The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arrested a primary school teacher Roseline Uche Egbuha, three employees of a leading commercial bank and a lawyer Ferdinand Isa for allegedly laundering N550 million through several bank accounts.
Egbuha, a teacher with Ozala Primary School, Abagana, Anambra State, was earlier arrested in October 2019 by the ICPC and granted administrative bail, after an investigation into her financial transactions consequent upon the receipt of a petition, had shown her alleged involvement in money laundering.
The ICPC also arrested the bank’s compliance officer Beckley Ojo, an Operations Manager, Chisomaga Daly-Okoro, a staff of the legal department of the bank, Sarah Ugamah and the bank’s external lawyer Nsikak Udoh. They were alleged to have connived with the school teacher to perpetrate the fraud.
The ICPC discovered that the teacher had N539.5 million in her bank account alleged to have been proceeds of money laundering from Malaysia. She told investigators during an interrogation that the funds belonged to her 24-year-old son, Chidozie Fabian Ejeaka, presently at large.
A Post No Debit (PND) was placed on the account while a case of forfeiture of the suspected proceeds of crime was instituted against her in a court of law. However, Egbuha approached another court to challenge the restriction placed on her account by the ICPC, as well as ask for the enforcement of her fundamental human rights.
The recent arrests were due to their alleged connivance in lifting the restriction placed on her account and the subsequent transfer of N550 million (principal sum and interest) into the the bank account of FBI Legal, a company owned by Egbuha’s lawyer, Ferdinand Isa. The ICPC found out that the money was transferred on June 4, 2020, the same day a court order was said to have been obtained.
Mr Isa claimed that the order vacating the restriction on the account was based on an out-of-court settlement with the bank. The ICPC also found discovered that the N550 million was promptly split and transferred to bank accounts of Bureaux de Change and individuals. N340 million, in two instalments of N200 million and N140 million respectively, was allegedly transferred to the bank account of a Bureau de Change.
N100 million was transferred into the bank account of Edokaf Multi-Global while N18 million was transferred to Mr Ferdinand Isa’s personal account. The balance of the money was moved into other accounts.
An investigation by the Lagos Times showed that Edokaf Multi-Global is controlled by Briate Okafa Edmund, Gloria Agwuna, Emmanuel Omang Edmund, Bosa Bright Edmund and Ijeoma Nkan Edmund.
In an exclusive interview with the Lagos Times, Briate Edmund the chief executive of Edocaf Multi-Global Limited accused the ICPC of restricting their company’s account without giving its directors a right to fair hearing. Mr Edmund said that Edocaf Multi-Global is a major retailer of electronics and that the ICPC should have examined the company’s accounts before accusing it of being a conduit for laundered funds.
Mr Edmund said that the ICPC’s action had greatly affected Edocaf’s ability to trade and that several of the company’s cheques had bounced as a result of the Post No Debit (PND) placed on its accounts. He said he would visit the ICPC on Tuesday morning to ascertain the reason behind the commission’s actions.