Benin court jails two ‘trash pickers’ for money laundering

On Monday, July 10, 2023, Judge C.A. Obizor of the Federal High Court in Benin City, Edo State, charged Amadi Amos Obadze and Presley Otegebe with fraud. Ibadeen was both convicted and sentenced to prison.

The accused was arraigned at Commission headquarters on six counts of near-money laundering. The pair are alleged to have facilitated the laundering of more than 1 billion naira in the proceeds of crime of Queen Osifou and Innocent Mora Chukubzor, two Nigerians residing in France.

One charge against Obazee reads as follows: “You, Amadin Amos Obazee (aka Osazuwa), directly owned property totaling N1 141,410.620.00 in the city of Benin, State of Edo, within the jurisdiction of this Court between 2016 and 2019. Honor , of which you knew or reasonably should have known the amount of the proceeds of Igbinosa Nosa on behalf of your boss, Queen Ossif, aka Faith Igbinosa, Crime: Money Laundering, you have therefore committed An offense under section 17(b) of the Criminal Code Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2012 Amendment.

One of the charges against Ibadeen reads: “You, Presley Otaigbe Ibadeen, between 2016 and 2017, in Benin, State of Edo, within the jurisdiction of this Court of Honor, directly or Possessing indirectly £1,226,844, you know or have reasonable knowledge that your property owners Queen Osifo (aka Faith Igbinoba, Igbinoba Nosa) and Moura Chikwubuzor have committed an innocent crime for the purpose of concealing the source of the funds, you have breached Section 1 of the Money Act Section 17(b) of the Money Laundering Act (Prohibition of Money Laundering Act) 2012 Act Amendment.

After the trial, the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges and prosecutors’ lawyer Deborah Ademu-Eteh asked the court to convict them and sentence them accordingly. Defense attorneys D.A. Oladejo and Patrick. Wilson, however, pleaded with the court for a lenient justice as the accused, both first-time offenders, already felt remorse for their actions.

Judge Obizor found Obaz and Ibadeen guilty and sentenced to two years in prison with an option to fine each of 2 million naira.

The court ordered the forfeiture of the N6,957,124.00 balance in the Obazee account to the Federal Government of Nigeria through EFCC.

Sometime in 2019, the Commission received a complaint from the Director of the Anti-Transnational Organized Crime Division of the Federal Ministry of Justice in Abuja on behalf of the Paris Court of Appeal regarding money laundering and human trafficking by two Nigerian nationals residing in France, Igbinoba Nosa and Inno Innocent Moura Chikwubuzor Activity.

The pair were involved in the recruitment, exploitation and luring of Nigerian girls to Europe for prostitution and serious pimping, as well as the informal transfer of funds from Europe to Nigeria, for which they received a 10% commission on each transfer.

During the investigation, Ibadin and Obazeh admitted that they received foreign currency funds from Osif and Chikubzor and converted them into naira for further distribution and deposit into designated accounts.

Osifor and Mora were convicted in France and received various prison sentences and fines for their despicable roles in organized crime, money laundering, human trafficking and modern slavery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button