Tag Archives: loot

​How Diezani, others diverted NNPC’s $1.8bn –FG

How Diezani, others diverted NNPC’s $1.8bn –FG
Oladimeji Ramon

Nigerian businessmen , Kola Aluko and Jide Omokore , have urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to stay further proceedings in a suit filed against them by the Federal Government to recover an alleged debt of $ 1 . 8 bn.

The court , presided over by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo , had last year made a mareva injunction freezing the defendants ’ assets both at home and abroad pending the determination of the suit .

The Federal Government sued Aluko and Omokore , who are allies of a former Minister Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison – Madueke , alongside their companies , Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited .

In an affidavit attached to the suit filed through its lawyer , Mr . Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN ), the Federal Government alleged that the defendants unlawfully diverted a profit of about $ 1 . 8 bn due to it on crude oil which they lifted and sold .

A lawyer from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Isaac Oginni , who deposed to the affidavit , said rather than pay the Federal Government, the defendants converted the $ 1 . 8 bn to their own and used it to , among others, buy several vehicles valued at over N800 m, which they allegedly donated to the Peoples Democratic Party .

According to Oginni, the defendants also bought another set of vehicles worth over N130 m and gave them out to Diezani and some other management staff members of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company .

He added that Aluko , among others, also used part of the allegedly diverted funds to purchase a 26 – flat property at 46 , Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos for which he made part payments of $ 18 , 548 , 619 . 99 and N1 , 070 , 000 , 000 to FBN Mortgages Limited .

Efforts by the defendants to vacate the mareva injunction freezing their bank accounts and assets both locally and internationally failed late last year as Justice Oguntoyinbo dismissed their application , seeking to vacate the injunction.

The judge held that the injunction would subsist until the final determination of the case filed against them by the Federal Government.

The displeased businessmen and their companies , however , appealed the ruling and subsequently urged Justice Oguntoyinbo to stay further proceedings in the case pending the outcome of the appeal . Justice Oguntoyinbo adjourned till September 29 , 2017 to determine the new application .
Source: The Punch


Publish names of looters, details of recovered loots, court orders FG

Court orders FG to publish names of looters, monies recovered

By Innocent Anaba

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, ordered the Federal Government to “immediately release to Nigerians information about the names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered and the circumstances under which funds were recovered, as well as the exact amount of funds recovered from each public official.”

Trial judge, Justice Hadiza Shagari made the order following a Freedom of Information suit by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP.

The suit followed disclosure last year by the Federal Government of funds recovered from some high-ranking public officials and private individuals.

In her judgment, Justice Shagari agreed with SERAP that Federal Government has a legally binding obligations to tell Nigerians the names of all suspected looters of the public treasury past and present.”

Defendants in the suit are the Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government, yesterday, agreed it would publish the names of treasury looters as ordered by the court so Nigerians can see.

Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami(SAN), disclosed this to newsmen yesterday, after the Federal Executive Council meeting.

According to Malami, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government totally agrees with the ruling of the court and hence, will carry out the order as long as it does not amount to violation of the rules of the court.
Source: Vanguard

Reject treasury loots,  Osinbajo charges church 

Osinbajo Tells Church to Reject Treasury Looters

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo

The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said people who loot the public treasury or their organisations are doing so out of greed, and not because of any political objective of keeping a war chest for the future.

Osinbajo made the remark yesterday at the celebration of Father’s Day at Aso Villa Chapel, during which he also challenged the church to teach the lessons of honesty and integrity.

”Many would say the reason why they steal is because they want to have an arsenal for future political exploits. It is a lie. It is greed. In any case, even if you want to do that, you have no right to do it,” he said.

His message from the pulpit certainly strikes a chord against the backdrop of the avalanche of corruption cases the Muhammadu Buhari administration has been pursuing.

The campaign had suffered some setbacks of late, with controversial verdicts by the court that tend to let go the accused.

Osinbajo, a professor of law and also a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, felt the church has a role to play.

“If the church says we will not accept you here or that we will expose you if you are stealing the resources of the country or stealing the resources of a private company or other establishment where you work, we would not have the type of problem that we have in this country.”

