Tuesday, 13 December 2022

NSITF MD, Akabogu in NYSC certificate forgery scandal, police commence probe

Dr Michael Akabogu, the managing director/chief executive of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, (NSITF), is currently enmeshed in an alleged National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) certificate forgery scandal.

This comes even as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has summoned the NSITF boss for investigation.

In a petition to the Police by a whistleblower, the NSITF boss was accused of allegedly parading a fake NYSC Discharge Certificate with Number: A030544.

According to the petition, Akabogu claimed he was mobilised for the compulsory one-year national service, vide NO. OG/ FUTO/ 91/23402 for the first Batch, from October 4, 1991 to October 2, 1992.


Meanwhile, the invitation letter issued on December 8, 2022 and copied the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Police said it was investigating a case of criminal complaint against the NSTIF Managing Director.

The letter reads, “The Nigeria Police Force, Utako Division FCT, Abuja is investigating a case of criminal complaint in which your name featured prominently.

“In view of above, it is requested that you should report to the above office on 12th December, 2022, at approximately 11.00hours in furtherance to the above complaint.

“This is a fact finding mission and your presence is important.”

However, a Police source, who is privy to the matter, confided in our correspondent that a discreet investigation was carried out upon the receipt of the petition against Akabogu.

READ Breach of Contracts: Greenville LNG Risks Another Multi-million Dollar Lawsuit

He said, “when the petition was submitted, a crack team was raised to investigate the matter and subsequently a letter was written to the NYSC to confirm the authenticity of the Certificate. So he was invited for questioning on the strength of our findings.”

Furthers details indicated that the NYSC Certificate with Number: A030544 allegedly paraded by the NSITF boss was not issued by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

NYSC in a letter of response with reference number: NYSC/CCD/VER/10/S.1/VOL/07 and addressed to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Divisional Police Headquarters, the Nigeria Police Force, Utako Division, FCT Command, Abuja, said it did not issue the Certificate.

The letter signed by the Acting Director, Corps Certification, Ibrahim A.M, reads in part, “your letter Re: Case of forgery involving a Corps member, Akabugu Michael C. with State Code No. OG/FUTO/91/23402

“Your letter Ref. No: CR:3000/FCT/UT/VOL.10/69 dated 3rd November, 2022 on the above subject refers, please.

“I wish to inform you that the Certificate of National Service belonging to Akabugu Michael C with Certificate number: A030544 forwarded for verification was not issued by the NYSC.

“However, you are requested to retrieve the original Certificate for onward submission to the NYSC.”

Confirming the Police invitation, the spokesperson of the FCT Command, Josephine Adeh, said the Commissioner of Police, Sunday Babaji, ordered a discreet investigation on the complaint.

She said, “we invited him, there was a letter of complaint to the Commissioner of Police by the NYSC, so you know when they write such letters, the Police has to investigate, that was the essence of the invitation to come and explain, they said the Certificate is forged.”

Meanwhile, efforts to reach the NSTIF boss for reaction were abortive as several phone calls placed to his phone line were unanswered and also he didn’t reply the text messages sent to him as at press time.


Saturday, 29 October 2022

$20m Fraud: US Court sentences Allen Onyema’s alleged conspirator to three years probation

A United States court on Friday sentenced a self-confessed conspirator in the alleged $20 million fraud allegedly organised by Air Peace CEO, Allen Onyema, to three years probation.

The court also awarded $4,000 as a fine against Ebony Mayfiled, who, in June, pleaded guilty to the charge of signing and submitting fake documents to facilitate the alleged fraud.

The US government accused her of signing and submitting the fabricated documents between 2016 and 2018, to help Mr Onyema, owner of Air Peace, a major Nigerian commercial airline, to move $20 million from Nigeria to the US in an alleged money laundering scheme.

She was charged in 2019, and she initially pleaded “not guilty” to all eight charges at the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta.


But she changed her plea to plead guilty to one of the charges in June, after entering into a plea agreement that saw the US government drop the seven remaining charges against her.

