Nigeria, Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore updates

White Collar Crime

Contributed by Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore
War against corruption in public sector
  • Nigeria
  • 13 July 2020

In June 2019 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as part of its investigation into the affairs of a former state governor, reported that it had frozen a number of bank accounts alleged to belong to the former governor which contained suspected public funds. In 2020 the EFCC reported that, to date, a total of N7.9 billion had been recovered from these accounts and more than N5.7 billion had been returned to the state government.

Possible fallout from Obinwanne Okeke's guilty plea to US charges
  • Nigeria
  • 06 July 2020

Nigerian entrepreneur Obinwanne Okeke has pleaded guilty to a computer-based intrusion fraud scheme. More than $11 million is said to have been traced to the ring, and it has been claimed that Okeke used proceeds from these activities to establish legitimate business enterprises in Nigeria. This follows from reports in 2019 that the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered that N280,500,000 in two bank accounts in Okeke's name be forfeited to the Nigerian government.

Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations enter into force
  • Nigeria
  • 16 December 2019

The Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019 recently came into effect, replacing the existing Proceeds of Crime Regulation 2012. The regulations set out procedures for all law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies – which are supervised by the Attorney General's Office – to ensure the effective coordination of the investigation of illegally acquired assets and the proceeds of crime, among other things.

Fraud investigations arising from arbitral proceedings
  • Nigeria
  • 09 December 2019

The High Court of England and Wales recently granted claimants in an arbitration leave to enforce an award against the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum Resources. The media attention surrounding the decision prompted the Nigerian government to respond in a manner that has been described as unusual. One thing is clear: allegations of involvement in fraudulent conduct in matters relating to government contracts in Nigeria should not be unexpected.

US government issues indictments against Nigerian citizens
  • Nigeria
  • 23 September 2019

Throughout August 2019 the Nigerian media heavily reported on the US government's actions against Nigerian nationals who have been accused of committing various acts of fraud. Of particular note is the arrest of a successful Nigerian entrepreneur and the US Department of Justice's recent federal grand jury indictment against 77 named and three unnamed individuals reported to be Nigerians.

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