N650m Fraud: EFCC Re-Arrests Ladipo Market Leader, Association's Accounts Frozen


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, at the weekend re-arrested the  president of Aguiyi Ironsi International Trade Centre, Ladipo Market Mushin, Lagos,  Nigeria for allegedly jumping bail.

Also, the association’s bank accounts have been frozen by the EFCC following the  statements of the leaders of the market. They were summoned by the EFCC to explain their  role in the N650million  fraud allegedly perpetrated by Chief Jonathan Okoli.

The president, who has been in EFCC custody since Friday, when he was re-arrested, was  alleged  to have defrauded the Lagos State government, Mushin Local Governemnt and the  traders to the tune of N650 million.

However, Jonathan Okoli has denied the allegation but the traders insisted that he should  account for the revenue he had collected on behalf of the government.

The market leaders summoned by EFCC office include the former President of the market,  Chief Innocent Ejike; Anthony Nwanzeribe, General Secretary; Lazaru Ibekwe, Financial  Secretary; Lucky Uchendu, Treasure; Tony Onyiliagha and the vice president  among others.

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P.M.NEWS learnt that they were summoned to explained what they knew about the financial  crisis rocking the market. They were said to have written statements and were allowed to  go home until  they are needed again.

Chief Okoli who was earlier arrested and granted bail while the investigation continued.  He  was later invited by the EFCC but he reportedly ignored the invitation several times.  When he eventually went there, he was detained.

Confirming the arrest, the General Secretary of the market, Anthony Nwanzeribe said  the  Commission has ordered them to submit all the receipts and financial documents of the  association which he was yet to submit because the president had not shown up at the  EFCC.

Crisis has been brewing in the market over the leadership style of the president, Chief  Okoli. This has led to the arrest of Chief Okoli by the EFCC which later granted him bail  while the investigation continued. But he has now been rearrested because he refused to  show up at the EFCC office.

His arrest, P.M.NEWS gathered followed a petition to EFCC by a Lagos lawyer and human  rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, to investigate the allegation and bring the president  to book.

—Cyriacus Izuekwe

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