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Court orders FG to pay $951m to Bayelsa

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Court nullifies PDP’s delegate congress in Anambra

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered the Federal Government to pay $951 million being the 13 per cent derivative sum due as arrears of revenue and payable to the Bayelsa State government.

The Bayelsa state government had, in a suit filed on ita behalf by Ken Njemanze (SAN), urged the court to compel the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), who was the sole defendant in the matter to pay five per cent of $50 billion recovered as additional revenue that accrued to the Nigerian government.

Delivering judgment on the matter on Monday, Justice Inyang Ekwo, held that the AGF failed to enter his defence in the suit, prompting the court to declare the plaintiff’s case “unchanged.”

Ekwo said where a person issues a letter of demand on another person upon outstanding facts, the person for whom the demand notice was issued must take steps to react to same.

“Where the person to whom such demand notice is issued takes no steps, he is deemed to have admitted the claims thereby giving the other person the option of enforcing the claims by the available procedures for enforcement of undisputed claims. That is what has happened in this case,” the judge held.

In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/175/2012, and filed on February 12, 2021, the court said the defendant (AGF) had admitted the claims of the Bayelsa State government in the process the former filed in reaction to the suit.

“I find no material upon which I can grant leave of this court for the defendant to enter a defence or transfer this matter to the general cause list.

“In that case, I also find that the case of the plaintiff remains not only challenged but admitted and therefore must succeed on the merit.

“Judgement is hereby entered on the claims of the plaintiff in this case. This is the order of this court,” Ekwo declared.

In the suit, the Bayelsa State Attorney General urged the court to make “an order directing the defendant (AGF) to pay the sum of $951,190.00 being the 13% derivative sum due as arrears of revenue and payable to Bayelsa State as assessed, completed and calculated by the Body set up by AGF pursuant to paragraph b (iii) (b) of the terms of the settlement made by the (consent) judgement of the Court by the Supreme Court in suit No: SC 964/2016 Attorney General of Rivers State and Others Vs Attorney General of the Federation on the 17th day of October 2018.

“10 percent post judgement interest at the court rate on the said sum of $951, 190, 840.00 (until final liquidation thereof,” among others.

The Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers States government had sued the AGF at the Supreme Court, demanding an upward adjustment of the shares of revenues accruing to the Nigerian government whenever the price of crude oil exceeds $20 per barrel.

In the apex court verdict delivered in October 2018, Justice John Okoro, ordered the Nigerian government to embark on an upward adjustment of the shares of revenues accruing to the government whenever the price of crude oil exceeds $20 per barrel.

The three oil states in the Niger Delta: Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa-Ibom, had approached the Supreme Court for interpretation of Section 16(1) of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act in suit number SC964/2016 filed on their behalf by their lead counsel, Lucius Nwosu, (SAN).

The particular section requires the Federal Government to adjust the shares of the revenue accruable to the federation, whenever the price of crude oil exceeds $20 per barrel.

According to the Bayelsa State government, the money had accrued from 2003 to 2017.

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NIMC captures more than 60 million Nigerians

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The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on Thursday announced it has registered more than 60 million Nigerians for the unique National Identification Number (NIN) records in the National Identity Database (NIDB).’

The Commission said the feat could not have been possible without the cooperation of all stakeholders, including the general public.

Its Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Kayode Adegoke noted in a statement “the transformational value of a robust and inclusive foundational Identification system in today’s world cannot be overstated.”

” As a Commission, we’re committed to keeping this momentum of scaling up and speeding up NIN issuance nationwide for better identification, authentication and improved service delivery,” Adegoke added..

Adegoke who commended Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami for his leadership in driving the programmes of the commission, emphasised that NIN remains “the Primary Identification for all citizens and legal residents”.

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Abba Kyari opens up on alleged bribe to arrest Hushpuppi’s ally

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Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari has denied receiving a bribe from a Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

The United States Department of Justice had said ongoing investigations showed that Hushpuppi allegedly bribed Kyari to arrest one Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, one of his accomplices in Nigeria.

