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EFCC Arraigns Companies Used By Jonathan's Aide To Perpetrate N1.5 Billion Fraud

Three companies alleged to have been used to perpetrate a N1.5billion fraud by a former Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Mr. Warpamo Owei Emmanuel Dudafa, were today arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos, Nigeria.

The three companies are: Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited; and Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited.  They were arraigned in absentia with one Sombre Omeibi.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants, on or before November 13, 2013, conspired among themselves to indirectly retain the total sum of $15,591,700 million, which they reasonably ought to have known to be part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.

According to EFCC prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo, the offences are contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

There was however mild drama when the three men: Agbo Micheal, Friday Davis, and one Fredrick, who were presented by EFCC as the directors of the companies, changed their guilty plea, and denied having any relationship with the accused companies.

Mr. Davis, whose name the Commission said was used for registering Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and also used to open bank accounts for the company, denied being a director in the company.

He told the court that while it was true that he was a driver to Mr. Omeibi the first accused who is at large, he did not have the knowledge that his name and passport photograph were used to commit the alleged offence.

He further told the court that he became aware of the company and the account when he was taken to the EFCC Office, where the allegations were made against him.   Denying the charge, he changed his plea to not guilty.

The other two accused persons equally denied having any relationship with, or knowledge of, the accused companies.

Prior to the changing of the pleas by the three men, prosecution witness Abraham Tukura, called by the EFCC during the review of the fact of the charges, informed the court that the three men had stated in their statement that they were not directors of the companies, and that they never gave out their passport photographs for registration of any company or opening of bank accounts for the accused companies.

Upon the evidence given by the prosecution witness, and their statements, the presiding judge, Justice AbdulAziz Anka, declined to pronounce the three companies guilty as requested by the prosecutor, on the ground that there were no links between those presented by the EFCC as the alta ego of the accused companies, and the companies 

Upon the intervention of Mr. Oyedepo, Justice Anka adjourned the matter till Thursday.

It would be recalled that Dadufa and two other accused persons: Olugbenga Isaiah and Joseph Nna (aka Taiwo Ebenezer), are standing trial before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Lagos division of the Federal High Court for an alleged N5.1 billion fraud.

They are said to have used the three accused companies and others to perpetrate the alleged offence between June 11, 2013, and June 2015.