N554m grass-cutting scandal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday re-arraigned  former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, before an Abuja High Court at Maitama, over the alleged collusion in grass cutting contract fraud to the sum of about N554 million.Mr. Lawal, who served as SGF under President Muhammadu Buhari between August 27, 2015, and October 30, 2017, entered fresh plea of not guilty to an amended 10-count charge the EFCC preferred against him and six others. The other six Defendants that were also re-arraigned by the anti-graft agency, are; younger brother to the former SGF,   Hamidu Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh Monday and two companies – Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Josmon Technologies Ltd. The ex-SGF was among other things, alleged to have connived with the other Defendants and illegally diverted a contract the Presidential Initiative for North East, PINE, awarded for the removal of grasses in Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, camps, to his own company. Meanwhile, the Defendants, who pleaded innocent to the amended charge  read to them before trial Justice Charles Agbaza, persuaded the court to retain the bail conditions it earlier handed them. The defendants were initially docked before the court on February 12, 2019. Their re-arraignment yesterday followed the demise of the former trial judge in the matter, Justice Jude Okeke. The trial had already proceeded with EFCC calling its witnesses, before Justice Okeke’s death on August 4, 2020. Following the development, the case-file was re-assigned to Justice Agbaza for the trial to start afresh. Late Justice Okeke had on February 13, 2019, granted the Defendants bail of the sum of N50 million each, with one surety . The court equally seized their international passports, even as it barred them from travelling out of the country without permission. Justice Agbaza slated January 20, 2021, to restart their trial. Some of the counts in the charge marked CR/158/19, read: “That you Engineer Babachir David Lawal while being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF)   and a[…]

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EFCC: Why Magu Won’t Appear Before CCB

Suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibraham Magu will not appear before the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) on Tuesday. According to reports, Ibrahim Magu will write to the CCB to seek an extension, explaining to the bureau that he is not able to access his office for the requested documents. A source said: “He is writing CCB to give him more time to enable him access requested documents in his office.” The invitation tendered to Magu by the CCB was contained in a letter which date is November 2 2020 with reference number CCB/HQ/II&M/007/2093. Magu was meant to appear before the anti-corruption agency on November 17, 2020. The document said the suspended EFCC Chairman was asked to come with acknowledgment copies of all asset declaration forms since joining the public service as well as his payslips and land documents. In the letter, Magu was addressed as ‘former chairman’ of the EFCC even though he had not yet been officially sacked. The letter read in part, “The bureau is investigating a case of alleged breach of Code of Conduct for Public Officers against Mr. Ibrahim Mustapha Magu, the former acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. “Copies of your appointment letter, acceptance, records of service, and payslips from January to May 2020. All documents of your landed properties both developed and undeveloped.”

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EFCC arrests 9 internet fraudsters in Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arrested nine Internet fraudsters popularly known as Yahoo-Yahoo boys, in Abuja. The suspects were arrested by the Advance Fee Fraud Section of the Commission on November 30, 2018 through an intelligence report received on the fraudulent activities of the suspected fraudsters residing somewhere along Airport Road, as they were obviously living above their means. Operatives of the EFCC had carried out surveillance for days on the activities of the fraudsters before they swooped in on them. The suspects are: Edwin Ogbomwan, Okouromi Franklin, Oseji Collins, Collins Onyekwuluje, Anyanechi Ekene, Tony Oviasuyi, Chidi Emeshili, Osaigbovo Aiseos and Osaigbovo Ikponmnosa. The suspects had turned their residence into a safe haven for fraudulent activities using it as a place of abode and an operational office with computers, laptops, phones, modems, sim cards and many other fraudulent tools to fleece unsuspecting Nigerians and foreigners of their hard earned money and valuables. The suspects had created a phoney identity of ‘Thomas Jerry Star and John Ben’, which they effectively deployed in their deceptive deals. The suspects aged between 19 and 26 years, were arrested with two GLK Mercedes Benz, One Toyota Camry, Lexus Jeep and other valuables worth millions of Naira, which they acquired through the proceeds of their ignoble trade. A statement by the acting Spokesman of EFCC, Mr. Tony Orilade, said the suspects were cooperating with the commission and would be charged after the conclusion of investigations.

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“Fayose Will Face Trial After Leaving Office” – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has yesterday, July 16th said that governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State will face criminal trial after leaving office. Hours after Mr Fayemi was announced winner of the Ekiti election, the EFCC posted a tweet on its official Twitter handle that it would resurrect a poultry scandal involving the governor. The agency later deleted the tweet which was condemned by many Nigerians including the governor’s spokesperson. In a statement, the EFCC spokesperson played down on the tweet controversy, but said only the court could clear Mr Fayose of his criminal trial after leaving office. “While it is true that there is a subsisting criminal charge against Governor Fayose, the fate of the charge will be determined by the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti, at the expiration of his tenure, not the EFCC,” the agency’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said. Read the full EFCC statement by Mr Uwujaren below. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has observed with interest, reactions to a tweet that purportedly appeared on the Commission’s Twitter handle July 15, announcing the imminent revival of the criminal case against Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State. In the opinion of most commentators, the tweet coming a few hours after Fayose’s protege, Kolapo Olusola of the People’s Democratic Party lost the governorship election to his All progressives Congress rival, Kayode Fayemi, betrayed the partisanship of the EFCC in the political contest in Ekiti State. Against the background, Commission is constrained to state that the purported tweet does not represent the views of the EFCC. As a law enforcement organization the Commission is apolitical and was not involved in the recent Ekiti election. It therefore has no reason to gloat over the political misfortune of any candidate or political god-father. While it is true that there is a subsisting criminal charge against Governor Fayose, the fate of the charge will be determined by the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti, at the expiration of his tenure,[…]

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