- A Nigerian couple have been convicted by an Ikeja High Court of defrauding a US company out of $120 million
- The couple, Augustine Ezeama and his wife, Juliette convinced CIFERCOM to move to Nigeria to execute a bogus contract
- The company paid the couple $120 million to help them process the contract they reneged on
The Lagos State High Court, Ikeja Division, convicted Augustine Ezeama and his wife, Juliet, of $120 million fraud.
The couple were both being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on seven counts relating to conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretences.
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On Thursday, May 26, 2022, Judge OH Oshodi found the couple guilty of the charges brought against them by the anti-corruption agency and therefore sentenced them.
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CIFERCOM LLC had filed a lawsuit against Ezeama and his company, Mabrubeni Nigeria Limited for defrauding them of $102,550 in processing fees for a bogus contract.
The EFCC, in January 2015, Ezeama convinced CIFERCOM LLC to come to Nigeria and promised to help them secure a huge contract.
The defendants subsequently made an offer of $8 million to CIFERCOM LLC. They paid the sum of $102,550 to Mabruani Nigeria Limited, a company owned by Ezeama and his wife, Juliet, whom he presented as an agent of the federal government, acting as an intermediary.
In May 2015, Ezeama told the company that the new president wanted the project to be extended nationwide with a net cost of $120 million and that he had to pay an additional $650,000 by June 10. 2015.
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After the Complainant realized she had been defrauded, she contacted the EFCC through her lawyer and requested an investigation.
The couple were brought to justice after the end of the investigation.
What happened in court
When the hearing resumed on Thursday, the lawyer for the second defendant urged the court to temper justice with mercy because they were first-time offenders.
He told the court: “This is a first offense for the defendants and they realized their mistake. The second defendant, Juliette Ezeama, has been present in court since her arrest on September 8, 2016. They are parents who also have children who need parental care.
Me A. Adepoju, the lawyer for the first defendant, tapped the court to be in condemnation of the couple.
The presiding judge revoked bail granted to the couple and ordered that they be remanded to the Ikoyi detention center. He then adjourned the case until July 7, 2022, for sentencing.
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EFCC reveals why officers stormed Okorocha’s residence
Legit.ng reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said its agents besieged the residence of Senator Rochas Okorocha due to his refusal to honor the commission’s invitations.
The anti-corruption agency revealed this in a statement posted on its official Facebook page on Tuesday, May 24, adding that Okorocha had skipped the administrative bail granted to him.
The EFCC also alleged that attempts to arrest Senator Okorocha were blocked twice due to the absence of the former governor of Imo State who allegedly escaped the proceedings department.