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Magu not in contempt of court, says EFCC


EFCC chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu

EFCC chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu

Ex-MINT Boss, Okoyomon, awaits extradition as UK Court convicts Australian accomplice

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has responded to reports accusing its chairman, Ibrahim Magu of refusing to obey an order of court in the fundamental right enforcement action brought against the Commission by an Austrian businessman, Wolfgang Reinl.
Wolfgang Reinl is being investigated for his role in a $2.1 billion arms deal scandal by the EFCC.

In a statement issued yesterday, the anti-graft agency stated that contrary to the reports in the media, “there is no disobedience to any court order by the EFCC and its chairman.”

The EFCC stated that it had since May 9, 2016 filed a notice of appeal at the appellate court challenging the April 20, 2016 ruling by Justice Peter Affen of the Federal Capital Territory High Court.

According to the statement, the appeal nullifies any claim of contempt that it is trite law and the judgement  cannot be enforced in the face of an appeal.

“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been drawn to media reports on May 12, 2016 accusing its chairman, Ibrahim Magu of refusing to obey an order of court.

“In the Nigerian legal system, an appellant has 90 days to appeal a judgement it deems inappropriate and wrong. that window is still open to the EFCC,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, a former manager of a polymer banknote manufacturer, Securency International Pty Ltd of Australia was on May 11, 2016 convicted by a Southwark Crown Court in the United Kingdom, UK

Peter Chapman allegedly bribed Emmanuel Ehidiamhem Okoyomon, a former Managing Director of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, NSPMC, (facing extradition proceedings in Nigeria), to secure a “multi-million-euro” contract.

The news of his conviction was yesterday relayed by Serious Fraud Office, SFO, to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, who was on a visit to the SFO in London.

The visit was said to be part of efforts to strengthen cooperation between the SFO and the EFCC.The trial of Chapman, according to the SFO, began on April 4, 2016. Among other allegations, he was said to have paid bribes in order to secure orders for the purchase of reams of polymer substrate from Securency.The total value of the bribes, he was convicted of paying to the agent was approximately $205,000.

The SFO’s director, David Green, said, “This has been a long, detailed investigation and a complex prosecution involving assistance from a wide range of jurisdictions. Crimes like this damage the UK’s commercial reputation and this conviction shows that such activity will not be tolerated.”

Expressing its satisfaction at the prosecution of Chapman, the SFO expressed gratitude to the EFCC, along with other law enforcement agencies including Australian Federal Police, the National Crime Agency, the Metropolitan Police, the Central Authority of Nigeria and authorities in Brazil, the Seychelles, South Africa, Canada and Spain for their assistance in this case.

Chapman was arrested at Heathrow Airport in April 2015, having been extradited from Brazil, and was charged with six offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 on April 30, 2015.

His co-accused, Okoyomon, who arrested by the EFCC for his role in the bribery scam, is however, currently trying to stop his extradition from Nigeria to the UK for trial.

Justice E. S. Chukwu of a Federal High Court, Abuja, had on May 4, 2015 ordered that Okoyomon be extradited to the UK to face charges of corruption and money laundering.

However, Okoyomon, through his counsel, Alex Izinyon (SAN), approached the Court of Appeal, seeking for a stay of execution of the order of the court.

Through his other counsel, Mike Enahoro, he had also approached a Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja, seeking to be granted bail from prison, where he had been remanded after Justice Chukwu ordered his extradition.

However, on September 11, 2015, Justice Valentine Ashi of the FCT High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja ruled as an abuse of court process, the bail application brought before it by Enahoro.

The trial judge had berated Okoyomon’s counsels for deliberating employing delay tactics to frustrate his extradition to the UK for trial.
Okoyomon, in the meantime, awaits the ruling of the Court of Appeal on his application seeking for a stay of execution on the Federal High Court’s order that he be extradited to the UK for trial, just as Brazil did for Chapman.

Okoyomon’s extradition is being sought by the UK government over his alleged role in the bribery allegation involving officials of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the NSPMC and Securency International Pty Ltd of Australia between 2006 and 2008.

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