Monday, August 15, 2022

EFCC accuses Lagos Scholarship Board boss of diverting N127m to personal use

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Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/RayyanAlhassan, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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Moday Moley, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday told an Ikeja Special Offences Court, that Stephen Oshinowo, diverted the board’s N127 million to his personal use.

The EFCC on July 2, 2020, arraigned Oshinowo, a former Executive Secretary, Lagos State Scholarship Board, for alleged N127m fraud.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Usman Buhari, Moley said investigations revealed that Oshinowo, at various times, allegedly diverted to his personal use, N127million meant for the Lagos State Scholarship Board.

She noted that the defendant used his account domiciled in United Bank of Africa (UBA) to perpetrate each of fraud alleged in each count contained on the charge sheet.

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“Upon receiving the petition, the Commission froze the defendant’s accounts and commenced investigation into the allegations.

“As at the time of freezing the account the defendant has converted parts of the proceed of alleged fraud to personal use,” she said.

She revealed that sometime in 2018, the defendant received the sum of N30million in three tranches of N10million each from the account of Lagos State Scholarship Board.

“The funds were meant for the use of staff welfare and office renovation but he later converted same to personal use.

“Investigation also revealed that the defendant sent part of the proceed to his wife, Adenike, pay for flight trips, supermarket sales, POS transactions.

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”He kept other funds in fixed deposit account.

”The defendant is the final signatory of the Board’s account at First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and without his signature, no transaction can take place,” she said.

Following Moley’s testimony, Buhari sought to tender the statement the defendant made to the EFCC as evidence.

However, the defence counsel, Lawal Pedro (SAN) opposed the tendering of the documents on the ground that the statement was obtained under physical and emotional torture.

Justice O.A. Taiwo adjourned the case until March 7 for trial-within-trial.

The News Agency of Nigeria trial-within-trial is a mini trial within the context of the main trial.

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It is a procedure in criminal law wherein the confessional statement of an accused person is subjected to trial scrutiny so as to determine whether or not the statement was freely and voluntarily made by the accused person to the police.

NAN

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