EFCC picks up Okorocha, ex-gov faces interrogators over money laundering

Senator Rochas Okorocha

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday arrested a former governor of Imo State and Senator representing the Imo West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Rochas Okorocha.

He was picked up in Abuja around 4pm and taken to the EFCC headquarters for alleged money laundering.

The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed Okorocha’s arrest but said he did not know if he would spend the night in custody.

“He was still at our office when I left, so I don’t know if he would spend the night in custody or whether he would be released on bail,” he said on the telephone.

The anti-graft commission had confiscated some property from Okorocha and his associates which were allegedly  illegally acquired while he was the Imo State governor.

Last year, the Head of the EFCC zonal office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Usman Imam, said N7.9bn belonging to Imo was seized from the former governor.

Imam, who has been in charge of the ongoing probe of the former governor, said the commission returned over N5.7bn to the state government to pay salaries and pensions of workers.

He had said, “Within the period, the commission succeeded in freezing about N7.9bn in different accounts. The money released to Imo State government was from the N7.9bn recovered from Okorocha. The money was released in batches.

“N2.7bn was released in March (2020) for salaries. In the PDP government of Emeka Ihedioha, excess of N2.5bn upon series of writings and our insistence of monitoring it, was released to pay salaries and pensions because they were monies recovered from the state so it has to go back to the state.

“Then the government of Emeka left and this government came, we had a remnant of the money in excess of N2bn. We were able to release N514m just last month because excess of about N1.8bn is encumbered with a court process. Contractors went to court and targeted the funds. The process is lingering. They still have excess of N1.8bn that is not released”.

Meanwhile, Okorocha, on Tuesday said that he was not arrested by the EFCC.

Okorocha in a statement by his spokesperson, Sam Onwuemeodo, disclosed that Okorocha only honoured an invitation by the anti- graft agency.

The statement disclosed that the agency was  investigating Okorocha’s activities as an ex-governor of the state following a petition written by a farmer governor of the state, Emeka Ihedioha.

The statement reads partly,  “The truth is that, Okorocha left as the governor of Imo State on May 28, 2019. And shortly after, the Imo State Government wrote petitions against him.”

“The EFCC investigated the petitions and has been in various courts of the land with Okorocha, to that effect.

“And if the EFCC has decided to invite Okorocha for clarifications on the matters already in court, especially with a new chairman at the helm of affairs at the commission, there is nothing wrong with that.

“At the end of the day, we would know whether the commission will be withdrawing the cases in courts, or would continue with the cases.

“But to us, the commission is doing its job and should be given the needed cooperation. And Okorocha being a law-abiding citizen, would always cooperate with the commission over the matters in courts.”

News Credit: Punch Newspaper.

N2bn Ponzi scheme fraud: Lawyer petitions EFCC, AGF, others

EFCC officials

A legal practitioner, Mr Ifeanyi Mamah, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) over alleged fraud by an online Ponzi scheme known as MyBONUS.

Mamah, who also petitioned the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) said on Thursday in Abuja that MyBONUS allegedly swindled its victims up to the tune of over two billion naira.

He said that MyBONUS floated by some group of persons allegedly committed the fraud in connivance with a microfinance bank, `Kuda Microfinance Bank Ltd’ with headquarters in Lagos.

“We are begging the EFCC, NFIU and AGF for urgent intervention in recovering the money for the victims and forestalling future occurrences,’’ Mamah said.

He alleged that leaders of the syndicate operated myBONUS2U technology, popularly known as myBONUS, “whose website is mybonus2u.com’’.

He said that the platform was a fraudulent cashback one which, by their representations, ensured members received cashback while shopping online from over 700 commerce stores globally.

According to him, this notwithstanding, investors convinced to put in their monies given assurance of certain percentage interest and withdrawal of capital on demand.

“The unsuspecting victims were promised to receive capital back on demand, in addition to other privileges,” he said.

He said that it was discovered that the syndicate whose names and accounts were used for the scheme with the Kuda Microfinance Bank Ltd (RC796975) turned out to be a fraud.

He said that since January 2021 the investment platform, website, and software application, discovered to have been intentionally floated to allegedly defraud unsuspecting victims by the group, had been disabled.

“The operators of the scheme completely disconnected from the victims and totally lost communications.

“Consequently, victims’ capitals, amongst others running into billions of Naira, paid into the individuals accounts with Kuda Microfinance Bank Ltd and provided by myBONUS, cannot be accessed any longer.

