An Ikeja Special on Monday was told how Emmanuel Nwude, was convicted by a Lagos High Court for defrauding a Brazilian bank to the tune of $242million and how he forged legal documents of property forfeited in judgment.
A prosecution witness, Mr Arifayo Falodun, made this known to Justice Mojisola Dada.
Nwude was convicted by an Ikeja High Court in 2005 for impersonating Paul Ogwuma, a governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who had served from October 1, 1993 to May 29, 1999 in order to defraud a Brazilian bank.
The bank, Banco Noroeste, was defrauded of $242million between 1995 and 1998.
Nwude was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for the fraud in 2005 by Justice Joseph Oyewole.
Nwude has been charged again alongside two lawyers – Emmanuel Ilechukwu and Roland Kalu –over a 15-count charge of forging the documents of the property Justice Oyewole had ordered Nwude to forfeit to his victims.
During Monday’s proceedings, Falodun, a legal practitioner in the law firm of Sofunde, Osakwe and Belgore, in evidence led by Mr Nnaemeka Omewa, the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC gave a narrative of how the property fraud was perpetuated by the defendants.
Falodun said: “On October 10, 2017, the partners of my law firm were invited by the EFCC concerning property located at Plot 38b, Moboloaji Johnson, Oregun Road, Lagos.
“Pursuant to the said invitation we wrote a letter dated October 9, 2017 to the EFCC where in we explained the role of our firm concerning the property.
“Via the said letter, we forwarded relevant materials including the court judgment regarding the said property.
“Our clients who are the majority shareholders in a Brazilian bank named Banco Noroeste had made a complaint to the EFCC regarding the fraud perpetuated by certain persons including the first defendant.
“The fraud was in excess of $190million and upon the complaint, the first defendant amongst others, were charged before the High Court of Lagos with charge number – ID/92C/2004.
“Upon the charge and by a judgment delivered by Hon. Justice Joseph Oyewole delivered on Nov. 18, 2005, the first defendant and a company known as Emorus Autos Nigeria Ltd were convicted and sentenced.
“As part of the sentencing, the court ordered that certain properties belonging to the first defendant be forfeited to victims of the offence which were our clients.”
Falodun in his testimony also threw more light on details of the judgment convicting Nwude.
“Sentence three of the judgment specifically ordered that shares and other undertakings of the first defendant and Emorus Autos Nigeria Ltd be forfeited to victims of the offence.
“The sentence also made reference to a schedule that should be so forfeited.
“The relevant part of the schedule is the 26th item which is annexed to the amended information dated Nov. 18, 2005 upon which the defendant was convicted and sentenced,” he said.
The witness said that pursuant to the judgment, his clients who were the victims of Nwude’s crimes sold the property located at Plot 38b, Mobolaji Johnson, Oregun Road, Lagos which initially belonged to Emorus Autos Nigeria Ltd to Rossab International Ltd.
“Before the deed was registered to Rossab International Ltd, our clients had registered the deed and the judgment at the Land Registry.
“It was on the strength of the judgment of Justice Oyewole and the registration of the deed of assignment that our client sold the property to Rossab International Ltd.
“My Lord, the said judgment of Justice Oyewole was appealed to the Court of Appeal by the first defendant.
“The Court of Appeal found that the respondents as victims of the offence in which the appellant (Nwude) was the perpetuator.
“Till now, we are unaware of any appeal of the Court of Appeal’s judgment,” Falodun said.
The EFCC counsel, Omewa however requested for an adjournment due to the unavailability of some documents, which were to be tendered in evidence by the prosecution.
The matter was thereafter adjourned till April 18 for continuation of trial.
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