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Ibadan Court delivers justice: investment fraudster sentenced to 75 years for defrauding investors of over N1 billion

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Ibadan Court delivers justice: investment fraudster sentenced to 75 years for defrauding investors of over N1 billion

In a landmark judgment, Justice Bayo Taiwo of the Oyo State High Court, sitting in Ibadan, sentenced Olaniyan Gbenga Amos to a cumulative 75 years imprisonment for perpetrating multiple counts of investment fraud. The conviction also included his firm, Detorrid Heritage Investment Limited. This decisive legal action follows a meticulous prosecution by the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

 

Background of the case

 

Olaniyan Gbenga Amos and his firm, Detorrid Heritage Investment Limited, faced a 35-count charge, prosecuted by the EFCC, which included allegations of obtaining money by false pretenses. The charges, in violation of Section 1(1) (a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, spanned various instances of deceptive investment schemes.

 

One of the charges, Count 35, exemplified the fraudulent activities: “That you Olaniyan Gbenga Amos and Detorrid Heritage Investment Limited on or about the 20th of February, 2020, at Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N1,540,000 (One million, Five Hundred and Forty Thousand only) from Akinlabi Qasim Dada…”

 

Amos pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, leading to a thorough legal process that unfolded over months.

 

Prosecution and trial

 

The EFCC Counsel, Sanusi Galadanchi, initiated the case on February 17, 2022. During the trial, six witnesses were called, and eight exhibits were tendered by the prosecution. The case was concluded on January 24, 2023. In response, the defendant filed a “no case submission,” which was overruled by the court.

 

Following this development, the defendant presented his case, calling three witnesses. The trial concluded, and Justice Taiwo reserved judgment until December 14, 2023.

 

Judgment and sentencing

 

On the said date, Justice Taiwo delivered a comprehensive judgment, convicting and sentencing Amos to fifteen (15) years imprisonment on each of counts 27, 32, 33, 34, and 35. However, the defendant was discharged and acquitted on counts 1 to 31.

 

The court ordered that the sentences should run concurrently, totaling 75 years of imprisonment for the convicted investment fraudster. In addition to the prison term, Amos was directed to restitute the victims, seeking to rectify the financial losses suffered by those who fell victim to his fraudulent schemes.

 

Continued legal battles

 

Olaniyan Gbenga Amos faces three other ongoing trials before Federal and State High Courts in Ibadan, Oyo State. These trials reflect the gravity and extent of his fraudulent activities, impacting multiple individuals and accumulating losses exceeding N1 billion.

 

Amos, whose journey to the Correctional Centre began with his arrest and arraignment before Justice Bayo Taiwo on December 14, 2021, was found guilty of deliberately failing to fulfill agreements made with investors, resulting in substantial financial losses.

 

This significant legal outcome underscores the commitment of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies to combat financial crimes, protect investors, and ensure justice is served. The case serves as a warning to potential fraudsters and emphasizes the consequences awaiting those who exploit unsuspecting individuals through deceptive investment schemes.

 

As Olaniyan Gbenga Amos commences his 75-year sentence, the judgment stands as a testament to the resilience of the Nigerian legal system in holding perpetrators of financial crimes accountable for their actions.

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Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

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Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

 

In a bid to safeguard Nigeria’s food security and combat the illicit exportation of grains to other African nations, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has vowed to ramp up its efforts to curb this menace. Ify Ogbudu, the Zonal Coordinator of Zone B of the service, made this declaration during a courtesy visit to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, at his palace.

During the visit, Ogbudu reiterated the NCS’s commitment to curbing the illegal exportation of Nigeria’s grains. She emphasized the importance of ensuring that the 42,000 metric tons of grains approved for distribution by the Federal Government reach those in need, as directed. Ogbudu sought the emir’s support in this critical endeavor, underscoring the pivotal role of the Customs Service in advancing the government’s agenda for poverty alleviation and food security.

In response, the Emir of Kano expressed gratitude for the Customs Service’s dedication to safeguarding Nigeria’s economic integrity, despite facing numerous challenges. He commended Customs officers for their diligence and urged them to exhibit compassion towards local traders who may inadvertently engage in illegal activities due to ignorance.

NAN reports that the emir emphasized the significance of enlightenment and community engagement in stemming the tide of illicit activities. He pledged the emirate’s full support in facilitating legitimate trade and commended the progress made in reducing disputes between traders and customs officials through stakeholder engagements.

Furthermore, the emir lauded the ongoing enlightenment initiatives aimed at supporting local traders and businessmen in conducting lawful trade activities. This collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and local authorities signals a concerted push toward ensuring food security and economic stability in Nigeria.

