Ex President Jonathan’s aide, Dudafa, lawyer face trial over alleged $31m fraud

Ex President Jonathan’s aide, Dudafa, lawyer face trial over alleged $31m fraud

Thursday, August 18, 2016 9:37 pm

EFCC operatives

EFCC operatives

Akin Kuponiyi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday charged Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Mr. Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel Dudafa, a lawyer, Amajuoyi Azubike Briggs, and three others to court over alleged fraud of $13,434,400milion.

Others charged before the court presided over by Justice AbdulAziz Anka of a Federal High Court in Lagos   is one Demola Bolodeoku, and five limited liability companies, namely; Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited and Globus Integrated Services Limited.

In a 17 count criminal charge filed at the court, EFCC alleged that all the accused persons between November 13, 2013, and May 28, 2015, conspired to conceal the total sum of $31. 434,400millionwhich they knew to form part of proceeds of an unlawful act, through various banks in Nigeria.

They were alleged to have committed the fraud with one Sombre Omeibi, now at large, through accounts number 2110002269, 2110002238, 2110002245, 210002252, 2110002207, 2110002269 and 0122493290, domiciled in Skye Bank Plc.

The Offences alleged to have been committed by the accused persons tare contrary to sections 18(a) and 15(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable Unser Section 15(3) of the same Act.

However, the arraignment of the accused persons was stalled due to the absence of former President’s aide, Dudafa, and representatives of the accused companies named in the alleged fraud.

When the case was mentioned EFCC’s prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, sought for an adjournment to enable the anti-graft agency serve the charges on the other accused persons.

In seeking for the adjournment, Oyedepo told the court that the agency needs a court order for proper service of the charge on Dudafa, whom he said rejected service in prison custody.

He also urged the court to make pronouncement to enable the EFCC serve the second accused person, Mr. Briggs, a lawyer, whom he said was the Secretary to the companies, and who refereed all the alleged fraudulent transactions made by the companies named in the fraud.

In seeking for adjournment, Oyedepo said: “the first defendant is a private individual, and under Section 123 of ACJA, we are to serve him personally. We went to prison on August 12, 2016, to serve him the charge but he declined service.

“We have charged in a related case before Justice Idris, though he was granted bail but an issue crop up, consequently he is still in prison.

“I also need the order of the court to serve the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth defendants, the companies we were opportune to know who and who their directors are.”

“In the course of Investigation, we came to know that the Chambers of the accused lawyer incorporated those companies, and in his wisdom, he inserted addresses that are not available.”

Oyedepo also told the court that the accused lawyer’s statement dated July 7, 2016, confirmed that his firm registered those companies, and that the companies appointed him as their Secretary.

However, lawyer to the second defendant, T. J. Onyeieke, while urging the court to discountenance the submission of the prosecution on the ground that his client, Briggs, is not a director in any of the companies mentioned in the charge.

He argued further that if the prosecution wanted to serve the companies’ charge on the lawyer such should be done through a proper application not by oral application.

He therefore urged the court to refuse the prosecution’s application.

However, Justice Anka, while granting the prosecution’s application on service of the charge on Dudafa in Prison’s custody, adjourned the ruling on the service of the charge on the companies named in the fraud, and accused lawyer person till September 8.

The author of this story Akin Kuponiyi can be reached at serekode @yahoo.com


Join The Conversation

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.