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$242m airport scam: I don’t know anything about the money, says Nwude

$242m airport scam: I don’t know anything about the money, says Nwude
February 25
20:13 2021

Emmanuel Nwude, a former director of the Union Bank of Nigeria convicted of defrauding Nelson Sagakuchi of Banco Noroeste, a Brazilian bank, has denied knowledge of the source of the funds.

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Nwude was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in 2005 after convincing Sakaguchi, then director of the Brazilian bank, to buy a non-existent airport for $242 million.

The former bank director is currently facing a 15-count charge for allegedly forging the documents of a property forfeited to his victims.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had accused him of conspiring with two others — Emmanuel Ilechukwu and Rowland Kalu — “on or about the 12th day of January 2011 at Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, to forge a Power of Attorney dated 12th day of January 2011, issued in the name of Mankris Venture Limited, purporting that Mankris Venture Limited is the owner of Plot Y, Mobolaji Johnson Street, Oregun, Alausa Lagos, whereas you knew that the property was forfeited to the victims of crimes as restitution”.

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Testifying before an Ikeja special offences court on Thursday, Nwude said when he was standing trial for the $242 million airport scam, Chris Uche, a member of his legal team, suggested that he take a plea bargain agreement with the EFCC.

Led in evidence by Chuks Nwachukwu, his defence counsel, Nwude told the court that Uche had advised him to take the plea bargain agreement, like what was done for Amaka Anajemba, one of his co-defendants, so that he would not be made to solely repay the funds to the victims.

He said he refused Uche’s offer because the funds found in his account by the anti-graft agency were not proceeds of fraud.

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“I told him that I’m not responsible for the 242 million dollars; that I’m not responsible for this money, I don’t know anything about it,” NAN quoted him to have said.

“The EFCC should check all the remittances that came through my accounts, though I have various bank accounts of my friend, the late Christian Anajemba (husband of Amaka, his co-defendant).

“As money came to my accounts, I gave it to one of my Indian friends, Mr Naresh Asnani, who has contact with a Swiss bank, who in turn does the exchange for me.

“When the money comes in, he (Asnani) took his commission and I’ll take my commission and I give the large sum to Christian Anajemba.”

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Mojisola Dada, the presiding judge, adjourned the case till May 24 for continuation of trial.

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