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Zenith Bank Sacks Manager After Testifying Against Ex-NIMASA DG In N2.6bn Fraud Case

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Zenith Bank VI

An employee of Zenith Bank Plc, Brenda Ihekoromadu, confirmed on Monday that her superior, Miss Rita Ifeadi, who appeared as a witness in the ongoing trial of a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpolokemi, has been sacked.

Ifeadi, who was the manager of Zenith Bank’s branch at Bar Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos, had on March 3, 2016 appeared as a prosecution witness before Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos, where Akpobolokemi and five others were facing trial for an alleged fraud of N2.6bn in NIMASA.

Ihekoromadu, a subordinate to Ifeadi, affirmed on Monday that Ifeadi was no longer in the employment of the bank.

She said this while testifying on Monday before Justice Raliat Adebiyi of a Lagos State High Court in Igbosere where Akpobolokemi and six others were facing trial for a separate alleged fraud of N754.7m in NIMASA.

She made the disclosure while fielding questions from one of the defence counsel, Mr. Lanre Olayinka, who was cross-examining her.

Olayinka had during the proceedings confronted Ihekoromadu with some documents which the court had earlier admitted as exhibits and asked her to give the true position of things, reminding her that Ifeadi had earlier given evidence on the documents before Justice Buba.

“You are aware that she (Ifeadi) gave evidence for the EFCC before the Federal High Court?,” Olayinka asked.

“I know she was in court,” Ihekoromadu.

“You know she was sacked the day after she gave evidence for the EFCC; she was dismissed for forgery as published on your (Zenith Bank) website?” Olayinka asked.

“I know she has been dismissed. I am not aware of what date,” Ihekoromadu said.

Ifeadi had, in her testimony before Justice Buba at the Federal High Court on March 3, narrated how some accounts were opened in her branch of Zenith Bank in the name of NIMASA’s contractors but operated by the employees of the agency.

She had narrated in court how in the course of marketing and sourcing for customers, she went to NIMASA and met one of the defendants, Capt. Ezekiel Agaba, who was an Executive Director at NIMASA, asking him whether the agency needed to open any account.

According to her, Agaba had told her that the agency had no need to open any account at the time but she offered to drop some account opening forms with Agaba, who in turn promised to call her anytime there was such a need.

She said Agaba later called her and she went to collect duly completed account opening forms for the purpose of opening accounts for NIMASA.

One of the accounts, she said was a corporate account opened in the name of Aroward Consulting Services to which Philip Enuesike and Ima Udo were signatories.

She, however, said she never set eyes on the signatories, adding that the cheque book for the account was received by Agaba’s aide, Ekene Nwakuche, who she claimed came at several times to withdraw N3m.

Meanwhile, a bureau de change operator, Wakili Daudu, told Justice Raliat Adebiyi on Monday how through one Mohammed Darlington he helped Agaba to change N93.3m to US dollars.

Daudu, who spoke through an interpreter, said, “I don’t know anybody in NIMASA and I have never bid for any contract in NIMASA but millions of naira was paid into my account.”

The matter has been adjourned till today for continuation of trial.

 

 

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Kidnappers Abduct Police DPO, Demand N50m Ransom

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Mubi North divisional police command in Adamawa state, Ahidjo Mohammed, has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen at around 7 pm, Tuesday.

The officer was said to have been kidnapped at around 7 pm while returning to Mubi from Yola, where his mother has been receiving medical attention.

The kidnappers were said to have made contact with some persons demanding fifty million Naira from the family of the victim for the ransom of the law officer.

Similarly, another resident of Mubi, a trader, Alhaji Mahmudu Mbilla from Mbilla village has also been kidnapped, Monday night and the kidnappers are said to have also been demanding for five million Naira from the family of the kidnapped victim.

Speaking to the PPRO Adamawa state police command, Usman Nguroje confirmed the kidnap and said the Adamawa state police command has policed personnel including the IG anti kidnap squad to rescue the kidnap office.

Nguroje said, “We have set everything in place to ensure that no man in Adamawa is kidnapped.

“The officer was kidnapped at the Mararaba Mubi following a sporadic gunshot and before the police in the area could reach the area, they found the vehicle carrying him abandoned with his identity card left behind.”

