Last week, 77 Nigerians were arrested by the United States Federal Bureau of Intelligence for alleged involvement in business email compromise, romance scam and defrauding American citizens millions of dollars which were allegedly channelled through Nigerian banks.
The development has triggered the arrest of some local collaborators while the FBI and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have launched a manhunt for other accomplices. This development has swelled the list of Nigerians on the wanted list of security agencies. We bring to you 10 most wanted Nigerians including their foreign accomplices.
Wanted by the FBI for cyber crimes
The 31-year-old was named along with Chukwudi Igbokwe, 38, as the lead suspects in the three-year FBI investigation of romance scams, business e-mail compromise, wire fraud and money laundering. At the end of the investigation, about 80 Nigerians were indicted, with some of the accomplices still in Nigeria. Iro and Igbokwe’s role was to ensure the laundering of money deposited by a victim into a bank account or a money services account.
According to the FBI, Iro and Igbokwe coordinated the transfer of victims’ funds from a fraudulent bank account they controlled in US bank accounts belonging to illicit money exchangers. “Those money exchangers, in turn, used a Nigerian banking application to transfer other funds in naira from Nigerian bank accounts they controlled to the Nigerian bank accounts specified by Iro and Igbokwe,” the FBI said in a statement. The authorities said this strategy was used to transfer millions of dollars to Nigerian co-conspirators without directly transferring funds overseas.
Mrs Ngozi Olejeme
She is on the run for diverting N69bn public fund, and money laundering. The Former Chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund has been living in the shadows since she fled the country to evade arrest for allegedly diverting N69bn alongside a former Managing Director of the NSITF, Mr Umar Abubakar. They were said to have stolen the money by awarding bogus contracts and through other financial malpractices. They allegedly committed the crime with Mrs Theresa Ittu
Affiong, a principal suspect in two cases of fraud, Adjunct Prof. Olufunmilade Adeyemi, Haruna Adamu Gazau, Jennifer Turnah, two Chinese, Liang Zhang, Junyuang Jiang, and Christopher Achebe.
Olejeme, hails from Asaba, Oshimili South Local Government Areas of Delta State and speaks English and Igbo languages ﬂuently, while her last known address was given as No 14 J.F. Kennedy Street, Asokoro, Abuja. Following her escape, the EFCC detained her sureties, a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja, Lagos State branch; Monday Ubani and Christopher Enai, an ex-senator representing Bayelsa State. They were subsequently granted bail by Justice Silvanus Orji of FCT High Court, Apo, in the sum of N50m, with two sureties who must be civil servants on Grade Level 15, after their lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, challenged their detention in court.
He is wanted by the EFCC for N45.9bn fraud.
The EFCC declared the former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, wanted in February, 2016. The anti-graft agency in an advertorial signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said it declared Tompolo wanted following two bench warrants issued against him by a Federal High Court in Lagos, where he was charged with N45.9bn fraud.
He was said to have illegally diverted the money belonging to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency. The 50-year-old, dark-complexioned native of Okerenkoko, Gbaramotu Kingdom in the Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, went underground and had not been seen since then.
His last known address was given as No. 1, Chief Agbanu Street, DDPA Extension, Warri, Delta State. The fugitive, who wielded political influence in his state, is said to speak both Izon and English languages.
Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos issued a bench warrant against Tompolo on January 14 after he shunned a summons dated January 12 issued on him by the judge to appear in connection with the fraud charges filed against him and nine others by the EFCC. Buba ordered the law enforcement agencies to produce Tompolo before him on February 8 for him to answer the charges, but rather than appear in court on January 8, he went underground after the court dismissed his application to quash the bench warrant and arrest order.
The EFCC filed 40 counts against Tompolo and nine others, including the immediate past Director-General of NIMSA, Patrick Akpobolokemi. The other suspects in the charge are Kime Engozu, Rex Elem, Gregory Mbonu and Capt. Warredi Enisuoh. They were charged alongside four companies, namely: Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd., Odimiri Electrical Ltd., Boloboere Property and Estate Limited and Destre Consult Ltd.
She is wanted by the EFCC for N1bn contract fraud.
