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Alleged N111.5billion Revenue Fraud Reports Indicts Zenith Bank

A Financial Advisory Committee constituted by Imo State government indicts Zenith Bank over N111.5 billion fraud from the state revenue.

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A report by the Financial Advisory Committee constituted by Imo State government has indicted Zenith Bank and it’s senior officers over N111.5 billion fraud from the state revenue.

The audit body revealed how Zenith Bank, was used to milk N111.5 billion through charges unknown to financial regulations, creamed off from the state.

Submitting their report to the state House of Assembly, seeking the Imo legislative body to intervene with a view not only to recover the humongous amount from the bank, the committee recommends the dismissal of the State commissioner for Finance, Dr Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, a former senior staff of Zenith Bank.

The reports indicates that she is planted in government to continue to superintending over the siphoning of government money into pockets of the governor, Sen Hope Uzodinma, and other vested interests.

According to the petition, the sleaze did not start from Uzodinma, the incumbent governor, but It started during the reign of former governor, Rochas Okorocha.

Read Also: How Alleged Fraudster Operates Zenith Bank Account Without BVN

While in office, Okorocha gave over 90 per cent control of Imo State banking transactions to Zenith bank while other banks struggled for the remaining 10 per cent.

Okorocha was alleged to have appointed a senior staff of Zenith bank, Chike Okafor to handle his government’s finance portfolio as Commissioner for Finance.

Things however got to the head when Emeka Ihedioha assumed office as governor on May 29, 2019.

It would seem that Ihedioha got wind of the unholy alliance between Okorocha and Zenith bank, and in less than a week in office.

Specifically on June 6, 2019, he constituted the Financial Advisory Committee comprising 10 forensic accountants, all indigenes of Imo to look into the books of the state government with all her bankers.

Also Read: EFCC Docks Access Bank, Pregnant Woman Over Alleged Fraud

The Committee was chaired by Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, foremost Economist, World Bank Consultant and former Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), and Nick Opara-Ndudu, a former Bank Deputy Managing Director who also served as a commissioner under the Okorocha administration as secretary.

Other members were: Nze Charles Onwunali a former senior banker who later became Chairman of Imo Internal Revenue Service; Mr. Kelechi Omeni-Nzewuihe, a former Senior Banker; Sir Chime Aliliele, a former Senior Banker; Mr. Charles Nwogu; Mrs. Udeze Ibezim; and Mrs. Ify Maureen Okafor.

After four months of work, the committee presented its report to Ihedioha on December 1, 2019, who directed the state Accountant General to start the process of recovery of the funds from Zenith Bank.

On December 3, 2019, the Accountant General issued a 30 day ultimatum to Zenith bank and other banks involved to refund the funds illegally taken from the purse of the state.

Unfortunately, the move had to be aborted as Ihedioha was removed as Governor via a Supreme Court judgment on January 14, 2020.

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Top Court News is a product of a dedicated Journalist, owner of I-Wahab Media The Publisher started his Journalism career with Murhi International TV, MiTV in 2003 before working with Radio Nigeria, Lagos Operation, as a Judicial Correspondent. He is presently the Chairman of the National Association of Judicial Correspondent, NAJUC, Ikeja Branch and he is the Vice Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, Radio Nigeria Chapel. topcourtnewsng.com is out to serve you with informative and educative News in the Judiciary sector. To put an end to the under reported activities of the sector among the three arms of government

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N109.4bn Laundering: Court Revokes Usman Bail As AGF Frustrate Plea Bargains Arrangements

EFCC’s lawyer, Jacobs, SAN, told the court that the former AGF and his co-defendants had through a third party, requested to meet him to negotiate the plea bargain arrangement.

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A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, sitting at Maitama, has revoked the bail it earlier granted to Mohammed Usman, who is the third defendant in the 14-count money laundering charge preferred against the former Accountant-General of the Federation, AGF, Ahmed Idris.

EFCC alleged that Usman, who was the Director of the Federation Account, and one Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, in connivance with the erstwhile AGF, diverted public funds to the tune of about N109.4bn, using the account of a company, Gezawa Commodity Market & Exchange Limited, which is the third defendant in the matter.

At the resumption of trial, Justice Adeyemi Ajayi revoked his bail following his failure to arrive at the court room on time.

Usman was absent when the trial Judge entered the courtroom around 9:20am, though his lawyer, Ibrahim Ishaku, SAN, notified the court that he was held up in a gridlock.

