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N10.9bn Fraud: Court jails ex-Finbank MD, Nwosu, three others

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Justice Lateefa A. Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, convicted and sentenced Okey Nwosu, a former Managing Director, Finbank Plc, to three years imprisonment for over N10 billion fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had arraigned Nwosu alongside Dayo Famuroti, Agnes Ebubedike and Danjuma Ocholi on a 26-count amended charge bordering on stealing and illegal conversion  to the tune of N10,934,704,402.

The defendants, who perpetrated the fraud while they were directors of the bank, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them, thereby leading to their full trial.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs , SAN, called witnesses and also tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence against the defendants.

Delivering her judgment, the Judge found the defendants guilty and sentenced the first and second defendants, Nwosu and Famoroti, to three years imprisonment each.

The Judge also sentenced the third defendant, Ocholi, to 12 months imprisonment and slammed a  six- month community service on the fourth defendant, Ebubedike.

The case had, suffered a setback as the defendants challenged the jurisdiction of the trial court up to the Supreme Court. While the court maintained its jurisdiction to try the defendants, Nwosu approached the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal which in November 2013 struck out the charge against the banker.

The appellate court ruled that the Lagos High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the charges because they emanated from capital market transactions, which should be handled by the Federal High Court.

Following the appeal court ruling, Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike approached the Lagos High Court to dismiss the charges preferred against them.

But Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, counsel to EFCC had prayed the court to adjourn the matter indefinitely pending the determination of its appeal at the Supreme Court

Justice Okunnu upheld the prayers of Jacobs and adjourned the matter sine die to allow the Supreme Court rule on the matter.

The Supreme Court, in its judgment, upheld EFCC’s appeal. In a unanimous judgment, a seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court faulted the argument of the Court of Appeal that the decision by the EFCC to charge Nwosu and the other directors  for stealing before the Lagos High Court, while it maintained a charge of money laundering against them, would amount to double jeopardy.

The Supreme Court directed Nwosu and co- defendants to submit themselves for trial before the Lagos High Court.

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Crime

We have prosecuted 600 suspects in 6 months — Ondo Amotekun

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The Ondo State Amotekun Corps says it has arrested and prosecuted no fewer than 600 suspects in the last six months.

Chief AdetunjiAdeleye, Amotekun Corps Commander, disclosed this while parading 48 suspects on Wednesday in Akure.

Adeleye explained that the criminal activities spread across kidnapping, stealing of cows, attempted murder, fraud and illegal counterfeiting of money.

He said that those arrested and prosecuted were involved in cultism, illegal migration, stealing of planks, burglary, arson, anti-grazing activities and vandalisation of government assets.

Adeleye said that the 48 suspects had been profiled and would soon be prosecuted in court.

“The signals we are sending to criminals is that Ondo State is not a place where they can stay.

“We want them to know that once you kidnap, you can’t get away with it. If you steal a car, you can’t get away with it; if you breaks a house, we’ll pick you; so, what’s the point doing what you know you won’t get away with.

“We’re telling criminals in the state to get out of Ondo State.

“And to the good people of Ondo State, we want to reassure you that the government of Lucky Aiyedatiwa is resolute in making the state conducive for business, social activities and all that makes the state a good one to stay.

“About 600 suspects have been prosecuted between January and June 2024.

“So, kidnapping in Ondo State has gone down by 90 percent and the remaining 10 percent, we only have them in the boarders and the extreme.

“But in all of these few occasions, we always ensure that we rescue the victims and the suspects are made to face the music.”

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Crime

Two men arraigned for allegedly stealing N139,000 cell phone

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By Adeyanju Esther

Abdulateef Olasunkanmi and Sunday Morice, both 28, were arraigned before an Ota Magistrates’ Court in Ogun State on Wednesday for allegedly stealing a cell phone worth N139,000 and assaulting the owner, Zinsu Joseph.

The prosecution, led by Inspector E.O. Adaraloye, accused the defendants of conspiring to commit the crimes on June 12 at Arobilaye, Ota.

According to Adaraloye, Olasunkanmi and Morice, along with others still at large, punched Joseph repeatedly, stealing his phone valued at N139,000. The defendants face charges of stealing, assault, and conspiracy.

The offences violate Sections 390 (9), 451, and 516 of the Criminal Code Laws of Ogun, 2006.

Both defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Magistrate O.O. Fadairo granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N100,000 each, with two sureties each in the same amount. Fadairo stipulated that the sureties must reside within the court’s jurisdiction, be gainfully employed, and provide evidence of tax payment to the state government.

The case was adjourned until June 20 for further hearing.

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Crime

Lagos police nab 35-year-old for attempted taxi snatching

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By Sodiq Adelakun

The Lagos Police Command has arrested a 35-year-old passenger for attempting to snatch an airport taxi from its driver.

According to police spokesperson Benjamin Hundeyin, the suspect requested a ride to Ikeja but attacked the driver with a knife en route, trying to steal the vehicle.

The driver raised an alarm, and the anti-crime team in Alausa promptly responded, apprehending the suspect.

The police confirmed the arrest on Wednesday, highlighting their swift response to the incident.

“On getting to the Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, by 7UP Alausa Ikeja, the suspect, who was sitting beside him suddenly brought out a knife from his bag and attacked him in an attempt to snatch his Toyota Camry car,” Hundeyin said.

“In the process, the driver sustained a deep knife cut on his hand while trying to struggle with the suspect.

“He quickly raised an alarm, where some good Nigerians came to his rescue, while the suspect took to his heels.

“However, after a hot chase, he was later arrested by the anti-crime team of Alausa police division.”

Hundeyin added that the investigation is still ongoing as the suspect has been taken to the station with the car as exhibit.

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