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Alleged N6bn money laundering: Fidelity Bank staff testifies against Mompha

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Fidelity Bank compliance officer, Ezekoli Ozoemenam, on Monday testified against a social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha AKA Mompha, who is facing trial over money laundering charges involving the sum of N6 billion.

Ozoemenam, the fourth prosecution witness, was led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, counsel, Mr Suleiman Suleiman.

The witness testified about the package of an account of the bank allegedly linked to Mompha.

The prosecution, thereafter, tendered the document and prayed the court to admit it in evidence.

Defence counsel, Mr Kolawole Salami, told the court that he reserved his objection to the tendering of the document in evidence.

Counsel to EFCC, thereafter, appealed to the court for a witness summons to compel appearance of EFCC’s next witness.

The counsel said that he needed the summons because the witness complained of feeling unsafe and receiving threats to his life.

Justice Mojisola Dada, however, said that it was the duty of prosecution to ensure appearance of its witnesses in court.

Mompha was absent at the court. Recall that his trial in absentia started on June 3, 2023 when a compliance officer with Access Bank testified against him.

The court, on Sept. 21 2022, ordered commencement of Mompha’s trial in absentia after he failed to appear before it on several occasions.

Also, EFCC had, on Jan. 22, 2022, arraigned Mustapha alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd., on eight counts bordering on N6 billion laundering.

The charges against Mompha include conspiracy to launder money obtained through unlawful activities and laundering of money obtained through unlawful activities.

The others are retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, use of property derived from an unlawful act, possession of a document containing false pretences, and failure to disclose assets.

The judge adjourned the case until July 1 for continuation of trial.

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Tinubu appoints Olatunji Bello CEO, Vice Chairman of FCCPC

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr. Olatunji Bello as the new Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, pending confirmation by the Senate.

A statement by Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu’s media aide, noted that Mr. Bello is a lawyer, administrator, and renowned journalist.

He is the former secretary to the Lagos State Government and holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos. He studied Law at the same university and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2002.

Mr. Bello began his career in journalism at the Concord Newspapers in 1985 and held the positions of Group Political Editor, Sunday Concord Editor, and Editor of National Concord.

He is a winner of the US Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship and was appointed Chairman of the Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspapers in 2001.

He also served as Commissioner for Environment under various administrations in Lagos State.

Ngelale said the President expects that the new CEO of this important agency will ensure the holistic realisation of the commission’s mandate of protecting and promoting the interests and welfare of Nigerian consumers and ensuring the adoption of measures to guarantee the safety and quality of goods and services.

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NCDC reports 1,598 suspected cholera cases in Nigeria

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, NCDC, has reported 1,598 suspected cases of cholera across 107 local government areas.

The cholera outbreak is characterised by a case fatality rate of 3.5 per cent, significantly higher than the national expected average of one per cent, underscoring the severity of the situation.

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Jide Idris, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja while providing an update on the cholera epidemiological situation in Nigeria and ongoing prevention and response efforts at the national and sub-national levels.

Cholera is a severe diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The disease remains a significant health challenge, especially in regions with inadequate sanitation and clean water access.

Understanding the transmission mechanism of cholera is crucial to curbing its spread and implementing effective prevention measures.

Idris said: “Government is deeply concerned about the rapid spread and higher-than-expected mortality rate, indicating a more lethal outbreak.”

He emphasised that the fatalities represented significant personal losses, including those of family members, spouses, parents and healthcare workers.

“This situation can be compounded as the rainy season intensifies,” he added.

He disclosed that Lagos State accounted for the highest number of deaths with 29, followed by Rivers with eight, Abia and Delta with four each, Katsina with three, Bayelsa with two and Kano, Nasarawa and Cross River with one each.

He added: “This alarming trend highlights the urgent need for coordinated response to prevent further escalation of the crisis. Sixteen states accounted for 90 per cent of the confirmed cases, with Lagos being the epicentre of the outbreak. Lagos State, having the highest number of cases, has received significant focus, with ongoing support and resources directed to manage the outbreak effectively.”

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NAFDAC alerts public on unregistered B-GAG syrup

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has notified Nigerians about the illegal production and sale of unregistered B-GAG mist pot CIT syrup.

The alert is contained in a public notice No. 023/2024, issued by the agency’s Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, in Abuja on Sunday.

The unregistered product is alleged to have been sold by a company named Babban Gida Agalawa General Enterprises.

According to the statement, the product, being presented in a pet bottle, was discovered during a surveillance operation carried out by the NAFDAC Post Marketing Surveillance Directorate Officers in Maiduguri, Borno, and Keffi, Nasarawa States.

It said that the product was found to be without a NAFDAC registration number and a misleading label.

NAFDAC in the statement said that illegal marketing of medicines or counterfeit medicines posed a risk to public health.

Adeyeye noted that without compliance with regulatory provisions of safety, quality, and efficacy of such products were not guaranteed.

The agency gave the batch number of the fake product as 0070, the manufacturing date as 01/02/2024, as well as the expiring date as 01/02/2027.

Adeyeye also gave the address of the manufacturer as No. 883/884 Western Bypass Ring Road, Kumbosto Local Government, Kano State.

Adeyeye further said that NAFDAC Zonal Directors and State Coordinators had been directed to carry out surveillance to mop up the illegal products within the zones and states.

She advised consumers and caregivers to avoid the use of the product, adding that all medical products must be obtained from authorised and licensed suppliers.

Adeyeye said that products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked before buying.

She also advised healthcare professionals and consumers to report any suspicion of either the sale of substandard and falsified medicines or medical devices to the nearest NAFDAC office.

Adeyeye called on the public to report any adverse reaction to NAFDAC on 0800-162-3322 or via email: [email protected].

She encouraged healthcare professionals and patients to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of medicinal products through NAFDAC E-reporting platforms.

The e-reporting platforms, according to her are: www.nafdac.gov.ng, the Med- safety application available for download on Android, and IOS stores or via e-mail on [email protected].

She said the notice about the product would be uploaded on the World Health Organisation, Global Surveillance and Monitoring System.

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