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EFCC arraigns man over alleged land fraud in Uyo

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The Uyo Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Tuesday, arraigned Victor Saviour Uko on one-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and obtaining N900,000.00 by false pretence.

Uko was made to appear before Justice Fatu Riman of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Uko, TIMELY POST learnt ran into troubles when the Commission recieved a petition dated July 18, 2019, from Mfonobong SundayJim, alleging that sometime in December 2018, he was lured into purchasing a parcel of land situated at Ikot-Oku in Ikono village, Uyo, by the defendant and his accomplice namely; Daniel Udofia and two others who are said to be currently at large (Effiong Bassey Jackson and Otu Saviour Uko).

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren said this in a statement in Abuja.

EFCC said according to the petitioner, while the defendant presented himself as the owner of the said land, Udofia presented himself as the village head of Ikono village. Based on this assurance, Jim paid the said amount of money in cash to Uko and a signed power of attorney was issued to him.

But the complainant reportedly realised he had been defrauded when he tried to develop the land.

EFCC affirmed he was, therefore, stopped by a traditional injunction placed on the land by the community and was further informed that the land belonged to the community. Efforts made by the petitioner to get his money proved abortive.

The one-count charge reads; “That you Victor Saviour Uko “M” on or about the 19th day of December, 2018, at Ikot-Oku Ikono village, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did obtain the sum of N900,000.00 (Nine hundred thousand naira) only from Mfonobong Sunday Jim, which money was paid to you under the pretence that the money is a purchase price for a piece of land known as “Ikot Esa” behind QIC Primary School, Ikot-Oku Ikono village, Uyo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State and that you are a bonafide owner of the said land, a pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”

When the charge was read in English language and interpreted to him in Ibibio language, as he claimed to understand the later, the defendant reportedly pleaded guilty but the defence counsel, David Akpanofun, quickly objected to his plea and applied that the charge be read and re-interpreted to him.

But when his application was granted, Uko reportedly changed his initial plea of guilty to not guilty.

On this basis, Shehu Usman, the prosecution counsel, prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded in prison custody.

Also, Akpanofun who attempted to make an oral application for bail was vehemently opposed by the prosecution on the grounds that he jumped the administrative bail earlier granted to the defendant by the Commission.

However, the matter was adjourned to Friday, October 11, for hearing of bail application as the defendant was remanded in EFCC custody.

It was also gathered that the defendant and Udofia were arrested on August 28, 2019. But Uko later jumped bail and was re-arrested at Ikom Iman junction on October 4.

EFCC said Udofia would soon be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

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Metro/Crime

Abuja gunmen kill father, abduct his two children

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Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have killed a man identified as Ayuba Chashe, and abducted his two children at Yebu community in Kwali Area Council of FCT.

The Chairman of Kwali Area Council, Mr Danladi Chiya, confirmed the development to NAN on Tuesday.

Chiya said that the incident happened at midnight on Monday when the gunmen attacked the community.

The chairman condemned the attack on Yebu community that led to the death of the man and the abduction of his two children.

He assured the residents in the area that everything possible would be done to get the perpetrators to book and the children released from captivity safely.

He commiserated with the affected family and assured that there was collaboration between security agencies to make sure that the kidnappers are apprehended.

Chiya, therefore, urged the community to cooperate with security agencies and report any suspicious movement to curb the menace in the area.

Meanwhile, efforts to reach the F.C.T Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Anjuguri Manza, proved abortive.

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Metro/Crime

Court convicts two for N7m fraud in Benue state

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Makurdi Zonal Office, Tuesday secured the conviction of Osikoya Kolawole Gboyega and Adewuyi Ademola Adebayo for Automated Teller Machine fraud.

The duo appeared before Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court, Makurdi, capital of the state.

But the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren in a statement to TIMELY POST affirmed that the convicts pleaded guilty to two counts following a plea bargain agreement.

On this basis, the prosecuting counsel, G. G. Chia-Yakua, urged the Court to accept the plea bargain agreement and convict them accordingly.

In his ruling, Justice Olajuwon pronounced them guilty and subsequently convicted and sentenced them to two years imprisonment with option of fine of N100,000 each on count one; two years imprisonment with option of fine of N100,000 each on count two, both to run concurrently.

The presiding Justice also ordered that the sum of N300,000 that they had refunded in the course of investigation be paid to the complainant as restitution.

However, TIMELY POST learnt that trouble started for Kolawole and Adebayo when they were arrested by operatives of the Commission on September 9 and 10, in Lagos State in relation to a case of fraud, aiding and abetting.

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Metro/Crime

Man arraigned for alleged N46m fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos office, Monday arraigned Ola Lawal alongside his firm, DCAN Oil and Gas Limited over alleged N46 million money laundering and stealing.

Lawal was made to appear before Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi in Lagos State.

TIMELY POST gathered it was an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

The anti-graft spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.

One of the charges reads: “That you Ola Lawal (a.k.a Lawal Roland) and DCAN Oil and Gas Limited on or about 24th June, 2019 in Lagos within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court fraudulently transferred the sum of N46, 000, 000.00 (Forty-Six Million Naira) from Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc Account Number 1002792889 domiciled in United Bank for Africa Plc to DCAN Oil and Gas Limited Account Number 0036695765 domiciled in Union Bank Plc which you ought to have known that such fund forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.”

But the defendant reportedly pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.

It was on this ground that prosecution counsel, Muhammad Hussain asked the court for a trial date and order the remand of the defendant in Correctional Service custody.

But the defence counsel, Godwin Dick informed the court of a bail application already before the court and which has been served on the prosecution.

In his ruling, Justice Obiozor adjourned the case to October 15, for hearing of bail application and commencement of trial.

The Presiding Justice also ordered that the defendant be remanded in the EFCC custody.

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