The penchant for quick money by most young Nigerians in the diaspora has now taken another dimension, as most of them now use their wealth of academic wherewithal to wreck havoc on the lives of their unsuspecting victims by defrauding them without recourse to conscience whether they are right in such atrocious act.
It is appalling to see that as anti graft agents in Nigeria (EFCC and ICPC) are working to quell corrupt practices and economic crimes right here in Nigeria, some Nigerians in the diaspora are still neck-deep in corruption and mudslinging the image of Nigeria for self aggrandizement.
Adeniyi Adeyemi, 27, of Brooklyn has been summarily made to face 149 counts, including grand larceny and identity theft. He used his job as a computer technician to appropriate the identities of more than 150 employees at the Bank of New York Mellon and stole more than $1.1 million from a wide array of nonprofit groups and other institutions, said recently. The technician of Crown Heights, was charged with grand larceny, identity theft, money laundering, scheme to defraud, computer tampering and unlawful possession of personal identification information in a indictment.
The149-count checks revealed that the fraud started in November 2001 and lasted through April of this year, according to the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, which is prosecuting the case. Using his position as a contract employee in the information technology department at Bank of New York Mellon, Mr. Adeyemi stole personal identifying information from dozens of employees, using the information to more than 30 bank and brokerage accounts in their names at E*Trade, Fidelity, Citi, Wachovia and Washington Mutual, Mr. Morgenthau said.
Mr. Adeyemi then diverted money from the bank accounts of charities, transferred the funds to the dummy accounts, and later withdrew the money or funneled it into a second layer of “dummy accounts,” Mr. Morgenthau said.
Among the charities Mr. Adeyemi is said to have stolen from are Goodwill Industries, Iris Ministries, the Kalgidhar Trust, the Sudanese American Community Development Organization, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, the American Community School at Beirut, the Jacksonville Humane Society, American Friends of Birdlife International, the International Association of Women Judges, the Space Generation Advisory Council, and the American Association for Clinical Chemistry.
Mr. Adeyemi is also alleged to have bought more than $100,000 in money orders from the Postal Service using funds stolen from the employees whose information he took. The New York/New Jersey Electronic Crimes Task Force of the United States Secret Service began surveillance on Mr. Adeyemi after tracing suspicious Internet activity to his apartment. During a court-authorized search in April, investigators found dozens of bank employees’ credit reports on his computer, along with many other identifying documents for more than 150 employees, Mr. Morgenthau’s office said.
Mr. Adeyemi was arrested and has been held in custody since then. He was to be arraigned in State Supreme Court before Justice Carol Berkman. Kevin Heine, a spokesman for Bank of New York Mellon, said in a statement, “We strongly support the investigation and actions taken by the district attorney’s office, and are fully cooperating.”
It was however gathered that Adeyemi was only caught when he got greedy and decided to steal from his ID-theft victims directly and investigators realized so many of them worked at Bank of New York, said Chief Assistant DA Mark Dwyer.
Investigators are hinting that Adeyemi worked as part of a ring, and may have used some of his stolen fortune to buy his way into a sham marriage that enabled him to stay in the US. A bank spokesman Kevin Heine declined to comment on the case, except to say, “We strongly support the investigation and the actions taken by the DA’s office and are fully cooperating.”
FG, States, LGAs Share N736.782bn In Oct
The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has disbursed N736.782 billion from October 2022 Federation Account Revenue to the Federal Government, States and Local Government Councils.
This amount was augmented by an additional N70 billion distributed to the three tiers of government.
Federal Government received N36.876 billion, States got N18.704 billion, Local Government Councils received N14.420 billion.
An extra N30 billion Augmentation was made from non-oil revenue and distributed, with Federal Government getting N15.804 billion, States getting N8.016 billion, and Local Government Councils getting N6.180 billion.
According to the communiqué at the end of the FAAC, at the meeting for November 2022, the N736.782 billion total distributable revenue was made up of N417.724 billion distributable statutory revenue; N213.283 billion Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue; N5.775 billion Exchange Gain revenue.
In October 2022, the total deductions for cost of collection amounted to N33.555 billion and total deductions for transfers, savings and refunds was N186.749 billion.
The balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) still remains at $472,513.64.
The communiqué confirmed that from the total distributable revenue of N736.782 billion, the Federal Government received N293.955 billion, the State Governments received N239.512 billion and the Local Government Councils received N177.086 billion.