“In Genesis 18:19. God was speaking about Abraham. And God said he had known him or called him in order that he may command his children and his household after him that they keep the way of the Lord with righteousness and justice that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He had spoken to him.

“In other words, God was saying that He called Abraham, in particular, because he realises that Abraham will command his household, will command his children to do righteousness and justice and to fear God. And if you back this up with Genesis 12:2, God has spoken concerning Abraham, that He will make Abraham a great nation. Genesis 12:3 says, God said, I will make you a great nation.

“In other words, the role of the father is supposed to be that of building nations, building generations. And Abraham is the example God set for us; of a man who God wanted to be the exemplar of the type of conduct that God expects of fatherhood; a man who will teach his children and children thereafter the way of righteousness and justice and the way of fear of God.

“When I listened to His Eminence, the Prelate of the Methodist Church a few minutes ago, talking about the importance of the type of training that he received as a child in his family. I’m sure many of us here are reminded of that type of training. A type of training where you are taught and reminded about integrity, primarily as the first order of business; that you must be a person of integrity. You must be truthful, you must be trustworthy, you must be honest, you must be forthright. That is the foundation. And in the days he referred to, Catechism was an important part of our lives. Even just knowing the 10 commandments was enough to teach you about righteousness, teach you about the way of truth and I think that is very important, especially for us today as Christians.

“Christian fatherhood in particular is a position that God has placed us as exemplar to our nation. The Christian father is the one referred to in Genesis 18:19; the one who will teach the way of righteousness and justice to his children and would teach the fear of the Lord. And I just want to say to all of our leaders (and I was speaking with few of our Christian leaders just last week, both of the PFN and CAN just last week on various occasions) that it is the role of the church to build this nation. And the church has that role because God has said concerning us that we are the light of the world and we are the salt of the earth. That role is a very, very difficult role.

“We are not to teach the world how to be like the world but to teach the world how to be like the one who saved the world, how to be like Jesus. It is not easy.

“Every time that we come to church, we are told about giving. But we need to talk more about honesty. We need to talk far more about honesty. In the same way we talk about giving, we need to talk more about honesty because just like His Eminence said, Nigeria’s great problem is not the absence of prosperity. It is as he so eloquently put it, that we have enough for our needs but we don’t have enough for our greed. The greed of many is what has landed this country where it is today. It is the greed of so many; many who have been placed in position of authority. It is their greed that has landed us where we are, where it is difficult to do the sorts of things His Eminence saw in Washington and so many other places. You cannot steal half of the resources of the country and expect to build the sort of things you see in other places.

“And if the church says you are not allowed to steal and we will ostracize you in our midst if you did. If what a man has does not measure up to what he has, if we found that a man has more money than he should have, if a man is earning a salary of a civil servant or a public servant and he has houses everywhere, we have to hold him to account. But he must be held to account in the church. He must be told first in the church we will not allow you here. If the church says we will not accept you here or that we will expose you if you are stealing the resources of the country or stealing the resources of a private company or other establishment where you work, then we would not have the type of problem that we have in this country. If only the church does so. Just the church.

“Just as Christian fathers today, it is our duty as God spoke concerning Abraham in Genesis 18:19, it is our duty to build up a generation of righteous men and women, a nation of just men and women who fear God and puts God above everything else. And I believe that the Almighty God will help us. I just pray that the Father of fathers, the One who has called us, one who has saved us will bless each and every father here today in the mighty name of Jesus. The Almighty God who is the great Father of all fathers will ensure that we get everything we need to make our families, to make communities truly great and to make our nation great.”
Source: ThisDay 

Court declares N449m found in Bureau de change FG property 

BREAKING: Court orders forfeiture of N449m found in BDC shop

Ramon Oladimeji

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday ordered the final forfeiture of the sum of N449 , 597 , 000 found in an abandoned Bureau de Change shop in Victoria Island , Lagos by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission .

The forfeiture order was made by Justice Rilawan Aikawa following a motion on notice taken before him by the anti – graft agency .