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Health

Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

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Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

 

 

In a sweeping enforcement action, authorities in Ogun State have shuttered the Nursing Department of Harvarde College of Science Business and Management Studies in Abeokuta. The crackdown, led by officials from the Ogun Ministry of Health and the State Nursing and Midwifery Committee, comes in response to the college’s operation of an unaccredited nursing programme.

Dr. Kayode Oladehinde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ogun Ministry of Health, underscored the severity of the situation, highlighting that the private institution had been offering a degree programme in Nursing Sciences without accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN). This unauthorized operation, spanning six years, posed a significant threat to public health and perpetuated quackery within the nursing profession.

NAN reports that during the enforcement exercise, Oladehinde, represented by Acting Director of Nursing Services, Serifat Aminu, emphasized the grave implications of pursuing a nursing degree from an institution lacking NMCN accreditation. Such degrees, he asserted, hold little to no value, rendering graduates ineligible to obtain a valid license to practice nursing in Nigeria or internationally.

“We have discovered that many institutions, including Harvarde College, offer nursing degrees to unsuspecting students,” stated Oladehinde. “Our mission is to clamp down on such institutions because they end up producing quacks in the nursing profession. This is dangerous for society. Unfortunately, most students are unaware that their time is being wasted.”

Oladehinde urged prospective nursing students and their parents to exercise caution and diligence in selecting educational institutions. He advised thorough research, including consulting the NMCN website for a list of accredited institutions, as the regulatory body updates the list annually. Additionally, he cautioned against falling prey to false claims made by unaccredited institutions, reaffirming the government’s commitment to combating quackery in nursing education and practice.

In response to the enforcement action, a 300-level student, speaking anonymously, expressed shock and dismay over the lack of accreditation at Harvarde College. The student lamented the financial investment made by her parents on her behalf, underscoring the personal toll of the college’s deceptive practices.

The closure of Harvarde College’s Nursing Department leaves students in a state of uncertainty, grappling with the realization that their academic pursuits may have been in vain. As authorities continue to crack down on unaccredited institutions, the incident serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of regulatory oversight in safeguarding the integrity of professional education and protecting public health.

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Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

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Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

 

In a significant development, President Bola Tinubu has appointed Hafsat Abubakar Bakari as the Acting Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), succeeding Modibbo Hamman-Tukur. This decision, announced by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, underscores Tinubu’s commitment to enhancing financial intelligence and combating illicit financial activities in Nigeria.

Hafsat Abubakar Bakari, a seasoned lawyer and financial intelligence expert, brings a wealth of experience to her new role at the helm of the NFIU. Having previously served as Deputy Director within the NFIU, Bakari’s appointment signals a strategic move to leverage her expertise in areas such as anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and counter-proliferation financing.

NAN reports that, Ngelale highlighted Bakari’s distinguished career trajectory, noting her tenure in various leadership positions within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Bakari’s roles included heading the General Services Unit, leading the Strategy and Reorientation Unit, and overseeing the Board Secretariat. Her multifaceted experience within the EFCC equips her with a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of financial crime investigation and enforcement.

Emphasizing the significance of Bakari’s appointment, Ngelale expressed confidence in her ability to navigate the complex landscape of illicit financial flows and other nefarious activities plaguing Nigeria’s foreign exchange markets. Tinubu’s administration remains steadfast in its commitment to curbing financial crimes and fostering transparency and accountability within the financial sector.

While Bakari assumes her new responsibilities in an acting capacity, her nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate. Nevertheless, her track record and expertise position her as a capable leader poised to advance the mandate of the NFIU and bolster the government’s efforts to combat financial crimes effectively.

As Nigeria grapples with the challenges posed by illicit financial flows and economic malpractice, Bakari’s appointment signifies a proactive step towards strengthening the nation’s financial intelligence framework. Her leadership is expected to enhance coordination between relevant stakeholders and facilitate the implementation of robust measures to safeguard Nigeria’s financial integrity.

In accepting this critical role, Bakari is poised to leverage her expertise to tackle emerging threats in the financial landscape and uphold the principles of accountability, transparency, and integrity. Her appointment aligns with Tinubu’s vision for a more resilient and prosperous Nigeria, free from the scourge of financial crimes and illicit activities.

As Bakari assumes her duties at the helm of the NFIU, stakeholders anticipate her strategic leadership and unwavering commitment to driving positive change in Nigeria’s financial ecosystem. With her appointment, the nation embarks on a new chapter in its fight against financial crimes, signaling a renewed resolve to safeguard Nigeria’s economic interests and promote sustainable development.

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