The total sum of N26.228 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13 percent derivation revenue.
Gross statutory revenue of N622.270 billion was received for the month of October 2022. This was lower than the sum of N825.710 billion received in the previous month by N203.440 billion.
From the N417.724 billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N206.576 billion, the State Governments received N104.778 billion and the Local Government Councils received N80.779 billion. The sum of N25.591 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13 percent derivation revenue.
For the month of October 2022, the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N229.041 billion. This was higher than the N203.960 billion available in the month of September 2022 by N25.081billion.
The Federal Government received N31.992 billion, the State Governments received N106.642 billion and the Local Government Councils received N74.649 billion from the N213.283 billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue.
The N5.775 billion from the Exchange Gain revenue was distributed as follows: the Federal Government received N2.707 billion, the State Governments received N1.373 billion, the Local Government Councils received N1.058 billion and the relevant States received N0.637 billion as 13 percent derivation revenue.
According to the Communiqué, in the month of October 2022, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Companies Income Tax (CIT) increased significantly while oil and gas royalties, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Import Duty recorded considerable decreases.
$1bn Looted Funds Recovered Since 2015 – Malami
Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has revealed that the current administration has so far recovered about $1 billion looted funds till date.
Malami disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents after the week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He also disclosed that Council has approved a new Anti-corruption Strategy Document to strengthen anti-graft campaigns in the country.
He said the recovered assets had been deployed to various sectors of the economy, including poverty alleviation.
Malami also expressed government’s concern over cases of budget padding, which he described as worrisome, noting that every necessary measure would be explored to address it.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, had blamed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, for adding N206bn to the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry’s budget.
Nigeria Loses $2bn To Oil Theft In Eight Months
The ad-hoc committee set up by the Senate to investigate oil theft and consequent damage on the nation’s economy has said Nigeria lost $2 billion (an equivalent of N1.3trillion) to oil theft between January and August this year.
The committee’s report, which was adopted by the Senate in plenary on Tuesday, made far-reaching recommendations for stemming the tide.
It, however, failed to name a single person or corporate entity carrying out the oil theft.
In one of its findings, the committee said, “Nigeria lost over $2bn to oil theft between January and August 2022, with consequent loss of revenue that would support the country’s fiscal deficits and budget implementation.”
The report indicated concerted efforts being made against the crime by all stakeholders, saying that they had started yielding results, with Forcados Terminal now producing 500,000 barrels per day as against zero production in the first six months of the year.
“Bonny Terminals was also producing 87,000 barrels of oil per day now as against zero production a couple of months ago due to activities of economic saboteurs”, the report stated.
The 16-point recommendations of the committee as adopted by the Senate stated in part: “ the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited should stop undermining Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority from performing their functions.
“The provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act should be adhered to by NNPCL as regards functions of the established agencies.”
The report called for an immediate streamlining of agencies present at the terminals in line with the relevance of their PIA-delineated upstream and midstream/downstream statutory functions.
According to the report, the NUPRC should fast-track the upgrade of the National Production Monitoring Systems to enable real-time monitoring of flow station and terminal activities.
The NUPRC should expedite the deployment and strict enforcement of the Advance Crude Oil Cargo Declaration solution for the detection and mitigation of illegal movement of vessels to ensure adequate revenue generation and optimal crude oil production, it stated further.
It continued that the Bureau of Public Procurement should expedite all processes of procurement for NUPRC to ensure immediate deployment of an online real-time monitoring system by the commission across all upstream oil and gas production platforms for accuracy in measuring production volume by producers.
The report further said the NUPRC should resume full regulatory oversight of all existing crude oil terminals in Nigeria, including integrated ones, crude oil pipelines, issuance of loading clearance, and processing of export permits in line with section 8(d) of the PIA, as regulatory activities at crude oil terminals are interdependent and contingent.
It also faulted what it called undue interference of the Minister of State in the operations of NUPRC as shown with letters made available to it by the agency, stressing that both the minister and NNPCL should allow PIA to function.
“The PIA as signed into law by the President, must be allowed to function by all stakeholders in the sector as an amendment on it now, will send wrong signals to the International community”, it stated.
Recall that the Senate on April 14, 2022, constituted a 13- member Ad – Hoc Committee on Oil Lifting, Theft, and the impact on Petroleum Production and Oil Revenues under the chairmanship of Senator Akpan Bassey, who is also the chairman, of the Senate Committee on Petroleum ( Upstream).
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