The judge ordered that the funds should be forfeited to the Federal Government as no one came forward to claim it.

The judge had earlier on April 19 ordered the temporary forfeiture of the money and adjourned till Friday for one Mohammed Tauheed , who was joined as respondent in the suit , and any other interested party to appear before him to give reasons why the money should be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.

On Friday, counsel for the EFCC , Idris Mohammed , told the judge that the interim order of April 19 had been advertised in the newspaper on May 11 , so as to bring the case to the notice of Tauheed any interested party .

He added that apart from the newspaper publication, Tauheed was also served with the motion on notice.

He urged the judge to order the final forfeiture of the money since neither Tauheed nor anyone else came forward to claim it.

Justice Aikawa, in a short ruling , granted the application .

The judge held , “ This court ordered, among others, the respondent ( Tauheed ) and any other interested party to show cause, within 14 days , why the interim forfeiture of N449 , 597 , 000 should not be made final . As far as my record shows , neither the respondent nor any other interested party has filed any affidavit or any other process to show cause why the interim order should not be made final .

“ In the instant case , the respondent has , additionally, not filed any process in response to the motion on notice . In the circumstances , I have no option but to grant the application as prayed .

“ Accordingly , I hereby ordered that the sum of N 449 , 597 , 000 found in possession of the respondent , which sum is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful activity , be finally forfeited to the Federal Government. ”

An investigator with the EFCC , Moses Awolusi , had, in an affidavit filed before the judge , stated that operatives of the anti – graft agency found the N449 , 597 , 000 on April 7 , 2017 in several “ Ghana Must Go ” sacks in a shop numbered LS 64 , located on at Legico Shopping Plaza, at Victoria island , Lagos .

He said the EFCC found out that the shop had not been opened for two years , adding that the anti – graft agency recovered the money after investigating intelligence information received on Tauheed .

According to the investigator, Tauheed allegedly conspired with the owner of the abandoned shop to launder the money .

Awolusi said Tauheed had earlier been brought to the EFCC office by the Chairman and Vice- Chairman of Legico shopping Plaza , Mr . Sulaiman Daba and Alhaji Ishaq Ayandiran , respectively .

He said during the visit , Tauheed told the anti – graft agency that he received the money in cash from a serving government official , whose name he refused to disclose “ for security reasons. ”

He said Tauheed , in the presence of his lawyer , later agreed to return the money to the Federal Government, which is the rightful owner of the funds strongly suspected to be proceeds of criminal activities of the unnamed serving government official .

The EFCC said it would be in the interest of justice for the court to order the permanent forfeiture of the money to the Federal Government
Source : The Punch 

Last minute lobby intensifies for Oke, Babachir as Osinbajo panel submits report Monday 

​Ikoyi N43.4m: FG may seize Osborne Towers apartment

By: Yusuf Alli 

•Lobbyists storm Villa for SGF, NIA DG

•Anxiety over Osinbajo panel’s report

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is considering pushing for the seizure of apartment 7B at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, from where it made the famous haul of $43million cash.

That will be in addition to its Friday application to the Federal High Court in Lagos for the final forfeiture of the money to the Federal Government.

The commission said that no one has come forward to claim the $43,449,947 (about N13 billion), N23, 218,000 and £27,800 (about N10.6milion) cash found in the apartment.

Already, lobbyists are finding their way to the Presidential Villa to plead for soft landing for the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ayo Oke.

Some heads of security agencies are said to be canvassing a second opinion on the probe of Oke.

Ahead of the submission of the report of the Presidential Investigative Committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo tomorrow, there was anxiety last night among government officials who were implicated in the $43.4million haul.

Lawal is being probed over alleged N200million contract awarded to a company, Global Vision Limited, linked with him by the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) for the clearing of ‘invasive plant species’ (weeds) in Yobe State.

Oke, on the other hand, is being investigated in connection with the $43.4million cash haul.

Investigation however revealed that apart from seeking the forfeiture of the $43.4million, EFCC might take over apartment 7B.

A reliable source in EFCC said: “The anti-graft commission will soon initiate moves to seize the apartment 7B in Osborne Towers in line with its mandate.

