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Published On: Fri, Nov 9th, 2018

Court Remands Former NDDC Director, Tuoyo Over N3.6bn Bribery Allegation

Tuoyo


LAGOS NOVEMBER 9TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned a former Executive Director, Projects, Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr Tuoyo Omatsuli, for allegedly receiving a bribe of N3.6bn from a contractor.
Omatsuli was arrainged alongside Don Parker Properties Limited, Francis Momoh and Building Associates Limited before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The defendants were arraigned on 45 counts before Justice Saliu Saidu.
In one of the counts, Omatsuli was accused of conspiring with the others “to disguise the illegal origin of a total sum of N3,645,000,000, being proceeds of an unlawful activity, to wit: corruption and gratification.”
The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Ekene Iheanacho, said the defendants committed the offence between August 2014 and September 2015 in Lagos.
He told the court that they acted contrary to Section 18 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act No. 1 of 2012 and were liable to be punished under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.
But when the charges were read to them, the defendants pleaded not guilty.
Justice Saidu adjourned till November 16, 2018 to take their bail applications.
He ordered that they should be remanded in the custody of the EFCC till then.
The EFCC had in May this year obtained a forfeiture order on Omatsuli’s four landed properties valued at N846.03m.
The anti-graft agency had told Justice Chuka Obiozor who granted the forfeiture order that the properties were reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.
In an affidavit deposed to by one of its investigators, Adamu Yusuf, the EFCC claimed that Omatsuli received a bribe of N3,645,000,000 from a consultant to the NDDC, Starline Consultancy Services Limited.
“That Mr Omatsuli agreed and received kickbacks to the tune of N3,645,000,000.000 from Starline Consultancy Services Limited through Building Associates Limited, whose alter ego is Francis Momoh (an ally of Mr. Omatsuli),” Yusuf said.

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