The Court of Appeal has sustained the 15 years jail term handed down to three staff of Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE) who were convicted of defrauding the school of N6.6 million by an Ogun State High Court.
One of the convicts, Temilade Yusuf, who was dissatisfied with the sentencing, had approached the Ibadan Division of the Court of Appeal asking the appellate court to dismiss the judgment secured against her by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
But the Justices of the appellate court agreed entirely with the submission of ICPC, presented by Enosa Omoghibo, and unanimously affirmed the convictions and sentence of the High Court, Abeokuta.
Recall that three members of staff of TASCE, Mr. Samuel Adeyemi, Mr. Amuludun Tosin and Mrs. Temilade Yusuf were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for embezzling N6, 577, 903.4 belonging to the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) of the school.
ICPC, in a 5-count charge, before Justice A. Akinyemi, said that the trio conspired to commit fraud by converting the money kept in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) by NASU for personal use contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same section.
Adeyemi as Chairman kept N3.3 million, while Amuludun and Temilade got N1.88 and N1.3 million each as Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
The three accused persons were earlier arraigned on 8th October, 2015 and had pleaded not guilty to all the allegations leveled against them by ICPC, which set the tone for months of legal battle between them and the Commission.
Omoghibo convinced the court that the accused persons’ actions were a breach of trust and pleaded with the court to mete out appropriate punishment in accordance with the provision of the law, to serve as a deterrent to other public office holders and people in positions of trust.
Justice Akinyemi in his ruling found them guilty as charged and therefore sentenced them to five years imprisonment each without an option of fine.
Customs hands over $54,330 tramadol bribe money to EFCC
The Tincan Island Port (TCIP) command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has handed over 54,330 dollars tramadol bribe money to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Customs Area Controller of Tin Can Island Port command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, disclosed this at the handing over of the money to the EFCC Zonal Commander, Mr Michael Wetkas, in Lagos on Tuesday.
Nnadi also reiterated the zero compromise for corruption stance of the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi.
According to Nnadi, the tramadol were falsely declared as electrical appliances valued over N856 million with a view to concealing them while the cash were offered to compromise the customs officers.
The controller said the act was in clear violation of Section 233 of Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCAA) 2023 and commended the officers who stood their grounds to work ethically and lawfully in the interest of national security.
He further called for continuous compliance on the part of port users and reminded them that the NCS with the collaboration of sister agencies like the EFCC would continue to frustrate criminal activities in the port.
Nnadi lauded the officers, who under whose watch, the seizure was achieved and described them as good ambassadors of the NCS.
“The two suspects arrested in connection with the two containers are currently being investigated by the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control for possible prosecution,” he said.
Wetkas while receiving the cash, described the feat as a victory for the country and to all the security agencies.
He specifically celebrated the officers of the NCS that achieved it.
Wetkas also lauded the the comptroller general for the letter of commendation in appreciation of the six customs officers who refused to bow to pressure and inducement from the owners of the illicit drugs.
He promised continued collaboration between the EFCC, NCS and sister agencies.
According to him, the era of working without collaboration is gone as the agencies now work closer.
Beware of ATM swap fraudsters, EFCC alerts Nigerians
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has advised Nigerians to be wary of ATM swap fraudsters, saying the commission had been inundated with a barrage of complaints from the public concerning the incident.
The EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Dele Oyewale, gave the advice in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Ibadan.
Oyewale said investigations by the Commission have linked unauthorised withdrawals from customers bank accounts to Automated Teller Machine (ATM) day Debit Card swapping or fraud.
He said that the modus operandi of the fraudsters involved keeping a debit card of the same bank, and swapping the card in the guise of helping a confused bank customer at any ATM point.
“They swap the card in such a hurry that the customer would not notice and at the same time memorise the pin used in trying the fake cards.
“These cards get stuck in the machine due to a wrong pin and the fraudster quickly abandons the victim, advising him/her to report to the bank while making away with the victim’s card to make immediate withdrawals from the account.
“This card swapping typically happens in any service delivery point, such as Point of Sale (POS) terminals, and ATM points, among others,” Oyewale said.
He said that the fraudulent practice was gaining momentum across the country and the banking public was enjoined to be more circumspect in the use of debit cards.
The commission listed the useful tips to be adopted by the banking public to avoid further financial losses to include keeping cards in sight or a safe place after making any transaction and ensure that the card actually belongs to oneself.
“Regularly check your bank statements for any unknown transaction, set transaction alerts to monitor any activity on your accounts or with your bank card are also vital in stopping the fraudsters.
“You could also cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN at POS terminal/ATM machines and never be in a rush to make payments or withdrawals and request for assistance only from officials of the bank.
“Call your banks to block your ATM cards immediately your cards are stuck in the ATM machines or whenever you observe any irregularity.
“Ensure you know your bank’s ATM off line, blocking code and quickly make use of it whenever it is misplaced or stolen.
“Dial the USSD code *966*911# and follow the pop-up instructions to block your ATM card instantly,” EFCC advised
Oyewale said the commission would not relent in safeguarding personal, corporate and national finances in its quest to rid the nation of all forms of economic and financial crimes.
Troops nab two kidnappers, rescue two victims in Taraba
Troops of 6 Brigade Garrison, Nigerian Army, have captured two suspected kidnappers and rescued two kidnap victims in Taraba.
The suspects were arrested on Sunday during an anti kidnapping patrol by the troops in Jalingo, the Brigade spokesman, Lt. Ayodeji Abiodun, said in a statement on Monday.
He said that the troops, acting on credible information, raided the kidnappers’ hideout and captured the two suspects, Awwal Bobo, 32 and Sallau Abdul, 33.
The Brigade spokesman gave the names of the rescued victims as Mrs Fauziyya Yusuf and Mr Abdulsalam Abubakar.
“One of the rescued victims has since been reunited with his family while the other is currently being offered necessary medical attention and support to ensure her physical and emotional well-being before being handed over to her family,” Abiodun added.
He said that the Brigade Commander, Brig.-Gen. Frank Etim, has commended the timely response of the troops and charged them not to relent in ensuring peace and safety of law-abiding citizens.
He enjoined the citizens to support security agencies with timely information to enhance prompt response to security issues.
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