“The circumstances surrounding the purchase of the apartment have been faulted by this commission at a Federal High Court in Lagos.

“Therefore, we are set to invoke sections 26 and 28 of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004.”

“So, we are not only interested in the cash, we want to take over the apartment. But we are awaiting the decision of the committee bring led by the Vice President.”

Section 26 reads in part: (1) “Any property subject to forfeiture under this Act may be seized by the Commission in the following circumstances – (a) the seizure incidental to an arrest or search; or (b) in the case of property liable to forfeiture upon process issued by the Court following an application made by the Commission in accordance with the prescribed rules.(2) Whenever property is seized under any of the provisions of this Act, the Commission may – (a) place the property under seal; or(b) remove the property to a place designed by the Commission.

“(3) Properties taken or detained under this section shall be deemed to be in the custody of the Commission, subject only to an order of a Court.

Section 28 reads: “Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.”

Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004.”

It was also gathered that lobbyists have been mounting pressure on Presidency officials for soft landing for Lawal and Oke.

It was also learnt that the ongoing probe of the two officials has divided members of the kitchen cabinet of the President.

A source in the presidency said: “Even there is a split among the kitchen cabinet members on Lawal and Oke. The sympathy is more for Oke in view of his high rating in the intelligence community. He is considered a first class diplomat.

“As a matter of fact, Oke was the first to initiate the recovery of Abacha loot during the tenure of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo as a desk officer at the Nigerian High Commission in London. All attempts to make him compromise on Abacha loot failed.

“Of all the security chiefs, he was the only one who wrote an accurate report to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan that he would lose the 2015 presidential election to President Muhammadu Buhari at the risk of his job.

“This is why he was baffled when the $43.4million was linked to the campaign funds for Jonathan.

“Oke has also travelled with the President with his initiatives making the foreign trips of Buhari attracting investments.

“What the lobbyists, including some security chiefs, are saying is that Oke should not be humiliated out of office. They said he should either be allowed to go on voluntary retirement or compulsorily retired.

“Some security chiefs are of the opinion that Oke’s trial might set a dangerous precedent.”

Asked to be forthcoming, the presidency source said: “The whole thing is messy and complicated.”

But a source close to the panel said: “Oke has not satisfactorily answered three questions:

where he got the $43.4m from;

why was Apartment 7B bought in the name of his wife instead of NIA

how the cash got to Apartment 7B in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi instead of bank

“Oke actually admitted that NIA got $289million Special Intervention Funds for nine projects. He also said the $43.4million was part of the Special Intervention Funds.

“The NIA on Friday said it is normal to use proxy for classified actions whether the covert front is a relation or not is immaterial.”

But it could not be immediately ascertained what will be the fate of the SGF.

A third source said:”As for the SGF, the Senate report has made his fate more complicated. But these lobbyists are still reading political meanings into the report of the Senate.

“It is left to Buhari to take a final decision based on the findings of Osinbajo’s panel”

As the committee submits its report tomorrow, there was anxiety among some top government officials implicated in the $43.4m haul and PINE contracts.

“You seem to focus on the SGF and Oke but some officials were also implicated in all these.

“There is a system failure and all those involved might be sanctioned in one way or the other.

“This is why there is disquiet in some parastatals whose officers were implicated,” the source added.

Source: The Nation

How wife of suspended NIA DG bought Ikoyi flat with $1.6m cash- EFCC tells court

​Suspended NIA boss’ wife bought Ikoyi flat with $1.6m cash, says EFCC

Ramon Oladimeji

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday named Mrs. Folashade Oke as the owner of Flat 7 B, No . 13 , Osborne Road, Osborne Towers , Ikoyi, Lagos , where the sums of $ 43 , 449 , 947 , £ 27 , 800 and N23 , 218 , 000 were recently recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission .

Mrs. Oke is the wife of the suspended Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Amb . Ayo Oke, whose agency had laid claim to the money .

According to the EFCC , Mrs. Oke made a cash payment of $ 1 . 658 m for the purchase of the flat between August 25 and September 3 , 2015 .