READ ALSO $20m Fraud: Air Peace founder Allen Onyema’s co-conspirator to be sentenced October 28 – US Court

The law under which she was charged provided for maximum five years jail term for the offence she pleaded guilty to.

Following her guilty plea, her lawyer filed for a variance of sentence on 13 October, begging to be sentenced to a probated sentence or what is called supervised release, instead of imprisonment.

The US government, reportedly earlier, in its response agreed to a lower limit of sentence range, which includes house detention for six months.

At the sentencing on Friday, the judge, Eleanor Ross, after discussing the pre-sentence report with lawyers to the parties, and listening to Ms Mayfield briefly, imposed “a total of THREE (3) YEARS of probation” on her.

Source Premium Times


Friday, 21 October 2022

$20m Fraud: Air Peace founder Allen Onyema’s co-conspirator to be sentenced October 28 – US Court

The fraud allegedly spearheaded by Mr Onyema was allegedly perpetrated under the guise of obtaining credit to buy aircraft for Air Peace, a frontline Nigerian airline, in the U.S.

AUnited States court has set 28 October for the sentencing of Ebony Mayfield, a co-conspirator in an alleged $20 million fraud involving the founder of Air Peace, Allen Onyema.

Ms Mayfield, accused of helping Mr Onyema to sign fake documents to facilitate a fraudulent $20 million loan, had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge on 29 June.

The trial judge, Eleanor Ross, of the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, in Atlanta, has now fixed 28 October for her sentencing, a court notice, according to Premium Times.


The fraud allegedly spearheaded by Mr Onyema was allegedly perpetrated under the guise of obtaining credit to buy aircraft for Air Peace, a frontline Nigerian airline, in the U.S.

Ms Mayfield was accused of helping Mr Onyema to facilitate the $20 million bank fraud between May 2016 and February 2018 when she worked as the manager for Springfield Aviation Company LLC, owned by the Air Peace founder.

U.S. prosecutors accused her of signing and submitting false documents used by Mr Onyema to perpetrate the bank fraud in the U.S.

Mr Onyema and Air Peace Limited’s Head of Administration and Finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha, also face 36 charges at the U.S. court in connection with the alleged fraudulent scheme.

But they have yet to show up or send a lawyer to represent them in court.


Ms Mayfield, who was arrested on 7 June 2019, for her alleged roles in the alleged scheme, had previously pleaded not guilty to all eight charges filed against her in December 2019.

Her trial was, in March this year, rescheduled to start on August 8.

But weeks before the trial date, she changed her plea from not guilty to guilty when she appeared before the trial judge on 29 June to plead guilty.

Ms Mayfield pleaded guilty to one of the eight counts filed against her by the U.S. government.

A copy of the plea agreement she and her lawyer signed with U.S. prosecutors shows she specifically pleaded guilty to Count 5, which is a conspiracy to commit credit application fraud.

READ Nigeria Air must commence operations before end of 2022, Buhari insists

5-year jail term and other penalties

She risks up to five years of jail term based on the plea agreement.

Five years imprisonment is the maximum jail term provided for in Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, under which she was charged with the offence in Count 5.

Aside from the risk of a maximum five years jail term she faces, the plea agreement also recommends she be fined $250,000, or twice the gain or twice the loss whichever is greatest. The fine is due and payable immediately.

She will also make full restitution due and payable immediately to all victims of the offence(s) and relevant conduct.

The plea agreement also recommends the forfeiture of any and all proceeds from the commission of the offence and any and all property used or intended to be used to facilitate the offence.

She will be subjected to a mandatory special assessment of $100, due and payable immediately.

She also, by pleading guilty, gave up the right to plead not guilty, the right to be tried by a jury, and the right to appeal against her conviction.

If she is not a U.S. citizen, she stands the risk of being expelled from the country after completing her jail term.

Alleged fraud

Between November 2016 and October 2017, prosecutors said, Mr Onyema applied for export letters of credit to causing the transfer of funds from a Nigerian bank account for Air Peace to Springfield Aviation’s bank account, “purportedly to fund the purchase of aircraft by Air Peace from Springfield Aviation”.

Both the Air Peace purportedly seeking to buy the aircraft and the Springfield Aviation, the purported seller, belong to Mr Onyema.

