• Arraigns Saraki’s aide, others over alleged N3.5b fraud
The EFCC has said it recovered N1.5 billion, $678,354.80 and 5,254 Euro from fraud and corruption cases in the last nine months.The South South Zonal Director, Mr. Nnaghe Obono, announced this while briefing journalists yesterday.He said the monies recovered in different denominations were seized from those involved in all kinds of fraudulent activities.
Obono also disclosed that about 283 trucks used to convey illegal petroleum products between January and September this year were handed over to the commission by the headquarters of 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt. The trucks were impounded by the Army from different locations within the Rivers State capital.
According to him, “the laboratory result of the analysis carried out by the Department of Petroleum Resources, (DPR) indicated that 121 of the trucks were carrying adulterated AGO while 39 trucks were loaded with High Pour Fuel Oil, HPFO and Low Pour Fuel Oil , LPFO respectively.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Gbenga Makanjuola, and two others, were yesterday remanded in prison custody by Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court, Lagos over alleged N3.5 billion fraud.This followed their arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an 11-count charge bordering on the alleged offence.
Makanjuola was arraigned alongside Melrose General Services Limited and Obiorah Amobi. They, however, pleaded not guilty.Counsel for the EFCC, E. E. Iheanacho, asked that the defendants be remanded in prison custody and sought for a trial date. Makanjuola’s counsel, Paul Erokoro (SAN), drew the court’s attention to his client’s bail application which, he said, had been served on the prosecution, He sought the court’s permission to move it.
Amobi’s counsel, Omeoga Chukwu, also made similar request.When the duo later got the court’s nod to move the bail applications, Erokoro said his client was a former member of the House of Representatives and as such he was prepared to face his trial.
“My client is a full-time staff at the Senate and is not a flight risk. He was a member of the House of Representatives. I urge the court to grant him bail to prepare for his trial,” the silk said. Chukwu, also pleaded with the court to admit his client to bail on liberal terms.
But Iheanacho opposed the bail application, urging the court to dismiss it, saying the defendants constituted flight risk.His words: “One of the defendants has absconded. The chances that the other defendants will abscond are now higher with their arraignment. We urge the court to refuse the defence requests.”After listening to the submissions of parties in the matter, Justice Kuewumi adjourned till October 9 for ruling on the application.