© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
ICPC apprehends teacher, three bank staff, lawyer over N539.5m money laundering
THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has apprehended a teacher, identified as Roseline Uche Egbuha, three Guaranty Trust Bank staff, and a lawyer over alleged money laundering to the tune of N539.5 million.
The Commission in a statement on its website stated it had arrested Egbuha, a teacher with Ozala Primary School, Abagana, Anambra State, in October, 2019 and was granted administrative bail, after an investigation into her financial transactions which had shown her alleged involvement in money laundering.
It stated that this followed the receipt of a petition against her.
Also in ICPC custody are Beckley Ojo, a Compliance officer of GTB, Chisomaga Daly-Okoro, an Operations Manager, Sarah Ugamah, a staff of the legal department of the bank, and Nsikak Udoh, an external lawyer to GTB.
They were alleged to have connived with the school teacher to perpetrate the fraud.
The ICPC said after a series of investigation, it found that the school teacher had N539.5 million in her Guaranty Trust Bank account alleged to have been proceeds of money laundering from Malaysia.
She had told investigators during interrogation that the money found in her account belonged to her 24-year-old son, Chidozie Fabian Ejeaka, whose whereabouts could not be established.
The Commission said a Post No Debit (PND) was placed on the account to allow it to carry out further investigation, while a case of forfeiture of the suspected proceeds of crime was instituted against her in a court of law.
However, Egbuha approached another court to challenge the restriction placed on her account by ICPC, as well as ask for the enforcement of her fundamental human right.
The ICPC said her fresh arrest with the staff of GTB and the lawyer was due to their alleged connivance in lifting the restriction placed on her account and the subsequent transfer of N550 million (principal sum and interest) into the GTB account of FBI Legal, a company owned by Egbuha’s lawyer, Ferdinand Isa.
“The Commission found out that the money was transferred on 4th June, 2020, the same day a court order was said to have been obtained,” the statement said.
“The lawyer claimed that the order vacating the restriction on the account was based on an out-of-court settlement with GTB which empowered his client to access her money.”
The Commission said it also found out that the N550 million was promptly split and moved into multiple bank accounts owned by Bureau de Change operators and private individuals.
“N340 million, in two instalments of N200 million and N140 million respectively, was allegedly moved into the Polaris bank account of a Bureau de Change operator.”
“N100 million was transferred into the GTB account of Edokaf Multi-globalwhile N18 million was transferred to the private account of the lawyer, Isa. The balance of the money was moved into other accounts.”
The Commission said investigation is still ongoing noting that appropriate actions will be taken upon conclusion.