The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on Wednesday secured the conviction and sentencing of a retired Navy Captain, Jerry Ogbonna, before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos for stealing and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N45million.
Ogbonna, alongside his company, Obyke System Consult Limited, obtained the sum of N45 million from Diamond Bank Plc by falsely presenting to the bank that the said money represented the mobilisation fee from the Department of Petroleum Resources of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
The convict had previously appeared before Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of the Lagos State High Court in 2016 before the case was struck out after several attempts to have him take his plea proved abortive.
However, the matter was subsequently re-assigned to Justice Dada.
He was arraigned on April 19, 2018, on a five-count charge, to which he pleaded not guilty to.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Navy Captain Jerry Ogbonna (retd.) and Obyke System Consult Ltd, on or about the 5th day of July 2012 at Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent
to defraud, conspired among yourselves to wit; stealing of forty-five Million Naira, properties of Diamond Bank Plc and committed an offence contrary to section 409 and 5(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No. 11 of 2011.”
Another count reads: “ That you, Navy Captain Jerry Ogbonna (retired) and Obyke System Consult Ltd, sometime in July 2012 at Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent to defraud dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of (N45,000,000.00) forty-five
Million Naira, properties of Diamond Bank Pic, which was erroneously paid to you by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and was later reversed into your Fidelity Bank account on the 5th day of July, 2012, which you never did, and committed an offence contrary to Section 285(1) and 278(1)b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.”
In view of his plea, the prosecution, led by A.B.C. Ozioko, commenced trial on January 14, 2019.
During the course of the trial, the prosecution called six witnesses and tendered several pieces of evidence to prove the guilt of the defendant.
Upon conclusion of the trial, Justice Dada found the defendant guilty of the offences and sentenced him to three years imprisonment on count one; seven years on count two and three years on count five of the charge respectively.
Justice Dada also ordered that the company be wound up and pay a fine of N5 Million.
The convict was also ordered to make restitution of N45 Million to Diamond Bank Plc.
I was never in charge of maritime industry —Saraki
It could also be recalled that Amaechi had made a couple of visits to the Lekki deep seaport, even on a Sunday, before the presidential visit, none of which Saraki attended.
” Gbemi is also made of sterner stuff given her role in the “Otoge” political tsunami in Kwara which eventually swept off Bukola Saraki, her blood brother, from the political dominance in Kwara politics, a role which earned her the present position in the present dispensation.
“Today is my fifth week of assuming the leadership of the Ministry of Transportation”, she declared last week Friday in Lagos.
“We came to take stock of the sector. We had taken the stock of the Road sector,” she said.
Giving her summation of her findings at the end of the tour, she declared” Apapa and Tin Can ports are in terrible need of repairs.
“We will go and come back for repairs.
“We have the short, medium, and long-term plans for this. We need to start with rehabilitation here. Another problem here is power”
The Minister met various groups who are stakeholders in the industry.
Among them are women groups in maritime, terminal operators, stevedores, maritime workers union groups, haulage, and transport operators, maritime lawyers, freight forwarders, and maritime press.
We have political will to ensure CVFF is disbursed—-Saraki
The Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Rukayyat Gbemisola Saraki has expressed willingness to muster the necessary political will to ensure the controversial Cabotage Vessels Financing Funds (CVFF) are disbursed before she leaves office.
“In the course of this visit, I have also interacted with so many stakeholders, including the indigenous ship owners.
“It is really a shame that this fund has not been disbursed, I learnt the value is $350 million now and I am not sure any part of it is missing.
She added that the disbursement would follow the approval by the National Assembly after beneficiaries must have been shortlisted.
P&ID fraud : Court convicts, winds up Marqott Nigeria Limited.
Justice D.U Okorowo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has convicted and wound up Marqott Nigeria Limited, one of the 30 companies associated with the Process and Industrial Development Limited, P & ID, for money laundering.
The company was convicted on Thursday, June 16, 2022, after being found guilty of four-count charges bordering on money laundering preferred against it by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Count one of the charges read: “That you, Marqott Nigeria Limited, being a designated Non-financial Institution; and Giovanni Beccarelli, Valentina Fantoli, and Dimitri Duca, being directors of and signatories to the bank account of Marqott Nigeria Limited, sometime in September 2014, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, failed to comply with the requirements of submitting to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, a declaration of activities of Marqott Nigeria Limited contrary to Section 16(1) (f) read together with Section 5(1)(a)(ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011(as amended and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”
Count two read: “That you, Marqott Nigeria Limited, being a designated Non-financial Institution; and Giovanni Beccarelli, Valentina Fantoli, and Dimitri Duca, being directors of and signatories to the bank account of Marqott Nigeria Limited, sometime in September 2014, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, failed to develop programs to combat money laundering and other illegal acts, to wit: failure to designate at management level a compliance officer within any strata of Marqott Nigeria Limited, contrary to Section 16(1)(f) read together with Section 9(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act”.
At the point of the first arraignment on February 7, 2022, the defendant pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, setting the stage for a full trial.
In the course of the trial, the EFCC presented many witnesses and tendered many documents as exhibits.
In his judgment, Justice Okorowo found Marqott Nigeria Limited guilty of all the four-count charges and convicted it accordingly. He also ordered that the company be wound up and its entire assets forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Marqott was first arraigned on Monday, February 7, 2022, for being an accomplice in the $9.6bn Gas Supply and Processing Agreement between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and P&ID.
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