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N1.4bn money laundering: EFCC arrest former Attorney-General of Akwa Ibom

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Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Akwa Ibom State, Uwemedimo Nwoko.

According to a report by Premium Times, Nwoko was arrested on Tuesday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Confirming the report, the spokesperson of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said, “Yes, the story is true he (Mr Nwoko) has been arrested.”

Nwoko’s link to ex-NBA president

The EFCC had named Mr Nwoko as an accomplice in the alleged N1.4 billion money laundering charges filed against Paul Usoro, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), at the Federal High Court in Abuja in 2018.

In the charges, the EFCC alleged that Mr Nwoko as well as other ex-officials of Akwa Ibom State government with whom Mr Usoro allegedly connived to lauder the money, was at large.

The EFCC had re-arraigned Mr Usoro, on 10 counts of the N1.4 billion fraud in March 2019 with the accomplices, including Mr Nwoko said to still be at large.

Those aside from Mr Nwoko said to be at large were the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Finance, Nsikan Nkan; Accountant-General of Akwa Ibom State, Mfon Udomah; and Margaret Ukpe.

However, the EFCC closed its case against Mr Usoro in February after calling Idongesit Udom, a deputy manager at Zenith Bank, as its first witness and Abdulrahman Arabo, the investigating officer as its second and final witness.

After discharging the witness and closing its case, the defendant through his counsel, Effiong Effiong, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, told the court of the defendant’s intention to file a ‘no case’ submission.

The EFCC alleged that Mr Usoro, among others, conspired with others to convert N1.4 billion belonging to Akwa Ibom State Government, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity.

The prosecution said the money was proceeds of criminal breach of trust which contravenes the provisions of section 15 (2), 15(3), and 18 (A) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.

Sources further told the Premium Times that Mr Nwoko will be charged over his roles in the alleged N1.4 billion scheme as soon as investigations are concluded.

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