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ICPC secures Interim Forfeiture of N110.4m traced to a Primary School Teacher and her accomplice

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A Federal High Court in Abuja, has ordered the interim forfeiture of N110.4 million traced to the bank accounts of one Mr. James Erebuoye and seven other suspects by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly being proceeds of crime.

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In an ex-parte motion filed by Raheem Adesina on behalf of ICPC before Justice D. Okorowa, the Commission further prayed for an order of interim forfeiture of a Toyota Lexus Jeep and a Toyota Venza car, including an Ipad device.

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The properties were seized by the Commission from Mr. Erebuoye and his accomplices who were alleged to have benefitted from over N500 million illicit fund stashed in the account of a primary school teacher, Mrs. Roseline Uche Egbuha.

ICPC found that N110,364,592.4 was surreptitiously moved sometime in 2020, from the bank account of the primary school teacher, who was being investigated for money laundering and other fraud, into different accounts owned by Erebuoye and eight other persons, including two companies.

The money to be forfeited includes N17.4 million that was transferred to the bank account of Erebuoye, N14.2 million to an account owned by one Ojo Alonge, N16.4 million to a company called DY Bako and Sons Ltd and N30.8 million to another company known as Dorason Construction ltd.

The order for interim forfeiture also covers the sums of N7.1 million traced to an account owned by Owoyemi Mayowa, N8.2 million, and N6.5 million traced to the bank accounts of Emon Aje Okune and Maureen Chidinma, respectively.

Recall that Mrs. Egbuha, who teaches at Ozala Primary School, Abagana, Anambra State, was arrested in June 2020 by the Commission for allegedly laundering N550 million

She was earlier arrested in October, 2019 by ICPC and granted administrative bail, after an investigation into her financial transactions consequent upon the receipt of a petition, had shown her alleged involvement in money laundering.

Also arrested then, were a Compliance officer of GTB, Beckley Ojo, an Operations Manager, Chisomaga Daly-Okoro, a staff of the legal department of the bank, Sarah Ugamah and an external lawyer to GTB Nsikak Udoh.

They were alleged to have connived with the school teacher to perpetrate the fraud.

ICPC, in a series of investigation, found that the school teacher had N539.5 million in her Guaranty Trust Bank account alleged to have been proceeds of money laundering from Malaysia.

She had told investigators during interrogation that the money found in her account belonged to her 24-year-old son, Chidozie Fabian Ejeaka, whose whereabouts could not be established.

A Post No Debit (PND) was placed on the account to allow the Commission to carry out further investigation, while a case of forfeiture of the suspected proceeds of crime was instituted against her in a court of law.

However, Mrs. Egbuha approached another court to challenge the restriction placed on her account by ICPC, as well as ask for the enforcement of her fundamental human right.

Her fresh arrest with the staff of GTB and the lawyer was due to their alleged connivance in lifting the restriction placed on her account and the subsequent transfer of N550 million (principal sum and interest) into the GTB account of FBI Legal, a company owned by Mrs. Egbuha’s lawyer, Ferdinand Isa.

The Commission found out that the money was transferred on 4th June, 2020, the same day a court order was said to have been obtained.

The lawyer claimed that the order vacating the restriction on the account was based on an out-of-court settlement with GTB which empowered his client to access her money.

The Commission also found out that the N550 million was promptly split and moved into multiple bank accounts owned by Bureau de Change operators and private individuals.

N340 million, in two instalments of N200 million and N140 million respectively, was allegedly moved into the Polaris bank account of a Bureau de Change operator.

N100 million was transferred into the GTB account of Edokaf Multi-global while N18 million was transferred to the private account of the lawyer, Isa.
The balance of the money was moved into other accounts. Investigation is still ongoing and appropriate actions will be taken upon conclusion.

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