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EFCC arraigns ECOWAS Secretariat staff for N587.7m fraud

 …Secures conviction of fraudster in Sokoto

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday, October 18, 2019, arraigned one Muhammad Dangana before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja on a 15-count charge, bordering on criminal diversion of funds, misappropriation and money laundering to the tune of over N587.700million.

This was disclosed in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, saying that Dangana, an executive assistant to the Financial Controller, ECOWAS Commission Secretariat, Abuja is facing prosecution alongside Aliu Sesay, Saleh Dangana and others, all of whom are at large.

Count 14 of the charges reads: “That you Muhammad Dangana, male adult, being the executive assistant to the Financial Controller, ECOWAS Commission Secretariat, Abuja, sometime in 2016 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did launder the sum of N200,000,000 you dishonestly diverted from ECOWAS Commission funds, entrusted in your care and management by using same to purchase a plot of land, being Plot 36 Guzape District, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 11 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to all the charges, prompting the prosecution team, led by Mr. Wahab Shittu to ask the court for a trial date and to remand the defendant in prison custody.

Justice Abang remanded him in prison custody and fixed the matter for November 11, 12, 13 and 14 for trial, the statement said.

In a similar development, the EFCC, Sokoto Zonal Office, on Friday, October 18, 2019 secured the conviction of one Momoh Ibrahim Onimisi before Justice Malami Umar Dogondaji of Sokoto State High Court.

Onimisi was convicted on a one-count charge of intent to defraud to the tune of N300,000.00 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira) only.

The convict’s journey to prison started sometime in October 2018 when he approached the complainant, James Olurunfemi under false pretence that his company Rabase Nigeria Ltd was awarded a contract by the Conference of Primary Schools Head Teachers of Nigeria, Sokoto State Chapter and that he needed the sum of N300,000.00 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira) to execute it, whereas he neither own a company, nor was awarded any contract.

The charge reads: “That you Momoh Ibrahim Onimisi, sometime in October 2018 at Sokoto, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, dishonestly misappropriated the sum of N300,000.00 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira) only, belonging to one James Olurunfemi and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of the Penal Code Law and punishable under Section 309 of the same law.’’

Onimisi pleaded guilty to the charge upon his arraignment.

In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, M. M Gwani asked the court to convict and sentence him in line with the plea bargain agreement reached by the prosecution and defence on the matter.

The defence counsel, M. D Uwais, however, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as his client was a first time offender, who has become remorseful. He also told the court that the defendant has made restitution to the victim to the tune of his lost sum.

Justice Dogondaji convicted and sentenced the defendant to one-year imprisonment with N5000 (Five Thousand Naira) option of fine, the statement added.

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