EFCC Recovers N1.5b, $678.4m In Rivers Zone

EFCC recovers N1.5b

EFCC Recovers N1.5b, $678.4m In Rivers Zone

•Arraigns Saraki’s aide, others over alleged N3.5b fraud

EFCC Recovers N1.5b, $678.4m In Rivers Zone – 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, 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.

  He said that 31 of the trucks were loaded with lubricating oil while four trucks were loaded with crude oil. Another 24 trucks were loaded with genuine petroleum products from recognized depots in Port Harcourt.

  The zonal EFCC boss said the total quantity of products in all the trucks was estimated to be 5,600,000 litres. Out of the 283 trucks impounded, 59 with an estimated 1,180,000 litres of different petroleum products have been temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.

  Obono said out of 221 cases forwarded to its legal department between January and September, 44 were charged to court while about 16 convictions were secured.

   Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court, Lagos had remanded Deputy Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Gbenga Makanjuola and two others, in prison custody 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 a 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.