EFCC arrests alleged Ponzi scheme operators •To appeal judgment in ex-Jonathan’s aide, Dudafa’s N1.6bn fraud trial

Posted by News Express | 30 August 2019 | 1,213 times

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•Alleged Ponzi scheme coordinator Nwonu Priscilla Chika

Following intelligence received from a sister law enforcement agency, the South East Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday arrested three promoters and staff of  Millionaires African Leaders Club, a Ponzi scheme operating from  No. 79, Nike Road, Abakpa Nike, Enugu, Enugu State.

The Coordinator of the organisation, Nwonu Priscilla Chika, told her interrogators that the club operates a collaborative contribution scheme, mostly transacted in cash on two class basis: first class and business class. Both attracts registration fees and monthly contribution of N3,000 and N25,000; and N2,000 and N12,500 respectively.

According to Nwonu, who claimed that that the scheme’s corporate headquarters is at Nsukka with one Princess Benny as chief executive, said the Enugu office commenced operations barely two months ago and that the scheme promises their “investors” 50% return on the sum invested.

“The suspect could not confirm the registration of the “firm” with the regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN,” EFCC Head, Media and Publicity Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, EFCC has vowed to appeal the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, that discharged and acquitted a former Senior Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, and a banker, Joseph Iwuejo, who were charged with N1.6bn fraud.

“The Commission is studying the details of the judgment and will approach the appeal court for a review,” Uwujaren said in a statement hours after the judgement.

The defendants were arraigned on a 22-count charge bordering on money laundering, conspiracy and concealment to the tune of N1.6bn.

The defendants allegedly conspired and laundered the fund through the accounts of A.B. Wise Resources Limited, Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Rotato Interlink Service Limited, Pluto Property and Services Limited and De-jakes fast food and Restaurant Limited.

They pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them, thereby leading to their trial.

Parties in the trial had, on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, adopted their final written addresses, after Dudafa had closed his defence on January 22, 2019.

In his judgment today, Thursday, August 29, 2019, Justice Muhammed Idris held that the prosecution, through his counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, failed to prove the charges against the defendants beyond reasonable doubts.

Justice Idris further held that the prosecution failed to call “material witnesses”, including former President Jonathan, one Somprei Omeibi, the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele and ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

The Judge also held that, “the prosecution did its best, but it failed to conclude investigation before going to court.”

Justice Idris consequently dismissed all 22 counts against Dudafa and Iwuejo.

Source: News Express

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