Reacting to the allegations on Thursday morning, the DCP in a statement on his verified Facebook page said his hands are clean.

According to Kyari, nobody demanded money from the embattled Instagram influencer, stating that the focus of the police was to save people’s lives that were purportedly threatened.

Kyari explained that Hushpuppi had informed the police that somebody in Nigeria was threatening to kill his family. He added that the social media celebrity, who was based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, before his incarceration, also sent the suspect’s phone number, urging the police to act fast to save his family.

He however said the suspect was allowed to go after investigation showed they were long time friends with disagreements over money. Kyari insisted that he did not demand a dime from Hushuppi, saying the only time they had discussions about money was when the fraudster demanded to know who sews his native clothes and caps, adding that after linking both party, Hushpuppi sent N300,000 for five sets of attires.

Kyari said the clothes and caps were delivered to his office after which someone collected them for Hushpuppi. He urged anyone interested in further pursuing the matter to contact Vincent for confirmation.

He urged his supporters to remain calm, stating that those working towards damaging his reputation would be disgraced.

The statement reads in part, “For those who are celebrating that this is an indictment on us and mentioning some fictitious big money, They will be disappointed once again as our hands are clean and our record of service for two decades is open for everybody to see. They will continue seeing us serving our fatherland and we will continue responding to ALL distress calls from ALL Nigerians provided they are life threatening.

“For good Nigerians who appreciate our service, please don’t worry as our hands are clean and they should please not respond to those celebrating and creating many false narratives without any evidence. We are used to such types of people and false newsmakers and distributors”.

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How Hushpuppi bribed IGP’s team leader Kyari in $1.1m deal – U.S.

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The United States Department of Justice has narrated how Hushpuppi, a fraudster from Nigeria, bribed Nigeria’s celebrated Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.

How it started

The statement from the office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office said a federal grand jury indictment unsealed this week said Hushpuppi, with real name Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, admitted to being part of an elaborate scheme to steal more than $1.1 million from a business person attempting to finance the construction of a school for children in Qatar.

He also admitted to subsequent laundering of illicit proceeds through bank accounts around the world.

However, trouble began among Hushpuppi and other conspirators on the sharing formula of the money received after they played the roles of bank officials and created a bogus website to steal the $1,1m from the business person.

The dispute led one of the conspirators, Vincent, to inform the victim that Hushpuppi is a fraudster.

However, Hushpuppi, in retaliation, contacted Abba Kyari, to help arrest and jailed Vincent.

According to the statement released by the U.S., Hushpuppi transferred to Kyari’s account after the police officer sent him the photos of Vincent in prison.

The statement said:

“Court documents outline a dispute among members of the conspiracy, which allegedly prompted Vincent to contact the victim and claim that Abbas and Juma were engaged in fraud. After this contact, Abbas allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Abba Alhaji Kyari, 46, of Nigeria. According to the affidavit, Kyari is a highly decorated deputy commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas’ behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest. Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.”

Please read the full statement below:

Six Indicted in International Scheme to Defraud Qatari School Founder and then Launder over $1 Million in Illicit Proceeds.

Nigerian National Known as ‘Hushpuppi’ Admits Money Laundering in School Financing Scam and Additional Cyber and Business Email Compromise Schemes.

A federal grand jury indictment unsealed this week alleges an elaborate scheme to steal more than $1.1 million from a businessperson attempting to finance the construction of a school for children in Qatar – and the subsequent laundering of illicit proceeds through bank accounts around the world.

The three-count indictment returned on April 29 and unsealed Monday charges three U.S.-based defendants who were arrested last week – as well as three defendants believed to be in Africa – with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.

The criminal complaint that initiated the prosecution in February was also unsealed Monday, revealing that Ramon Olorunwa Abbas – also known by his social media handle of “Ray Hushpuppi” – was initially charged in this case. Court documents ordered unsealed today show that Abbas, a 37-year-old Nigerian national, pleaded guilty on April 20. A version of Abbas’ plea agreement filed late Tuesday outlines his role in the school-finance scheme, as well as several other cyber and business email compromise schemes that cumulatively caused more than $24 million in losses.

