2nd November, 2016
A Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos Southwest on Wednesday convicted four companies alleged to have been used by former Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan, Waparino-owei Emmanuel Dudafa to launder money for the former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.
The companies convicted by the court are: Pluto Property and Investment Development Company Limited, Seagate Property and Investment Development Company Limited, Transoceanic Property and Investment Development Company Limited, and Avalon Property and Investment Development Company Limited.
The court convicted them after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, had reviewed the facts of the case, in agreement with the purported directors of the companies who pleaded guilty on behalf of the companies.
The purported companies’ directors who pleaded guilty on behalf of the companies and agreed with facts reviewed by the prosecutor are: Friday Davis: Agbo Baro; Kola Fredrick; Taiwo Ebenezer and China John.
The four companies were arraigned alongside a former Special Assistant to President Jonathan, Waripamo-owei Dudafa, a lawyer, Amajuoyi Azubike Briggs, and Adedamola Bolodeoku, a senior Staff of Skye Bank Plc, on alleged $15,591,700, which the former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, claimed belong to her
Reviewing the facts of the case against the four companies, Oyedepo told the court that Pluto Property and Investment Development Company Limited, between November 14 to 19, 2014, retained the sum of $1.940,500 million USD, $1.2 million USD, $1.340,700 million USD, $1895,400,million and $1.2 million USD in its account number 2110002207:and 2110002238 domiciled with Skye Bank.
Transoceanic Property and Investment Development Company Limited also retained in its accounts number domiciled with Skye Bank the sum of $1.897,700, million USD, and $between February 21 and November 19, 2014.
Oyedepo further told the court that Seagate Property and Investment Development Company Limited, retained in its Skye Bank accounts number 2110002243 the sum of $1.839,900 million USD while Avalon Property and Investment Development Company Limited retained the sum of $250, 000 USD, in its account number 0122493290, domiciled with WEMA bank Plc, on February 28, 2015.
All the said money were proceeds of crime, and they were paid into the four companies’ accounts by one Festus Iyoha, who was a domestic servant at the State House, Abuja.
He also told the court that the said Iyoha had paid the monies into the companies’ accounts on the instruction of the first accused, Waripamo-owei Emmanuel Dudafa, the Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to former President Jonathan.
Oyedepo tendered the companies’ bank mandate forms, account opening packages and the Corporate Affairs Commission’s Forms 2, that indicated that the purported directors are major shareholders of the companies.
However, lawyers representing other accused persons, Gboyega Oyewole, Ige Asemudara and Joseph Okobieme, urged the court to allow their clients to go through the documents sought to be tendered by the prosecutor, saying that they were all charged on the offence of conspiracy, which is the count one of the charge.
The lawyers also stated that admittance of the documents wlll have negetive impact on their clients.
Upon the submission made by the lawyers, the prosecutor pleaded with the court to remove the name of Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku from the count one of the charge. Consequently, the court admitted the documents sought to be tendered by the prosecutor and thereafter removed the name of the other three accused persons from the first count.
Upon the admissibility of the documents, the prosecutor urged the court to pronounce the four companies as guilty as charged by the anti-graft agency.
Before pronouncing the companies guilty, the Presiding judge, Babs Kiewumi, asked the purported directors if they agreed with the facts reviewed by the prosecutor, and they all agreed with the facts as stated by the prosecutor.
Consequently, Justice Babs Kuewumi pronounced all the four companies guilty as charged but declined to make any pronouncements as to their sentence. He said that will be done at the conclusion of the trial of other accused persons in the case.
Justice Kuewumi said; “in view of the facts stated by the prosecutor, and based on the evidence tendered and admission of the companies’ directors. The prosecution has proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt.
“The companies are found guilty in count 2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9. In order not to prejudice the case of first, second and third accused sentencing them is hereby reserved pending the end of the trial of the first, second and third defendants”.
Justice Babs Kuewumi has adjourned till 16th of December, 2016 for trial of the other three accused persons.