—-as EFCC says Diezani’s diamond bra was social media creation
The Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, has revealed that innocent but gullible Nigerians have lost over N200 billion to investment and employment scams in the country.
In a television interview monitored by our reporter in Lagos, Mr Bawa, who also used the platform to dismiss the rumoured diamond bra seized from the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, as “social media creation”, stated that the Ponzi scheme scam has become a huge problem that the commission was grappling with for which the anti-graft agency is being inundated with complaints by the victims.
“This issue of investment scam is something that has been observed and we are working on that. In fact, as of the last briefing when we aggregated all the complaints involving investment scam and employment scam, Nigerians have complained to us to have lost over N200 billion in complaints. It’s a huge problem”, the anti-corruption czar declared.
“Ponzi schemes are going on left, right and centre and Nigerians have to be wary about anybody that is promising you some money- doubling interest. How can you invest N500,000 and somebody is promising you N50,000 every month and at the end of that, you collect your N500,000 back”, Bawa observed.
He also used the opportunity to make clarification on the seized properties from Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, said to contain expensive diamond bra listed among to be auctioned by the Federal government.
According to Bawa, there was no diamond bra as the fictitious claim was the creation of the social media, saying he ought to know if there was anything of such as the lead investigator who investigated the former minister.
”The government has not sold a single property recovered. We are working towards that. You have accused us several times of media trials but I think it is good to be fair to everybody at all times.“This case is a two-way thing, there was nothing like diamond bra; it is just a creation of social media. I can tell you that for free because I am the lead investigator. I am not aware of it.
“If there is something like that, I should know because I led the search and all of that. It is one of the things I mentioned to you that is one of the biggest problems we have is our attitude, we need to change for the better,” Bawa said.
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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