Ten prominent Nigerians having cases with EFCC

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) currently handles several corruption cases in Nigeria, with many involving prominent people.

While some cases are in court, others are still being investigated.

In this report, The ICIR’s Bankole Abe looks at some pending cases with the EFCC, which involve prominent Nigerians.


Newly appointed chief of staff (COS) to Kogi state governor, Ali Bello

Ali Bello, the newly appointed chief of staff (CoS) to Kogi State Governor Usman Ododo, is on trial for money laundering.

Bello, a nephew of the immediate former governor of the state, Yahaya Bello, was among the appointees announced by Ododo on Saturday, January 28, shortly after he took the oath of office in Lokoja, the state capital.

Ali Bello, Nephew to Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello,
Ali Bello, Nephew to former Kogi state governor Yahaya Bello and current COS to Governor Ododo

The ICIR reported in December 2022 that the EFCC arraigned the new CoS, said to be the immediate past governor’s nephew, before a Federal High Court in Abuja in December 2022.

He was arraigned before a judge, James Omotosho, alongside one Dauda Suleiman on a 10-count charge of alleged misappropriation and money laundering.

The commission stated that the accused, including one Abdulsalami Hudu, a cashier at the Kogi State House of Assembly now at large, took N10.2 billion out of the state’s coffers for personal use.

However, the accused entered a “not guilty” plea to the accusations.

Ruling on the bail request by the accused, the court granted the request in the sum of N1 billion apiece, along with two sureties who must provide N2 billion bonds and landed property worth N500 million each.

The court also ordered that they be remanded in prison pending when they fulfil their bail conditions.

The case was then adjourned till February 6, 2023. 

On February 8, 2023, the EFCC arraigned Bello alongside Abba Adauda, Yakubu Siyaka Adabenege, and Iyada Sadat for allegedly misappropriating over N3 billion (N3,081,804,654.)

The presiding judge, Obiora Egwuatu, ordered that the defendants be remanded at a correctional centre pending the ruling on their bail application.

They were later granted bail of N500 million each with two sureties in like sum.

Suspended minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu

Earlier this year, the EFCC questioned the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Beta Edu, over alleged N585 million fraud.

The former minister arrived at the commission’s headquarters for interrogation in Abuja on Tuesday, January 9, according to the anti-graft spokesperson, Dele Oyewale.

The Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu
Suspended Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu

President Bola Tinubu suspended the embattled doctor-turned-politician on Monday, January 8, after public outrage against her alleged diversion of public funds amounting to N585 million.

Suspended NSIPA Cordinator, Halima Shehu

On January 3, the EFCC arrested and detained the suspended National Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), Halima Shehu.

National Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), Halima Shehu.
Former National Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), Halima Shehu.

Shehu was detained over the ongoing probe of N37.1 billion allegedly laundered in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development under former Minister Sadiya Umar-Farouk.

source within the EFCC confirmed to The ICIR that Shehu was at the commission’s headquarters in Jabi, Abuja, where she faced interrogation.

The source revealed that Shehu was indicted in the alleged N37.1 billion fraud at the ministry because she was the national coordinator of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, where the fund was declared missing.

Former Humanitarian minister Sadiya Umar-Farouq 

Former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar-Farouq presented herself to the EFCC for investigation on Monday, January 8, 2024.

The EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, confirmed this to The ICIR shortly after she arrived at the commission.

Umar-Farouq has been the subject of investigations by the EFCC following allegations that she laundered N37.1 billion through a contractor, James Okwete.

Fraud: Current high-profile corruption cases with EFCC
Former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar-Farouq

According to a report, at least 53 companies were traced to the contractor, who was said to have used 47 firms for Federal Government contracts amounting to N27.4 billion.

The former minister denied any relationship with the contractor, describing the allegations as malicious attacks against her.

Umar-Farouk headed the Humanitarian Ministry during former President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure. She was succeeded by Edu, who was also kicked out of the ministry over sleaze allegations.

Former Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris

The EFCC arrested Ahmed Idris, the former Accountant-General of the Federation, on May 16, 2022, for misappropriation of funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

Former accountant-general of the federation, Ahmed Idris
Former accountant-general of the federation, Ahmed Idris

During the proceedings in February 2024, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court adjourned Idris’ trial to March 20.

