N570m Fraud: Former Head of Service, 8 Others Plead Not Guilty

By Dipo Olowookere

The immediate past Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Mrs Winnifred Oyo-Ita, on Monday, March 23, 2020, pleaded not guilty to the 18-count charge levelled against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mrs Oyo-Ita and eight other accused persons were brought before Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja today by the EFCC on charges bordering on fraud and money laundering to the tune of N570 million. They were accused of obtaining estacodes and Duty Travel Allowance (DTA) for journeys either not undertaken or not in existence.

Others arraigned along with Mrs Oyo-Ita were: Frontline Ace Global Services Limited; Asanaya Projects Limited; Garba Umar and his companies: Slopes International Limited and Gooddeal Investments Limited. Ubong Okon Effiok was equally arraigned with his companies: U & U Global Services Limited and Prince Mega Logistics Limited.

One of the counts against Mrs Oyo-Ita read: “That you WINIFRED OYO-ITA aka Winifred Ekanett, whilst being the Head of Civil Service of the Federation) between 2nd August, 2016 and 28th February, 2018 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, took possession of an aggregate Sum of N62,215,169 only paid into your Zenith Bank account No: 1001074067 knowing that the said funds formed part of the proceed of an unlawful activity to wit: fraud (purported estacodes, fee for journeys not embarked on) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act”.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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