Ittu is a principal suspect in two cases of fraud, contractual malpractices and obtaining goods under false pretence to the tune of N1bn and $1.4m, respectively. She allegedly received about N1bn from a government agency as payment for contracts which she failed to properly execute. Furthermore, the suspect was alleged to have fraudulently collected aircraft parts worth $1,416,000 from a Russian company and evaded payment.
The suspect failed to honour the EFCC’s invitation and is currently at large. The 50-year-old is fair in complexion. Her last known address was No. 2B Oko-Awo Close, Victoria Island, Lagos.
She is wanted for money laundering.
A bank worker, Aisha Shettima Nur, has also been on the run from the EFCC since 2016, for allegedly laundering money believed to be proceeds of crime.
In November 14, 2016, Nur was convicted in absentia on 10 counts of money laundering. Investigations revealed that the convict laundered monies which were proceeds of crime through the accounts of her siblings and daughter, as well as through the purchase of vehicles and stocking of a provision shop. While the cases were ongoing at both the federal and state High Courts, the convict had jumped bail, consequent upon which judges of both courts issued bench warrants for her arrest. The fair-skinned fugitive is 39 years old and 5.4 feet tall. She hails from Maiduguri, Borno State and is fluent in Hausa, Kanuri and English languages. Her last known address was No 1, Umar Galadima Street, Kawo, Kano.
She is declared wanted for $10m, N4m advance fee fraud and employment scam
Ugwah is wanted by the EFCC in a case of criminal conspiracy, employment scam and obtaining money by false pretence. The fugitive allegedly induced the petitioner to pay to her account $10m and another N4m for a fictitious Federal Government appointment. The fair-skinned fugitive is 62 years old and hailed from Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State. She is fluent in English and Igbo languages. Her last known address was No. 20, Oladele Oke Street, Okota, Lagos.
He is accused of complicity in the misappropriation of N1bn SURE-P fund. Usman is wanted by the EFCC for alleged complicity in misappropriation of public funds, money laundering and abuse of ofﬁce. A popular contractor in Katsina town, Usman is the Managing Director of Idris Kwado & Sons Ltd. as well as Aminu Dikko & Sons Ltd.
According to the EFCC, the suspect was given a contract of N1bn by the immediate past governor of Kastina State, Ibrahim Shema, who is facing trial for alleged N11bn fraud. Dark in complexion, Usman, 51, is from Katsina Local Government Area, Katsina State. His last known address was Kwado Village, Off Ring Road, Katsina.
He is wanted by Interpol for cyber crime and hacking. Onetule, 34, was declared wanted by the International Police for allegedly hacking into a computer, theft committed by an organised group, and theft causing damage on a large scale. Onetule, born in Lagos, is 1.45 metres tall with grey eyes.
Foreigners on wanted list
She is an Australian fugitive wanted for N20m forex fraud. Elya is wanted by the anti-graft agency in a case of criminal breach of trust and obtaining money by false pretence. The suspect allegedly collected N20m from the complainant, promising to help change the money to dollars. However, after receiving the money, all efforts to reach the suspect failed. Elya is 41 years old and dark in complexion. She speaks the English Language fluently. Her last known address was No. 11, Vernam Street, Maitama, Abuja
He is an Israeli who speaks Yoruba, English and Hebrew fluently. He is on the run for fraud and forgery. Umansky was believed to have fled the country after he was indicted for obtaining money by false pretence, stealing, forgery and altering. The 57-year-old allegedly committed the crime alongside Hannah Sobowale and Hammed Ariyomi who are also on the run. Umansky’s last known addresses were Signature Suites, Asaba, Delta State and 52A, Tunde Adebola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. Sobowale is 44 and her last known address was 100 Acres Church Street, Abere Bus Stop, Ajayi Egan Road, Atan, Sango-Ota, Ogun State. Ariyomi is 33 and his last known address was No. 6, Sanu Street, Adura Bus Stop, Alagbado, Lagos State. Both suspects are dark-complexioned, hailed from Ogun State and speak English and Yoruba Languages.
•Lagos Assembly can only probe, can’t prosecute, says ex-gov’s ally
•It’s a worrying signal for S’West ahead of 2023 –Oki
•How former gov’s ministerial ambition sets him on warpath with Lagos’ establishment
Respite appears not in sight for the immediate past governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, over a series of probes and investigations on his stewardship in the past four years.