The former AGF is being tried alongside three others by the EFCC for alleged diversion of N109 billion.

Former governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano

A former governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, was arrested on his way out of the country in March 2022 for allegedly diverting Anambra state funds for personal use.

The EFCC arrested him at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos State hours after he handed over power to his successor, Chukwuma Soludo.

At the resumed hearing before Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on January 23, Obiano pleaded not guilty after the charge was read to him.

The case has been adjourned till March 4 for the commencement of trial.

 Former Niger governor Babangida Aliyu

The EFCC dragged a former governor of Niger state, Babangida Aliyu, to the Court of Appeal to set aside a no-case ruling granted him and a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Niger State, Tanko Beji.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the commission’s head of media and publicity, Dele Oyewale, on Thursday, January 18.

Aliyu and Beji were issued a no-case ruling by Abdullahi Mukailu of the Niger State High Court, Minna, on December 7, 2023, in an alleged N4 billion fraud case.

The EFCC had filed a seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy, abetment and criminal breach of trust before Aliyu Mayaki, now a retired judge, against the former governor, Beji and a former Commissioner for Environment and Chief of Staff to Aliyu, Umar Nasko.

Former Minister of Power Olu Agunloye 

The anti-graft agency arraigned the former Minister of Power and Steel Development, Olu Agunloye, before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja.

The EFCC made this known in a post on its X account on Wednesday, January 10.

Agunloye served as minister under former President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2003.

On December 13, the commission declared him wanted over an alleged $6 billion fraud.

He was later arraigned on a seven-count charge bordering on fraudulent contract awards and official corruption.

The matter is currently in court.

Former Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah

Three years after filing a charge, the EFCC finally arraigned a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, her ex-aide, Gloria Odita and seven others over alleged N5 billion naira fraud.

They were arraigned before an Abuja Federal High Court presided by Inyang Ekwo on Friday, July 21, for money laundering, conspiracy, and maintaining anonymous bank accounts.

Alleged fraud: 10 major corruption cases with EFCC
Former Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah

Other defendants include Chukwuma Irene Chinyere, Nwosu Emmanuel Nnamdi, Global Offshore and Marine Ltd, Tip Top Global Resources Ltd, Crystal Television Ltd, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Nigeria Ltd and Sobora International Ltd.

The EFCC alleged that Oduah misused government funds worth an estimated N5 billion while serving as a minister.

The FHC/ABJ/CR/316/2020 charge was first filed in 2020.

The Court mandated that the prosecution of Oduah and others accused of laundering nearly N5 billion be handled by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

The case was postponed until October 17 that year for trial.

At the resumed hearing, the court rescheduled it the trial.

The trial judge, Ekwo, adjourned the case due to the defendant’s absence.

At the resumed hearing on November 14, 2023, the new Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, took over the case.

Ekwo then adjourned the matter until March 28 this year.

Impeached Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo

The impeached Speaker of the Ogun House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, was on Monday, January 29, arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta over alleged misappropriation of public funds running into N2.5 billion.

Oluomo was arraigned alongside two other officers of the assembly, Dayo Samuel and Adeyemo Adedeji.

The crime was allegedly carried out by Oluomo in 2022 when he served as the Assembly Speaker before 18 out of 26 lawmakers removed him as Speaker earlier in January due to accusations of embezzlement, haughtiness, egregious wrongdoing, conceit, bad leadership style,  lack of focus and transparency, and inciting members against one another.




     

     

    Shortly after the three entered the dock on January 29, the judge discovered that the EFCC’s lawyer could not appear in court.

    Alleged fraud: 10 major corruption cases with EFCC
    Former Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo

    However, the judge, Agatha Okeke, postponed the case till February 29 and March 1.

    The ICIR reported that the EFCC arrested Oluomo on September 1, 2022, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, and took him to its Lagos office, where he was detained until he was released on administrative bail.

    Oluomo is accused of conspiring, forging documents, and stealing more than N2.5 billion.

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