Dissatisfied with the excuse, Justice Ajayi revoked the Defendant’s bail and ordered his remand at the Kuje prison.

Also Read: Court Hears Disqualification of Tinubu Over Certificate Forgery September 7

Meanwhile, the court was informed that AGF, Ahmed Idris, has approached the EFCC, for a plea bargain.

EFCC’s lawyer, Jacobs, SAN, told the court that the former AGF and his co-defendants had through a third party, requested to meet him to negotiate the plea bargain arrangement.

However, the counsel that represented the ex-AGF in court yesterday, Mr. Goddy Uche, SAN, insisted that his client and his co-defendants were at the EFCC office for the meeting but declined to go further with the negotiation after they were asked to go to the office of the EFCC chairman.

Uche, SAN, had before the EFCC lawyer revealed that the defendant sought a plea bargain, alleged that the defendants were summoned by the anti-graft agency, a development he said made it impossible for him to discuss the issue of purported confessional statements the prosecution intended to tender in evidence before the court, with his client.

Read Also: Police Arraigns Businesswoman Over Stealing of 99pcs of Iphone

Consequently, following applications by the defence lawyers, led by Uche, SAN, and Ibrahim Ishiaku, SAN, trial Justice Adeyemi Ajayi adjourned further proceedings in the matter till October 4.

A plea bargain in a criminal trial is an arrangement that allows a defendant to plead guilty to a lesser offence in exchange for a more lenient sentence or an agreement for some charges to be dropped.

It enables both the prosecutor and the defendant to avoid a lengthy trial.

 

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Police Drags Notorious Political Thug To Court Over Alleged Murder

Oko-Ilu who is accused of terrorising the Ede community and its environment was arrested in Osogbo in the wee hours of Saturday.

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The Nigeria Police has docked a notorious political thug in Osun State, Hammed Rasheed, known as Oko-Ilu, before a Chief Magistrate Court in the state capital, Oshogbo.

Oko-Ilu who has been on the police wanted list in the state was brought to court before Magistrate Olufemi Ayilara on a nine count charges.

The charges borders on murder, unlawfully killing two persons, disruption of public peace, cultism and others.

He was charged with the death of Hassan Adedeji, one Idowu (A.K.A Delta) and the shooting of one Inspector Gbenga Eke.

The charge sheet brought to court by the Police Prosecutor, Inspector Elisha Olusegun was not read as the Magistrate did not take Oko-Ilu’s plea.

Read Also: Police Drag Ex-Amosun Deputy to Court over Stealing Land Document

The Magistrate, Ayilara, however ordered the Police to duplicate his case file and forwarded the same to Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice.

The Chief Magistrate subsequently ordered the remand of Oko-Ilu at the Correctional Center in Ilesha pending the issuance of the legal advice.

Oko-Ilu who is accused of terrorising the Ede community and its environment was arrested in Osogbo in the wee hours of Saturday.

He was arrested in an operation conducted by Police in collaboration with men of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC).

Oko-Ilu, was being trailed by the security agents for allegedly causing the death of many people in the Ede community.

The case has been adjourned till October 7.

 

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Ikoyi Building Collapse: Coroner’s Inquest Indicts Government Agencies of Complicity

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A Lagos State Coroner Inquest set up to reveal why a 21-storey building collapsed in Gerard Road, Ikoyi, revealed that the building collapsed due to negligence by agencies responsible for approval and supervision of the building project.

The Coroner, Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, made this  pronouncement while revealing the outcome of the Inquest.

On 1st of November 2021, a high-rise block of luxury flats under construction in the neighbourhood of Ikoyi in Lagos, Nigeria, collapsed. At least 42 people died.

Magistrate Komolafe held that the building’s density and setback on the site showed gross violation of the Lagos State Building Regulations.

He held that the project board which should have boldly shown the sensitive and important  information, including the names and addresses of the professionals who carried out the project, was deliberately not provided.

Also Read: Court Hears How Shell Official, Njoku Allegedly Assault Wife

According to him, this act shows that the approving and supervising agencies did not sanction the offender, suggesting that they were compromised.

The agencies saddle with the responsibilities of ensuring quality building structure in the state are, Lagos State Building Control Agency, and Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory.

He said that the structure failure was due to design errors.

Magistrate Komolafe also said that there was a lack of quality assurance/control and poor  management of the project.

He, therefore, adopted the recommendation contained in the Council for the Regulations of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) Report on the matter.

He urged the  authorities concerned with the implementation of the recommendations to act accordingly.

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