The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned three companies allegedly used to perpetrate fraud by a former Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Mr. Warpamo Owei Emmanuel Dudafa,
Read also: (N5.1bn Armsgate: ex-President Jonathan’s Aide, Dudafa, Gets N500m bail)
The three companies are: Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited, and Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited.
Also charged alongside the three companies is one Sombre Omeibi, who is said to be at large.
The anti-graft agency in the charge, alleged that the defendants had on or before November 13, 2013, conspired among themselves to indirectly retain the total sum of $15, 591, 700 USD, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceed of an unlawful act.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, are contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
However, there was a mild drama, when the three men alleged to be directors of the companies, namely Agbo Micheal, Friday Davis, and one Fredrick, who had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges, changed their plea and denied having any relationship with the accused companies.
One of the three men, Friday Davis, whom the Commission said his name was used for registering Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and also used to open bank accounts for the company, denied being a director in the company.
Friday told the court that it is true that he was a driver to the first accused person in the charge, Mr. Sombre Omeibi, but said he did not have the knowledge that his name and passport photograph was used to commit the alleged offence.
He further told the court that he became aware of the company and the account when he was taken to the Commission (EFCC Office), where the allegations were made against him.
He consequently denied the charge, and changed his plea to not guilty.
The other two persons equally denied having any relationship or knowledge of the accused companies.
Prior to the changing of the plea of the three men, the prosecution witness, Mr. Abraham Tukura, had informed the court that the three men in their statement stated that they are not directors to the companies, and that they never gave out their passport photographs for registration of any company or opening of account at any bank for the accused companies.
Upon the evidence given by the prosecution witness, and the three men’s statement, the presiding judge, Justice AbdulAziz Anka declined to pronounce the three companies guilty as requested by the prosecutor, on the ground that there was no any link between those presented by the Commission (EFCC) as the alta ego to the accused companies.
Following the change of plea of the three men, the prosecutor, Mr. Oyedepo urged the court for adjournment for the trial.
Consequently, Justice Anka adjourned the matter till Thursday.
It would be recalled that Dadufa, a Senior Special Assistant to former President Jonathan, and two other accused persons, Joseph Nna who is also known as Taiwo Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isaiah, are standing trial before Justice Mohammed Idris, of a Lagos division of Federal High Court for alleged N5.1 billion fraud.
They were alleged to have used the three accused companies and others to perpetrate the alleged offence between June 11, 2013, and June 2015.