Nigeria: Witness Narrates How Nwude, Notorious Fraudster, Tampered with Forfeited Property
By Adetokunbo Fakeye
Lagos, April 17, 2018 (AltAfrika)-A prosecution witness, Falodun Arifayan, has told Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria how a notorious fraudster, Emmanuel Nwude, tampered with a property under forfeiture by a court order.
Led by the prosecution counsel, Nnemeka Omewa, Arifayan, who is the first prosecution witness, PW1, told the court that sometime in October 10, 2017, their firm, Sofunde, Ogundipe and Belgore, received an invitation from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
According to him, the invitation letter was brought to the notice of his Principal pursuant to a property located on Plot 38b, Mobolaji Johnson, Oregun Road, Ikeja, Lagos.
Given further testimony, he said upon receipt of the letter dated October 10, 2017, their firm wrote a reply, explaining the role of the firm concerning the property and attached relevant documents.
The witness further told the court that sometime in 2004, their client, who is the majority shareholder of a Brazilian Bank named Banco Noroeste S.A. made a complaint to the EFCC about an alleged fraud perpetrated by certain people, including Nwude, to the tune of $190million.
He said: “Upon the petition, the defendant was charged in suit No. ID/92c/2004.
“In a judgment delivered on November 18, 2005 by Justice Olubunmi Oyewole, Emmanuel Nwude, who was the 1st defendant, and others, including Emrus Auto Nigeria Limited, were convicted and sentenced.
“Sentence three of the judgment specifically ordered that shares and other undertakings of the first defendant and Emrus Auto Nigeria Ltd be forfeited to victims of the fraud.
“The sentence also made reference to a schedule, which is the list of properties that should be so forfeited.
“The relevant part of the schedule is the 26th item, which is annexed to the amended information dated Nov. 18, 2005 upon which the defendant was convicted and sentenced.”
The witness said that pursuant to the judgment, his clients, who were the victims of Nwude’s crimes, sold the property located at Plot 38b Mobolaji Johnson, Oregun, Lagos, which initially belonged to Emrus Auto Nigeria Limited to Rossab International Limited.
PW1 also told the court that “before the Deed was registered to Rossab International Limited, our clients had registered the Deed of Assignment at the Land Registry.
“It was on the strength of the judgment of Justice Oyewole and the registration of the Deed of Assignment that our client sold the property to Rossab International Limited.
“My Lord, the said judgment of Justice Oyewole was appealed to the Court of Appeal by the first defendant.
“The Court of Appeal found the respondents as victims of the offence in which the appellant (Nwude) was the perpetrator.
“Till now, we are unaware of any appeal of the Court of Appeal’s judgment.”
At that point in Falodun’s evidence, Omewa requested for an adjournment to enable him tender some other documents relevant to the case, but which were not readily available during today‘s proceedings.
“The case files containing the documents are not in court. We will be requesting for a date to continue the testimony of the witness and to tender the documents,” the EFCC counsel said.
Consequently, Justice Dada adjourned the case till April 18, 2018 for continuation of trial.
$328,974.37 Fraud: Court Adjourns Bizman’s Trial to May 5
Justice U.P. Kekemeke of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Apo, Abuja has adjourned the trial of a businessman, Ighodaro Austin Osaretin, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for a $328,974.37 fraud, to May 5, 2018.
Osaretin allegedly duped innocent Nigerians in a fake business deal that happened between March and November 2015. He placed an advertisement on www.unaedi.org.ng supposedly belonging to Universal Agricultural Empowerment and Development Initiative, using same to swindle prospective investors, into parting with over $328,974.37 under the pretence that his organization specialized in marketing goods and services globally.
He was first arraigned on April 9, 2018 on a one-count charge of fraud.
The count reads: “That you Ighodaro Austin Osaretin sometime between March 13, 2015 to November 9, 2015 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of $328,974.37 from several customers across the globe through the advert you placed on www.unaedi.org.ng“.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge when it was read to him.
Subsequently, Justice Kekemeke fixed April 16, 2018 to hear his bail application. He was granted bail in the sum of N10 million and two sureties in like some, who must not be below the position of an assistant director in the Federal Civil Service, and who must possess landed properties.