She was said to have purchased the property in the name of a company , Chobe Ventures Limited , to which she and her son , Master Ayodele Oke Junior , were directors .

Payment for the purchase of the flat was said to have been made to one Fine and Country Limited .

The EFCC stated that Mrs . Oke made the cash payment in tranches of $ 700 , 000 , $ 650 , 000 and $ 353 , 700 to a Bureau de Change company , Sulah Petroleum and Gas Limited , which later converted the sums into N360 , 000 , 000 and subsequently paid it to Fine and Country Limited for the purchase of the property .

The EFCC on Friday tendered the receipt issued by Fine and Country Limited to Chobe Ventures Limited as an exhibit before the Federal High Court in Lagos , where it is seeking an order of final forfeiture of the recovered money to the Federal Government.

“ The circumstances leading to the discovery of the huge sums stockpiled in Flat 7 B, Osborne Towers leaves no one in doubt that the act was pursuant to an unlawful activity .

“ The very act of making cash payment of $ 1 . 6 m without going through any financial institution by Mrs. Folashade Oke for the acquisition of Flat 7 B, Osborne Towers , is a criminal act punishable by the Money Laundering ( Prohibition ) Amendment Act. I refer My Lord to sections 1 ( a ) , 16 ( d) and 16 ( 2 )( b) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition ) Amendment Act , ” a counsel for the EFCC , Mr . Rotimi Oyedepo , told the court on Friday.

In an affidavit filed before the court , a Detective Inspector with the EFCC , Mohammed Chiroma , stated that “ Chobe Ventures Limited is not into any business but was merely incorporated to retain proceeds of suspected unlawful activities of Mrs. Folashade Oke. ”

While urging the presiding judge , Justice Muslim Hassan , to order the permanent forfeiture of the funds to the Federal Government, Oyedepo argued that the fact that Flat 7 B, Osborne Towers was purchased in a criminal manner, made the N13 bn recovered therein “ extremely suspicious to be proceeds of unlawful acts. ”

The lawyer noted that despite the newspaper advertisement of the initial order of April 13 , 2017 temporarily forfeiting the money to the Federal Government, no one showed up in court on Friday to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
Source: The Punch

​Looters burying stolen funds in forests, burial grounds – FG

​Looters burying stolen funds in forests, burial grounds – FG

The Federal Government says its anti corruption agencies have been inundated with information of how looters have resorted to burying stolen funds in their backyards , deep forests and burial grounds .

The Minister of Information and Culture , Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday in Lagos , said the whistle blower policy is working and has led to the recovery of more looted funds in many currencies .

Mohammed assured in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Mr Segun Adeyemi , that all the recovered looted funds were safe and government will give full account to Nigerians .

The minister thanked Nigerians for their enthusiasm and commitment in helping the government to tackle corruption through disclosure of useful leads to appropriate government agencies .

“ Since we launched the whistle blower policy , we have received immeasurable support from Nigerians .

“ Yes , there is monetary reward for any information that leads to recovery of looted funds , but from what we have seen, most of the Nigerians who have come forward with useful leads were driven by patriotism rather than reward .

” Nigerians , fired by a fervid resolve to help banish corruption from their country, have daily inundated the offices of the appropriate government agencies with valuable information .

“ We have been told how looters have resorted to burying stolen funds in their backyards , in deep forests and even in burial grounds .

” Thanks to whistle – blowers , it is now clear that a rapacious few have pillaged the nation’ s wealth through a vicious orgy of corrupt practices, ” he said .

The minister , however , noted that more funds were in the possession of looters than were available to government at all levels to meets its obligations including paying workers ’ salaries and providing social amenities .

He stressed that the government will not abandon the policy for whatever reason , but will continue to rejig it and make it more effective as a tool for fighting corruption.

The minister assured that as soon as the necessary reconciliation process and the litigation in some of the cases were concluded , government would give full account of the recovered looted funds to Nigerians .

Mohammed re – assured Nigerians who have useful information on looted funds that the government will protect their identities and give them their stipulated reward .