Court Orders Forfeiture Of Gold Bars, N39m, 'From Gold Dealer, Civil Servant' To Nigerian Government

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The sum of N36 million and 35.58 kilogrammes of gold bars confiscated by the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee, (EFCC) have been forfeited to the Nigerian Authorities.

The order of forfeiture was given by a Federal Excessive Courtroom in Lagos on Tuesday.

Justice Muslim S. Hassan, who made the order, additionally ordered the federal civil servant to pay N10million to the federal government for his half within the deal.

The primary to 3rd defendants are: Bukar Mandara Zarami; his firm, Bukar Mandara Zarami Ltd and a Director within the Ministry of Mines and Metal, Kar Nap Fenan Wuyep.

The trio was re-arraigned on an amended two-count cost of possession of 35.58 kilogrammes of gold bars wrapped in six luggage with out applicable allow.

The counts learn partially: “That you simply, Bukar Mandara Zarami, on or concerning the ninth day of November, 2018 in Nigeria…dealt in 35.58 kilogrammes of gold bars wrapped in six luggage with out applicable allow; and also you, subsequently, dedicated an offence opposite to and punishable beneath Part 134(c) of the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act, 2007.”

“That you simply, Kar Nap Fenan Wuyep, on or concerning the 22nd day of Might, 2018 in Nigeria, with out going by way of any monetary establishment, accepted money cost of the sum of $19,440 from one Bakkkuk Steven Goyol, which sum exceeded the quantity authorised by the Regulation; and, you thereby dedicated an offence opposite to Part 1)(a), Part 16(1) (d) of the Cash Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as Amended and punishable underneath Part 16(2)(b) of the identical Act.”

The defendants pleaded “responsible”.

In view of their plea, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo obtained depart of courtroom to assessment the information of the case.

Oyedepo recounted how first defendant, Zarami was apprehended on the Murtala Mohammed Worldwide Airport, Ikeja, Lagos on November 11, 2018 with 35.58 kilogrammes of gold bars wrapped in six luggage.&

Oyedepo stated: “He (Zarami) was delivered to the Lagos Zonal workplace of the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee, EFCC, the place the gold bars have been measured and counted within the presence of the primary defendant, his counsel, a consultant of the Ministry of Mines and Metal. All events current signed the measurements doc.”

He informed the courtroom that investigations revealed that the primary and second defendants didn't have the suitable allow to own or deal in 35.58kg of gold.

Oyedepo stated though the primary defendant, in his assertion to the EFCC, said that he gave an official of the Ministry, Steven Bakkuk, about N3, 000,000 (Three Million Naira) as royalty, investigation confirmed that the precise quantity he was alleged to pay as royalty was N6,772,64,16.

In line with Oyedepo: “This exhibits clearly that there was no applicable allow for that amount of gold bars.

“Investigation additional revealed that as an alternative of the official from the Ministry, who acquired the cash from the primary defendant, to place the funds within the treasury, he transferred the sum of N700,000 to the third defendant, who's a Director within the Ministry of Mines and Metal.

“This led to additional investigation into the account of Bakkuk, whose account was used for transfers of illegal enrichment.

“It was found that about N28m in tranches was despatched to the third defendant.

“On Might 22, 2018, the sum of $19,440 in money was given to the third defendant, which is in extra of the quantity approved by Regulation to be acquired in money and it constitutes an offence towards the Cash Laundering Act 2011.”

The prosecution knowledgeable the courtroom additional that the defendants had entered a plea discount with the federal government.

He stated: “The primary defendant has issued a cheque of N3,000,000 in favour of the Federal Authorities as one of many phrases agreed upon within the plea discount.

“The primary defendant, as a part of the plea discount, additionally agreed to forfeit the undeclared 5.5 kilogrammes of Gold Bars to the Federal Authorities.

“It was additionally agreed that the EFCC, at the side of the Deputy Chief Registrar of this Honourable Courtroom, would facilitate the sale of the forfeited Gold Bars and the proceeds shall be remitted into the Consolidated Income Funds Account of the Federal Authorities of Nigeria.

“Third defendant, within the plea discount, agreed to pay a high-quality of N10million and forfeit the recovered Entry Financial institution drafts to the tune of N36million.”

In view of their responsible plea, Oyedepo prayed the courtroom to convict the defendants on the amended cost and prayed the courtroom to condemn them to the phrases agreed within the plea& discount.

Justice Hassan, upheld the phrases of the plea discount and convicted the defendants.

The decide held: “The plea discount is made the judgment of the courtroom.”

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