Police arrest former lawmaker Duru for alleged armed robbery offences
The former lawmaker was detained at AIG Zone 2 Lagos Command , Onikan and his phones taken away when he went on the invitation of the police .A close confidant told the Guardian that the police has on Wednesday provided him with police escorts to take over before his arrest and subsequent detention.
Parties on the matter have gone to the police on the invitation of Lagos state commissioner of police, Fatai Owoseni by 10 am in the morning of yesterday and before the matter was transferred to AIG Zone .
Duru has been having a running battle with the authority over allegation sof abuse of due process and shortchanging of shareholders, who entrusted him with funds to buy the company’s shares leading to a criminal charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
However, the charge was on November struck out by an Ikeja High Court following an application by the complainant, the EFCC dated September 7, 2016, seeking the withdrawal of the charge in Suit No ID/2039/2015.
In the enrolled order of the court on Friday, November 11, 2016, the trial judge, Justice Atinuke Ipaye, struck out the charge as disclosed on the information dated October 5, 2015 without prejudice.
The former member of the House of Representatives was last year charged by the anti-graft agency over allegations of defrauding FGPL.But EFCC in its application signed by counsel to the EFCC, Ayokunle Fayanju, and supported by a 10-paragraph affidavit, sought to withdraw the charge against Nze Duru.
The application was brought pursuant to Section 73 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2011. According to the affidavit deposed to by Fayanju, the application for withdrawal was hinged on the review of the case file together with the criminal information before the court by the prosecution team in the Directorate of Legal and Prosecution of the EFCC.
The embattled Duru was charged to court over allegations of fraud in pension management contained in a target report produced by interested persons.
He was also charged on allegation of abuse of due process and shortchanging of shareholders, who entrusted him with funds to buy the company’s shares.
Duru was further accused of diverting N16 million, being part of the equity contribution of Novare Holding, a South African firm, to another business without due process and obtaining board approval as well as collecting N20. 5 million as ‘executive allowance.’
But Duru responded by petitioning the Presidency, alleging a gang-up against him by the Pension Commission (PenCom) and disgruntled investors, who are sending the EFCC after him, accusing the pension industry regulator of being complicit in his ouster from the company.
A major character in the crisis, the Chairman of FGPL, Alhaji Kashim Imam, subsequently challenged Duru to go and clear his name at the EFCC if truly he had nothing to hide, noting that it was mysterious that he was walking free after alleged fraudulent activities were investigated and established by FGPL, in addition to indictment by PenCom.
Imam said Duru was being wrongly addressed as promoter of the company, noting, “By 2011, when Duru exited the company after eight years, following his indictment, the company’s account was in red to the tune of N385 million.
But following the intervention of PenCom, being the regulatory body, an interim management and board was formed; the assets of the company have grown to about N140 billion, with profit of over N3 billion, just in four years.”