Ambode, who served as governor in the nation’s commercial capital city between 2015 and 2019, in the past three months, has been linked to three different probes and investigations being carried out by the state House of Assembly and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The investigations are namely: the probe of the abandoned N7 billion ultra-modern cardio-renal centre at the General Hospital, Gbagada, by the lawmakers; the probe of the N9.9bn linked to the Office of the Chief of Staff during Ambode’s tenure, and the setting up of an ad hoc committee to probe the procurement of 820 BRT buses by the previous administration.
Sunday Telegraph scooped that some associates of the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, have insisted that the embattled ex-governor must be made to face the music for ‘daring the powers that be’ in the state before, during and after the 2019 general elections.
Ambode failed to secure a second term ticket after falling out with Tinubu who refused to back him but opted for the incumbent, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu. He is the first governor of the state to lose a re-election bid. Tinubu has anointed the last three governors of the state since serving two terms from 1999-2007.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an associate of Tinubu said the ‘sins’ of Ambode must be revisited and punished accordingly, adding that the immediate past governor had plans to derail the Lagos’ political structure that brought him to limelight in 2015.
He said: “He (Ambode) is only reaping what he sowed. If not for the maturity of our leader, Asiwaju, this state would have been off our radar due to his utterances and disposition. But his actions just about when he was about exiting till recently have been appalling that I can’t say some of them that we know and could see.
“The truth is that Lagos is not like other states; here, we reverence leadership and we don’t bypass authority even when we are not comfortable with decisions. How could you be lobbying for a ministerial position and even pressing buttons to take over the federal revenue organisation where there are leaders of the party?”
When asked if there may be a soft landing for the ex-governor, the former lawmaker said: “The issue of soft landing does not arise. Anyone found wanting should be made to face the music. The most outrageous of all the issues is when people dress the whole development around Tinubu. It’s unfair because he is not the party, he usually consults with his associates in the party. For some of us, the House of Assembly has our support on this and we hope to see to the end of this.”
But an associate of Ambode insisted that the probes were a witch-hunt, saying, however, that if the ex-governor erred while serving, he should be held responsible, but noting that there was no ground the former governor would be found wanting.
Pleading that his name should be left out, he said: “The House of Assembly has the right to set up a panel and if you listen to the Speaker, he didn’t even mention the former governor’s name; but it’s all looking like a harassment and witch-hunt.
“Those invited by the panel will be called, including the House Committee on Transport at the time, but don’t forget that they don’t have the power to prosecute. They don’t have the legal power to prosecute him; I only see it as harassment.
“I am an Ambode person but I’m first a Lagosian. The same House setting up ad hoc committee to probe Ambode does not have committees to oversee executive projects, but they could quickly set up an ad hoc committee. Some of us can’t keep quiet in the face of injustice. They don’t have what it takes to intimidate the former governor. Let them set up panels upon panels, they cannot intimidate Ambode, they only want to stain him. Government is a continuum; there is system and process in governance,” he said.
Meanwhile, an erstwhile factional Chairman of the APC in Lagos, Fouad Oki, has called for caution over the on-going probes of the former governor, saying that it is a move that may backfire against many interests.
“What is happening to Ambode is very unfortunate. But we must look beyond him and call ourselves to order. How many former Northern governors are being probed now? If we are not careful, it might come back to haunt all of us because we continue to expose our weakness and we have allowed the northerners to tear down our invisibility. They are busy working, they are on the chess board ahead of 2023 but we are pulling ourselves down here.
“When I stood up for him (Ambode) the other time, it wasn’t for any personal gain, but for the respect of the Office of Lagos State Governor. When the going was good, he allowed himself to be used. He allowed exuberance to take the better part of him. It’s not immaturity. It’s not because of Ambode but we must run democracy as it should be run,” he said. (New Telegraph)
Barely one month after commissioning two new Mobile Harbor Cranes worth US$10million at the Onne Port Complex, Rivers State; leading Nigerian port operator, the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), has acquired four new additional specialised terminal trucks and two reach stackers, worth over $4 million.