On whether the kidnappers have made any financial demands, the PPRO said, “I am not aware of that.”

Some residents of Mubi expressed I’ve got the rising spare of kidnap in the area and told Daily Sun that there is apprehension in the land as a result of the kidnap of a law enforcement officer.

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DSS, Naval Officer, Three Retired Police Officers Arrested Over Lion Found In Indian Residence In Lagos

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Three retired Senior Police, Navy and DSS officers have been arrested alongside a security guard over the illegal possession of a lion in a residential building on 229, Muri Okunola Street, on Victoria Island, Lagos.

The two-year-old lion named ‘Kiara’ believed to be owned by a yet-to-be-identified Indian man was discovered and taken to a zoo in the state.

In an exclusive chat with Channels Television, Chairman of the Lagos State Taskforce on Environment and special offenses, Olayinka Egbeyemi, explained that the three retired officers, who double as Chief Security Officer to the cat owner, said they were aware of the presence of Kiara within the building since it arrived.

Although the Indian owner is yet to present himself to the authorities for questioning, the four arrested have been transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Depart (SCIID) in Yaba for further investigation and possible charges.

Kiara in stable condition

Meanwhile, the lion is in a stable condition after regaining consciousness and has acclimatized to its new environment.

The lion was tranquilized and taken to a zoo on Monday.

In a short video obtained exclusively by Channels Television, Kiara is seen reacting to its strange vicinity, while being served a meal.

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How Yahoo Boy,H-Money, Serving 24-yr Jail Term, Pulled Off $1m Scam From Kirikiri Prison, Attends Parties, Bought Properties

Peter Okunoren

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A convicted internet fraudster, Hope Olusegun Aroke who is serving a 24-year jail term at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison in Lagos is again, the subject of an investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for being the alleged mastermind of a mega scam to the tune of over $ 1,000, 000.

He allegedly pulled the heist right from prison using a network of accomplices, some of the targets of fraud and money laundering investigation.

The lid on his latest fraud exploits from the bowels of the Maximum Correctional Centre was blown following intelligence received by the EFCC.

The immediate riddle that confronted the EFCC was how it was possible for the convict to continue to ply his ignoble trade of Internet fraud from prison.

Preliminary investigation revealed that that the convict, against established standard practice, had access to the internet and mobile phone in the Correctional Centre where he is supposed to be serving his jail term.

Even more puzzling was the finding that Aroke got himself admitted to the Nigeria Police Hospital, Falomo, Lagos for an undisclosed ailment. And from the hospital, he would move out to lodge in hotels, meet with his wife and two children and attend other social functions.

The circumstance of his admission into the hospital and those who aided his movement from the hospital to hotels and other social engagements are already being investigated by the EFCC.

For a felon supposedly serving a jail term, the investigation revealed that the Aroke used a fictitious name, Akinwunmi Sorinmade, to open two accounts with two of Nigeria’s leading banks.

He also bought a property at Fountain Spring Estate, Lekki Lagos in 2018 for N22million and a Lexus RX 350 2018 model registered in his wife’s name, Maria Jennifer Aroke.

The convict was also in possession of his wife’s bank account token in prison, which he used to freely transfer funds.

Further investigation revealed that, while his trial was ongoing in 2015, Aroke bought a four-bedroom duplex at Plot 12, Deji Fadoju Street, Megamounds Estate Lekki County Homes, Lekki for N48million.

Aroke was one of two Malaysia-based Nigerian undergraduate fraudsters arrested by the EFCC in the closing weeks of 2012 at the 1004 Housing Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos following a tip-off. The indigene of Okene, Kogi State had claimed to be a student of Computer Science at the Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University, Malaysia.

But the Commission’s investigation fingered him as the arrowhead of an intricate web of internet fraud scheme that traverses two continents.

When Aroke was arrested, a search conducted by EFCC operatives on his apartment led to the recovery of several items such as laptops, iPad, traveling documents, cheque books, flash drives, internet modem, and three exotic cars – a Mercedes Benz Jeep, One 4Matic Mercedes Benz Car and a Range Rover Sport SUV.

He was eventually convicted by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos State High Court on two counts of obtaining money by false pretense, cheque cloning, wire transfer, and forgery.

He was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment on each of the two counts.

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