“The website’s server DNS can no longer be found and MyBONUS application downloaded from Google play store is no more functional since January 2021,’’ Mamah said.

He, therefore, called on the relevant authorities to use the relevant laws in bringing the alleged fraudsters to book and weed the country’s cyberspace of crimes.

However, Kuda Microfinance Bank Ltd via its official email address help@kudabank.com, said that the allegations were false.

One of its Customer Service Officers, Ms Jennifer Obiakor said: “being a bank, Kuda can never help fraudsters. We do not and will never support anyone who tries to swindle Nigerians.”

“We have locked all accounts involved in this and we are working closely with regulators to prevent the activities of potential scammers,’’ Obiakor told NAN.

See what EFCC operatives saw inside the snacks two ladies brought for detainees inside cell

Two ladies whose name were given as Ayodele Jumoke and Temitayo Opeoluwa, have both landed theirself in trouble, as the good thing they wanted to do to their friends inside cell boomeranged.

It was made known that the duo told EFCC operatives, in Ibadan Zonal Office that they came to visit their friends who were been detained inside their facility and that, they brought snacks for them on the way.

However, after the operatives saw what they brought, they inspected it and saw that, they wrapped weed and colorado inside a small cellophane packs and tucked them inside the sausages they brought.

It was made known that the two ladies will be handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency otherwise called NDLEA for dealing with hard drugs.

It was also made known that the three detainees , whom the two ladies brought the hard drugs for are internet fraudsters who were arrested during a follow up operation in Ibadan.

Presidential anti-corruption committee rejects move to scrap EFCC

Presidential anti-corruption committee rejects move to scrap EFCC

By Godsgift Onyedinefu on September 17, 2020

The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) has raised the alarm over what it described as a sinister and dangerous attempt to scrap the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the National Assembly.

The presidential committee said a draft Bill intended to repeal the EFCC Establishment Act 2004 is being circulated by enemies of Nigeria who are “too ashamed to put their names to the draft Bill”.

According to a statement signed by PACAC chairman, Itse Sagay, and made available by the PACAC’s communications officer, Aghogho Agbahor, the committee said the draft Bill seeks to “repeal of the current EFCC Establishment Act; scrap the Commission and replacing it with a weak agency; replace the executive chairman of the EFCC with a director-general who is effectively to be appointed by the Attorney-General”.

“This eliminates the EFCC’s freedom and autonomy and replaces it with an entity under the complete control of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General. The replacement of the Board of EFCC with directors who are effectively to be appointees of the Attorney-General,” the statement said.

The committee said the draft Bill further seeks “the elimination of the position of the secretary of the EFCC, a critical officer who serves as the institutional memory and the administrative head of the agency”.

“Under the proposed Act, the Annual Report of the EFCC is not to be submitted to the National Assembly until it has been passed through the Attorney-General for onward transmission to the National Assembly, thus making the Attorney-General the reporting officer of the agency rather than the chairman or the director-general, as the new Bill is proposing,” it said.

The committee alleged that those behind the move are “the representatives of the corrupt establishment that brought this country to its knees and subjected us to humiliation as a result of an extremely negative reputation internationally”.

The PACAC, in justifying the relevance of the EFCC, argued that the commission has successfully prosecuted about 3,000 persons, including high-profile political office holders, in the last five years whilst the whole of the Ministry of Justice has been underperforming during this period.

It also informed that assets worth about N1 trillion have been recovered by the EFCC during the period, while the recovery of funds looted and taken abroad to different countries, also amounting to about $1 billion, has been due largely to the EFCC.

“All the evidence used in establishing fraud and corruption against P&ID in the recent London case which led to Nigeria being given the opportunity of challenging the $10 billion award made against Nigeria in favour of P&ID was exclusively provided by the EFCC to Nigeria’s London solicitors. This is fulsomely acknowledged by the London Court in its Judgment,” the committee said.

It argued that with the above established facts, the gravity of the proposed change becomes overwhelming.

“When in addition to all this, we recall the well-known proclivity of the Attorney-General for entering nolle procequi in favour of major political and governmental figures, this move to effectively scrap the EFCC becomes more alarming,” the committee said in the statement.

“We therefore call on the National Assembly and all Nigerians to vigorously reject this attempt to perpetrate fraud on the nation by effectively scuttling the EFCC and shutting down Nigeria’s anti-corruption war,” it said.