Friday, 18 September 2015

EFCC declares Saraki’s business associate, Izuagbe, wanted for laundering N3.6bn


President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki

The travails of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, seem to be getting worse by the day as The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday declared wanted the man managing his property company, Mr. Kennedy Izuagbe, for allegedly laundering  N3.6bn.
Izuagbe, managing director of Carlisle Properties and Investment Limited, a firm believed to be owned by Saraki, was alleged to have   laundered the said amount while he was the Managing Director of the defunct Societe Generale Bank.
The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation revealed in the false asset declaration charges filed against Saraki, that he owns Carlisle Properties Limited.
A statement by the EFCC on Thursday revealed that  Izuagbe, a 45-year-old banker, was declared wanted because he could not be reached.
EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, who signed the statement, said Izuagbe had fled the country.
“Kennedy Izuagbe, a former director of Societe Generale Bank Nigeria Plc and Managing Director of Carlisle Properties and Investment Limited, has been declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“Izuagbe, 45, who is being investigated in a case of conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of over N3.6 bn, has gone into hiding and all efforts to reach him have proved abortive.
“He is linked to the several shady deals and gross financial misconducts that took place in the bank, in which several millions of Naira were granted as loan without due diligence.
“The suspect, who is believed to have fled the country, is a native of Iviukhua village, near Agenebode, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State.”
The statement appealed to members of the public with information on the whereabouts of Izuagbe to contact the EFCC offices in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Gombe and Kano or the nearest police station.
Meanwhile, the Senate President has moved to stop his arraignment in court today for false asset declaration.
On Thursday, his lawyers filed an exparte motion at a Federal High Court, Abuja, asked the court to stop the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Code of Conduct Tribunal as well as a director in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, M. S Hassan, from taking any further step at the CCT pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit he filed before the court.
Hassan, in a 13-count charge filed at the CCT on September 11, had among others, stated that Saraki made anticipatory asset declaration of a house in Ikoyi in his asset declaration form he submitted to the CCB in 2003.
Saraki was said to have declared that the said house was possessed through Carlisle Properties, the company headed by Izuagbe, who was declared wanted on Thursday by the EFCC.
In his exparte motion, the Senate President argued that the Ministry of Justice has not complied with the provision of the 3rd Schedule of Section 24(1) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act to act before proffering a charge against him.
His lawyer, Mahmud Magaji (SAN), said based on the provision of Section 24 of the CCB and CCT Act, Saraki’s prosecution before the CCT ought to have been initiated by the Attorney General of the Federation or any officer directed by the AGF.
He argued that, “In the absence of any subsisting AGF in the time being, this court has the jurisdiction to direct parties to maintain status quo pending the hearing of the motion on notice.”
He argued further that since there was no subsisting AGF, the charge against him by the official of the Federal Ministry of Justice before the CCT is void as the provisions of section 24 (1) of the CCB and the tribunal was not complied with.
Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, in a ruling in his chamber, summoned the chairmen of the CCB and the CCT to appear before him on September 21, 2015 to show cause why they should not be restrained from arraigning Saraki.
The judge ordered that the respondents in the motion should be served with all the court processes, including the motion on notice for the interim order or injunction and motion exparte, and that the hearing notice should be served on all the respondents.
Source: The Punch

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