N35m Fraud: Blessing Ukiri, Ex-NBA Vice President, Remanded In Prison

N35m Fraud: Blessing Ukiri, Ex-NBA Vice President, Remanded In Prison


Justice U. N. Agomoh of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday October 15, 2012 remanded Barrister Emonena Blessing Ukiri, a former Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, in prison custody. Ukiri is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on charges bordering on fraud, stealing and money laundering to the tune of over N35m (thirty five million naira).

He is alleged to have converted a N35m judgement sum paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria to his client, one Samuel Onowighose, by concealing the origin of the fund and using part of it to acquire 150,000 units of First Bank of Nigeria Plc shares and thereby commits an offence punishable under section 14 (1) (a) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004.
Count two of the three count charge reads: “That you, Ukiri Emonena Blessing (M) on or about the 7th day of May, 2008 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this honorable Court, did pay in the sum of eleven million, one hundred and seventy five thousand and sixty five naira, seventy five kobo (N11,175,065.75k) into your Access Bank account number 0200230000690, through a United Bank of Africa(UBA) Managers Cheque, which money you derived from the judgement sum in favour of Samuel Onowighose paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria on the 29th day of March, 2007 into your Diamond Bank account number 632010000025, with the aim of disguising the origin of the money and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act”

Count three reads “That you, Ukiri Omonena Blessing (M), on or about the 3rd day of December, 2007 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this honorable Court, did convert the sum of four million, nine hundred and fifty thousand naira (N4,950,000.00) with which you purchased 150,000 units of First Bank of Nigeria shares through UBA Stockbrokers Ltd. which money you derived from the judgement sum in favour of Samuel Onowighose paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria on the 29th day of March 2007 into your Diamond Bank account number 632010000025, with the aim of disguising the origin of the money and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 14(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act”.
When the charges were read to the accused, he pleaded not guilty to all counts necessitating the EFCC Counsel, Mrs. Olatunji Ademiju to immediately ask the court to fix a date for trial.
The defence Counsel, Barrister A. O. Ojekudos however moved a motion for bail. He appealed to the court to allow the accused person to continue to enjoy the administrative bail granted him by the EFCC in 2007.
But the prosecuting counsel objected to the bail application on the grounds that she was only served in court and needed time to study the application.

Before adjourning proceedings, Justice Agomoh maintained that an administrative bail granted in 2007 cannot be used as a basis for seeking bail in a matter filed in 2012.
He then ordered that the accused person be remanded in prison custody, while the case was adjourned to October 18, 2012.

Wilson Uwujaren
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
15th October, 2012

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Justice U. N. Agomoh of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday October 15, 2012 remanded Barrister Emonena Blessing Ukiri, a former Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, in prison custody. Ukiri is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on charges bordering on fraud, stealing and money laundering to the tune of over N35m (thirty five million naira).

He is alleged to have converted a N35m judgement sum paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria to his client, one Samuel Onowighose, by concealing the origin of the fund and using part of it to acquire 150,000 units of First Bank of Nigeria Plc shares and thereby commits an offence punishable under section 14 (1) (a) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004.
Count two of the three count charge reads: “That you, Ukiri Emonena Blessing (M) on or about the 7th day of May, 2008 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this honorable Court, did pay in the sum of eleven million, one hundred and seventy five thousand and sixty five naira, seventy five kobo (N11,175,065.75k) into your Access Bank account number 0200230000690, through a United Bank of Africa(UBA) Managers Cheque, which money you derived from the judgement sum in favour of Samuel Onowighose paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria on the 29th day of March, 2007 into your Diamond Bank account number 632010000025, with the aim of disguising the origin of the money and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act”

Count three reads “That you, Ukiri Omonena Blessing (M), on or about the 3rd day of December, 2007 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this honorable Court, did convert the sum of four million, nine hundred and fifty thousand naira (N4,950,000.00) with which you purchased 150,000 units of First Bank of Nigeria shares through UBA Stockbrokers Ltd. which money you derived from the judgement sum in favour of Samuel Onowighose paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria on the 29th day of March 2007 into your Diamond Bank account number 632010000025, with the aim of disguising the origin of the money and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 14(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act”.
When the charges were read to the accused, he pleaded not guilty to all counts necessitating the EFCC Counsel, Mrs. Olatunji Ademiju to immediately ask the court to fix a date for trial.
The defence Counsel, Barrister A. O. Ojekudos however moved a motion for bail. He appealed to the court to allow the accused person to continue to enjoy the administrative bail granted him by the EFCC in 2007.
But the prosecuting counsel objected to the bail application on the grounds that she was only served in court and needed time to study the application.

Before adjourning proceedings, Justice Agomoh maintained that an administrative bail granted in 2007 cannot be used as a basis for seeking bail in a matter filed in 2012.
He then ordered that the accused person be remanded in prison custody, while the case was adjourned to October 18, 2012.

Wilson Uwujaren
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
15th October, 2012

Click here to subscribe to The Paradigm Newsletter

Comments

comments

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