Springfield Aviation, according to court documents, was established by Mr Onyema in the U.S. State of Georgia in April 2016 purportedly to specialise in “the wholesaling, trading/ and sale of commercial aircraft and parts”.

The US government says Ms Mayfield was recruited as a manager of Springfield Aviation with the role of entering into aviation-related contracts on behalf of the firm, despite her lack of education, training, or licensing in the review and valuation of aircraft, including aircraft components.

The charge against the defendants says the aircraft that was referenced in each of the export letters of credit provided to obtain the $ 20 million credit from a Nigerian bank, was never owned or sold by Springfield Aviation.



Monday, 17 October 2022

Labour Party Senatorial Candidate, Linus Okorie Arrested over ‘drug-related matter’ in Ebonyi

The Ebonyi State Police Command says it has arrested Linus Okorie, the Labour Party senatorial candidate for Ebonyi south.

Spokesperson of the state command, Chris Anyanwu, in a statement on Monday, said Okorie was arrested and not abducted as speculated.

He said Okorie, a former member of the House of Representatives, was arrested over drug-related matters and several other offences.

“Sequel to initial viral rumours renting the air, cum a Press Release accredited to one Dr David Ogbonna of Linus Okorie CaringHeart Foundation, purporting that the former member of House of Representatives, was abducted on Sunday,” the statement reads.


READ Ogun 2023: Amosun will fall, fail again – Abiodun

“The State Police Command swung into action and later traced the said Okorie, who had evaded many Police arrests/invitations, to the head office of the Ebubeagu Security Outfit at the Old Government House.

“Police detectives were briefed on why he was arrested which includes; his activities and utterances that incited and provoked the violence that engulfed Onicha Community which led to suspected gunmen to unleash mayhem in the area in 2021.

“Hence, the case has now been taken over by the Police Command for a scrupulous investigation.

Secondly, Okorie was severally invited by the Security and Intelligence Bureau of the Command over a petition dated, March 23, authored by the State’s Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice, alleging that he was spreading fake news against Gov Dave Umahi.

“When invited by the SIB over the false allegations/petition, Okorie in his characteristic pompous manner refused vehemently to report. Rather he chose to file fallacious suits against the Police Command.

“It is also pertinent to mention that Okorie also have a pending case in which he is implicated in a drug-related offence where the suspects purported to be his agents were arrested for Hard drug sales and use at his City Hub Inn, Mile 50, Abakaliki,” the Spokesman stated.

The lawmaker is contesting for the same senate seat as Dave Umahi, governor of the state.


Wednesday, 12 October 2022

EFCC to arraign former Lagos Commissioner, Supo Shasore over money laundering

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed money laundering charges against a former Attorney-General (AG) and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State, Supo Shasore.

Sashore was Lagos AG from 2007 to 2011.

The charges which were filed before the Federal High Court, Lagos was signed by one of the EFCC’s lawyers, Bala Sanga.

The court has fixed the arraignment of the former Lagos AG for October 20 before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke.


READ Fuji Music Icon, Wasiu Ayinde Marshal Bags MON National Honours Award

Count one of the charge sheet said that Shasore on or about November 18, 2014 induced one Olufolakemi Adetore, in accepting cash payment of the sum of $100,000 without going through a financial institution.

In count two, Shasore was alleged to have made cash payment of the sum of $100,000 to Olufolakemi Adelore through Auwalu Habu and Wole Aboderin.

In counts three and four, the former Lagos AG was said to have induced and also made cash payment of the sum of $100,000 to one Ikechukwu Oguine without going through a financial institution.

The anti-graft agency alleged that the sums which exceed the amount permitted by law constitute an offence contrary to sections 78(c); 1(a) and 16(1)(d) and 18(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 16(6) and 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.

Supo Shasore (SAN) was the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, during the tenure of Babatunde Fashola as Governor of Lagos State.



NSITF MD, Akabogu in NYSC certificate forgery scandal, police commence probe

Dr Michael Akabogu, the managing director/chief executive of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, (NSITF), is currently enmeshed in an a...