Managing Director of WACT, Mr. Aamir Mirza, said at the recent commissioning of the new trucks and reach stackers that the additional investment is aimed at further improving ship turnaround time and cargo delivery at the terminal.
He said that the new acquisition brings to 14 the number of new specialised terminal trucks acquired by WACT this year.
“In February this year, four specialised terminal trucks were air-freighted at Port Harcourt International airport. From then until now, with the two reach stackers and four terminal trucks that we commissioned today, it is basically the end of the first order that we placed.
“In all, it is about $4 million. In addition to this, the bigger investment is the cranes worth $10 million. So in all, we have spent $14 million so far this year. There are more equipment coming. For example, we will be getting man-lifter used to repair Mobile Harbor Cranes and 10 more trailers. This is in response to the growing business and to ensure WACT remains the gateway to Eastern Nigeria and beyond.
“Our resolve is to be the best container terminal in West Africa and in line with that commitment; we have continued to invest in our manpower, our processes and our equipment. Today, WACT can effectively compete with any terminal in or outside Nigeria.
“Our array of modern cargo handling equipment, which include two new Mobile Habor Cranes; 18 Reach stackers, 4 Empty Handlers, 9 Fork Lifts and a total of 26 specialised Terminal Trucks mean we are well positioned to meet shipping lines, importers and agents at the highest level of service delivery,” he said.
Mirza, further commended the Federal Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for encouraging private sector investment at the port, saying WACT has actualised the objectives of the Federal Government’s port concession programme.
He said, “The objectives of the port concession exercise were good and I think Nigeria has gained a lot as a result. For example, ours is a greenfield project and this facility was a swamp before concession. That meant we had to build from the scratch. We built everything you see here through our own investment and today we are happy to say that it is serving port users and meeting their needs very well. The economy is also benefitting tremendously from it. Shippers in the Eastern part of the country don’t need to ship their cargo through Lagos anymore. Right here at Onne, they are getting top quality service and faster delivery of their boxes, as we are committed to meeting their expectations.”
Speaking at the event, the Port Manager, Onne Port, Al-Hassan Ismaila, said WACT has exhibited high level of commitment in running of the facility, which he said has led to improvement in service delivery.
The Lagos State Government has partnered with the Benjamin Olowojebutu Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, to provide free surgical intervention for 100 people in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this was part of the activities marking the 100 days in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, in a statement on Sunday, said the surgical intervention would be for people with lipoma (a benign tumor made of fat tissue), breast lump, hernia and fibroid.
Abayomi said the surgical intervention, tagged “100 in 100,” would start with the screening and selection of patients which, he said, would hold between September 2 and 6 at Ijede General Hospital.
He said the surgeries would hold immediately after at designated general hospitals, which would be communicated to selected patients.
Abayomi added that aside the screening and surgery, medical consultations and dental services would be provided to patients at no cost.
The commissioner stressed that the programme would provide an opportunity for people to benefit from free health services that would improve their well being.
He said that the programme, like other free medical interventions earlier organised by the state, was to improve access to quality health care services towards achieving universal health coverage.
“I also wish to encourage everyone, not just in Ijede, Agbowa or Ikorodu, but across the state, to take advantage of this opportunity to get free health checks from qualified medical professionals,” he said.
The statement quoted Dr. Benjamin Olowojebutu, the Executive Director, BOF, as saying that his organisation was happy to collaborate with the state government to offer help to the citizens and impact their lives positively, in line with the foundation’s mission.
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has lambasted his counterpart from Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje over plans to drag him to court, saying he is not a dollar bill which Ganduje can “pocket sheepishly and recklessly”.
Ganduje was reported to have threatened to institute a legal action against Wike, following claims that he ordered the demolition of a mosque in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The Rivers State governor, however, denied the allegation.
However, a statement by Wike’s Media Aide, Simeon Nwakaudu reads: “It beats my imagination that Kano State Governor, Abdulahi Umar Ganduje is still in the habit of making irresponsible comments about Rivers State. Up till now, Ganduje is yet to realise that Governor Wike is not dollars that he can pocket recklessly and sheepishly.
“I saw a statement released by Abdulahi Umar Ganduje. He said that he will sue Governor Wike over the falsehood that a Mosque was demolished in Port Harcourt. For the umpteenth time, no Mosque was demolished by Governor Wike. No Mosque was demolished by the Rivers State Government.
