ii. Laws of osun state of Nigeria.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the four count charges levelled against them.

The defence counsel, Mr. Amaechi Ugwu prayed the court to grant the suspects bail in a liberal term, saying they would not abuse bail if granted.

Magistrate Sodamade in her ruling granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N50,000 with one surety in a like sum.
She then adjourned the case till November 16, 2017 for hearing.

Metuh’s Trial: Dasuki In Court, Jonathan Missing

A former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, has arrived a Federal High Court to testify as a defence witness in the ongoing trial of former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh.

Mr. Dasuki’s appearance followed an order of the Federal High Court for a subpoena to be issued on him, through the directorate of the State Security Service, SSS.

The same order was issued on former Nigeria president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who for the second time has refused to honour the court order.

Mr. Dasuki has been in the custody of the SSS for over a year despite court orders for his release. He is being prosecuted separately for alleged mismanagement of funds while in office.

The Federal High Court’s directive for the SSS to present him in court was also in obedience to a September 29 directive of the Appeal Court.

Details later……..

Breaking News: Jonathan Dares Court, Refuses To Appear As Witness

A new twist has again greeted the ongoing trial of former Peoples Democratic Party Spokesperson, Olisa Metuh as former President Goodluck Jonathan refused to honour order of Justice Okon Abang.

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, gave an order summoning the former president to appear before him today.

The summon which was in line with a ruling of the Court of Appeal in Abuja that faulted earlier refusal to grant Metuh’s request for subpoena to be issued against Dasuki.

However, reasons for the ex-president’s absence from court could not be ascertained.

Metuh is currently facing charges for allegedly receiving the sum of N400m from former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) in the build up to the 2015 presidential election.

Justice Abang said: “Indeed, at the close of business, yesterday (Monday) being October 23, 2017, precisely at about 3.59 pm, the registrar forwarded to the court in chamber a subpoena to compel former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court to testify at the instance of the first defendant (Metuh).