“The defendants allegedly faked the financing of a Qatari school by playing the roles of bank officials and creating a bogus website in a scheme that also bribed a foreign official to keep the elaborate pretense going after the victim was tipped off,” said Acting United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison. “Mr. Abbas, who played a significant role in the scheme, funded his luxurious lifestyle by laundering illicit proceeds generated by con artists who use increasingly sophisticated means. In conjunction with our law enforcement partners, we will identify and prosecute perpetrators of business email compromise scams, which is a massive and growing international crime problem.”

“Mr. Abbas, among the most high-profile money launderers in the world, has admitted to his significant role in perpetrating global BEC fraud, a scheme currently plaguing Americans,” said Kristi K. Johnson, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “His celebrity status and ability to make connections seeped into legitimate organizations and led to several spin-off schemes in the U.S. and abroad. Today’s announcement deals a crucial blow to this international network and hopefully serves as a warning to potential victims targeted with this type of theft.”

According to the indictment, Abbas allegedly conspired with Abdulrahman Imraan Juma, a.k.a. “Abdul,” 28, of Kenya, and Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, 40, of Nigeria, to defraud the Qatari businessperson by claiming to be consultants and bankers who could facilitate a loan to finance construction of the planned school. Juma allegedly posed as a facilitator and consultant for the illusory bank loans, while Abbas played the role of “Malik,” a Wells Fargo banker in New York, according to court documents. Vincent, in turn, allegedly provided support for the false narratives fed to the victim by, among other things, creating bogus documents and arranging for the creation of a fake bank website and phone banking line.

Yusuf Adekinka Anifowoshe, a.k.a. “AJ,” 26, of Brooklyn, New York, allegedly played a role in the fraud, assisting Abbas with a call to the victim posing as “Malik.” Special agents with the FBI arrested Anifowoshe in New York on July 22.

The conspirators allegedly defrauded the victim out of more than $1.1 million.

The proceeds of the fraud allegedly were laundered in several ways. According to the indictment, Abbas was assisted in laundering the proceeds of the fraud by Rukayat Motunraya Fashola, a.k.a. “Morayo,” 28, of Valley Stream, New York, and Bolatito Tawakalitu Agbabiaka, a.k.a. “Bolamide,” 34, of Linden, New Jersey. These two defendants also were arrested on July 22 by FBI agents.

Approximately $230,000 of the stolen funds allegedly were used to purchase a Richard Mille RM11-03 watch, which was hand-delivered to Abbas in Dubai and subsequently appeared in Hushpuppi’s social media posts. Other illicit proceeds from the scheme were allegedly converted into cashier’s checks, including $50,000 in checks that were used by Abbas and a co-conspirator to fraudulently acquire a St. Christopher and Nevis citizenship, as well as a passport for Abbas obtained by creating a false marriage certificate and then bribing a government official in St. Kitts.

Court documents outline a dispute among members of the conspiracy, which allegedly prompted Vincent to contact the victim and claim that Abbas and Juma were engaged in fraud. After this contact, Abbas allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Abba Alhaji Kyari, 46, of Nigeria. According to the affidavit, Kyari is a highly decorated deputy commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas’ behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest. Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.

Anifowoshe, Fashola and Agbabiaka were arrested in New York and New Jersey on July 22, and they are expected to be arraigned in Los Angeles in August. All three are currently free on bond.

A criminal complaint and an indictment contain allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Both conspiracy counts alleged in the indictment carry a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year prison term.

The FBI is investigating this matter as part of Operation Top Dog. The FBI thanks the government of the United Arab Emirates and the Dubai Police Department for their substantial assistance in this matter. The FBI also thanks the Kenyan Office of Attorney General, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and Directorate of Criminal Investigations for their substantial assistance.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Khaldoun Shobaki of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in this matter.

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