The story was a fabrication by one Alhaji Tobacco. The fabrication was orchestrated by Daily Trust and The Nation Newspapers for obvious mischievous political reasons. These baseless press releases confirm the ugly plot.
“Several journalists and civil society groups have visited the disputed land and no traces of any Mosque were found at the location. Governor Wike personally led journalists to the disputed land and the world saw that no Mosque existed there.
“On Saturday, the Rivers State Islamic Leader/Vice President General, Rivers State Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Nasir Uhor stated that there was no physical structure of a Mosque at the disputed land at Rainbow Town in Port Harcourt. He said the insinuation that any structure was at that location was not true. He also admitted that a Rivers State High Court confirmed that the disputed land belongs to the Rivers State Government.
“Suit Number PHC/986/2012 between Registered Trustees of Trans-Amadi Mosque, Port Harcourt (Claimant) and the Commissioner, Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning, Rivers State, the Governor of Rivers State and the Attorney General of Rivers State (Defendants) was resolved by Justice G.O. Omereji on Tuesday, 27th November, 2018. This matter pre-dated Governor Wike.
“Justice Omereji of the Rivers State High Court held that: “The defendants have in Exhibits J, J1 and J2 inclusive of Exhibit K, which is the Certificate of Title, established that the land, the subject matter of this suit, was acquired in 1959 by the Government.
“My humble opinion is that the claimants have not established that they have better title to the land, the subject matter of this suit and they have not established that at the material time they were in possession and that the defendants do not have better title to the land”.
“The Court further ruled that the claimants had no approval to build on the disputed land.
“The entire world is aware of the above facts. Nobody has circulated any photographs or videos of the said Mosque that Ganduje and other APC Chieftains are harping on. They merely want to use a non-existent Mosque story to score ugly political points.
“Pray, what redress would Ganduje be seeking in court when he sues Governor Wike? Would Ganduje tell the court to relegate the Rivers State Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning and enthrone its Kano State Counterpart? Would Ganduje be asking the Court to hand over jurisdiction to Kano State High Court?
Under the Land Use Act, the governor is responsible for allocation of land in all urban areas to individuals’ resident in the state or to organizations for residential, agricultural, commercial and other purposes. Perhaps, Ganduje would be telling the Court to deny the Rivers State Governor of such powers, while he retains same powers under the Land Use Act in Kano State.
“The Press Statement attributed to Ganduje is a confirmation that this country is at its lowest point. This is the worst form of administrative ignorance.
“As a Governor with a bruised ego, Ganduje thinks that this religious falsehood would afford him a backdoor entry into the national good book. Sadly, he has exposed himself as a terribly ignorant leader who basks in baseless claims.
“The disputed land is already before the court, as the Registered Trustees of Trans-Amadi Mosque, Port Harcourt (Claimant) sued the Rivers State Government in 2012. Having lost at the Court of First instance, these trustees have appealed the judgment.
“GANDOLLARS MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN, On December 8, 2016, Abdulahi Umar Ganduje, as Chairman of the Rivers State APC Election Rerun Campaign Committee, threatened violence on Rivers people at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium.
“Alongside several APC Governors, Ganduje Ganduje called on APC Thugs to unleash mayhem on Rivers electorate for the purpose of rigging the rerun elections. He claimed that the aim was to ensure that the APC took control of the House of Assembly for the purpose of impeaching Governor Wike.
The APC Federal Government deployed 57,000 security personnel, billions of naira, millions of dollars, Jet Fighters and Gunboats for the rerun elections. Rivers people stood with Governor Wike and the APC was roundly defeated. Rivers people rejected the plot to pocket Governor Wike by the APC rigging machine.
“GOVERNOR WIKE IS NOT DOLLARS. Abdulahi Umar Ganduje, a man who enjoys bribery and falsehood, must realise that Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is not dollars that he pockets with ridiculous abandon. Governor Wike is a lover of the rule of law, due process, religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence. He cannot be intimidated by the illiterate threat of lawsuit from a man of low moral standing.
“Gandollars, sorry, Ganduje is still talking because he thinks that Nigerians have forgotten about his crime against his people.” (Daily Post)