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N8.5bln fraud: Court adjourns trial of major-general

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday adjourned until Oct. 20, trial of a former military Commander, Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Atewe, and three others charged with N8.5 billion fraud.

Atewe, a former Commander of the Niger-Delta Military Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, is charged alongside Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director- General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Also charged are two staff members of NIMASA – Kime Engonzu and Josephine Otuaga.

The accused are standing trial on an amended 22-count charge.

The trial was adjourned following absence of the judge, Justice Ayokunle Faji, who was on an official assignment.

The accused were re-arraigned before Faji on Feb. 3, following transfer of Justice Saliu Saidu, who was handling the case.

Saidu was transferred from Lagos to Port Harcourt.

The accused pleaded not guilty before Faji, who allowed them to continue on the bail terms granted by Saidu.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting the accused.

The commission accused them of conspiring to defraud NIMASA of N8.5 billion using seven companies.
The companies are: Jagan Ltd., Jagan Trading Company Ltd., Jagan Global Services Ltd., Al-Nald Ltd., Paper Warehouse Ltd., Eastpoint Integrated Services Ltd., and De-Newlink Integrated Services Ltd.

The EFCC claimed that the accused committed the fraud from Sept. 5, 2014 to May 20, 2015, in contravention of Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering Act, 2012, and Section 390 of the Criminal Code, 2004.



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