Justice A. T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced a former Special Adviser to Dan Abia, erstwhile managing director of Niger Delta Development Commission, George Turnah, and two others: Ebis Orubebe and Uzorgor Silas Chidebere, to six years imprisonment for obtaining money under false pretence, money laundering, conversion of funds and forgery 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.
They were jailed on Thursday, September 7, 2023, having been found guilty of charges preferred against them by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The defendants were originally arraigned by the EFCC in May, 2017 and re- arraigned on January 25, 2021 on 23- count charges bordering on obtaining by false pretence, money laundering and abuse of office to the tune of N2, 894, 500, 000 ( Two Billion, Eight Hundred and Ninety- Four Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira).
Count 6 of the charge reads: “That you, George Turnah Alabh, Uzogor Silas Chidiebere, El-Godams Global Services Ltd., Turnoil and Gas Nigeria Ltd, Kolo Creek Petroleum Dev. Ltd, Celtic Pride Consult and Events Ltd, Yenagoa Mall Ltd, The Incorporated Trustees of Concerned Niger Delta Initiative, Adaka Boro Marine Services Ltd, Sugarland Integrated Farms Nig. Ltd, Geohan Telecommunication Nig. Ltd and others at large, on or about the 24th day of November, 2014, at Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did take possession of the sum of Seven Hundred and Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N708,500,000.00) which you reasonably ought to know that the money was obtained by a false pretence from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) purportedly for the purpose of providing quick win jobs for 300 youths and women groups and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under 15 (3) of the same Act.”
Count 23 of the charge reads: “That you George Turnah Alabh in 2014 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did receive the sum of $1000,000.00 (One Million United State Dollars) (at the exchange rate of N184 to a Dollar) cash from one Umar Lawal of Hakuri Global Concept exceeding the statutory limit without going through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2) (b) of the same Act.”
They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Prosecution counsel, I. Agwu, called several witnesses and tendered documents to prove the case against the defendants.
Justice Mohammed convicted and sentenced them to two years imprisonment each, starting from the date of their arrest. The 1st defendant was ordered to pay N1, 000, 000( One Million Naira only) as an option of fine while the 2nd and 3rd defendants are to pay N500,000, (Five Hundred Thousand Naira only) into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Additionally, the 4th, 6th and 10th defendants are to return the sum of One Hundred and Eighty Million Naira (N180,000,000). Other restitutions include, N5,000,000, (Five Million Naira only) traced to the 1st convict, N100,000,000( One Hundred Million Naira only) traced to the 6th and 10th convicts, N50,000,000( Fifty Million Naira only) traced to Optimal Sandard. They are to be forfeited to the NDDC.
Others are: N46,760,843.61 (Forty Six Million, Seven Hundred and Sixty Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty Three Naira, Sixty One Kobo), N494,371.86( Four Hundred and Ninety Four Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy One Naira, Eighty Six Kobo), N13,000,000( Thirteen Million Naira) and Twenty Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira( N23, 500,000) to be forfeited to the NDDC by the 9th, 4th, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.
Navy acquires 12 UAVs to improve fight against maritime crime
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, on Friday, said that the Nigerian Navy had acquired 12 Comstrac System Ovation Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to improve the fight against maritime crime.
Ogalla made this known at the commissioning ceremony of the UAVs and the adoption of the revised Local Operating Procedure and Local Training Order, held at the Naval Air Base, Ojo, Lagos.
The CNS was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Rear Adm. Zakariyyah Muhammed.
Ogalla said that the surveillance UAVs would complement the already existing air assets of the Nigerian Navy, while supporting the surface ships and maritime domain awareness platforms.
“In an era where the nature of warfare is evolving rapidly, embracing cutting-edge technologies becomes imperative for enhancing our national security.
“These UAVs, with their advanced capabilities and versatility, will undoubtedly enhance our naval surveillance for furtherance of strategic capabilities.
“I have no doubt that this will rejig the Nigerian Navy towards better service delivery in the maritime domain of our dear country,” he said.
The CNS added that the Navy was expecting five more helicopters within the forst quarter of 2024 which would enhance its maritime capabilities.
“This will make safer waters for both local and international maritime trade,” he said.
Ogalla commended the Western Naval Command for innovative and dogged efforts toward maintaining credible maritime presence and curtailing criminalities in its area of operations.
Gov. Radda suspends school principal for alledged sexual scandal
Ogun Govt. places N50m bounty on killers of Oyekanmi, Finance Director
The Ogun Government has announced a reward of N50 million for any information that could lead to the arrest of the killers of Director of Finance and Administration (DFA) attached to Gov. Dapo Abiodun’s office, Mr. Taiwo Oyekanmi .
Mr Tokunbo Talabi, the Secretary to the State Government, announced the reward in a statement in Abeokuta on Friday.
According to the statement, Information provided would be treated with utmost confidentiality.
” Such information can be sent to the underlisted telephone numbers:
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that suspected armed robbers on Nov. 29 shot dead Oyekanmi, and carted away government funds.
Oyekanmi had cashed an undisclosed amount of money from a branch of Fidelity bank in Abeokuta, and was heading back to the office when he was waylaid by the gunmen.
According to source, the gunmen, about five of them, shot the accountant dead at Kuto bridge in Abeokuta and went away with the government’s money.
It was gathered that Oyekanmi and other aides who sustained gunshot injuries during the attacks, were rushed to the State General Hospital, Ijaye, where the accountant later died.
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