Banker, wife acquitted of criminal charges of money laundering
Banker, wife acquitted of criminal charges of money laundering

A Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja has acquitted a couple, Mr. Rowly Isioro and Mrs. Ovuomarhoni Naomi Isioro and dismissed the seven-count charge of money laundering charges brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC had in October 2019 arrested Mr. Isioro, a former Assistant General Manager with one of the new generation banks and his wife, Ovuomarhoni Isioro, a businesswoman, for their alleged involvement in “business email compromise” fraud and money laundering. The anti-graft agency in a statement in 2019 said that their arrest followed a petition received by the Commission from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through the office of the Legal Attaché, United States Consulate, Lagos, about their alleged involvement in computer-based fraud, stealing and money laundering. However, in a judgment on Friday, Justice Mojisola Dada, discharged and acquitted the couple of all the seven-count charges, after evidence showed the couple were being prosecuted with trumped-up charges. The couple had in March 2018 petitioned AIG Zone 5 after one Mr. Michael Uziewe, who is based in Atlanta, USA, had failed to remit the dollar equivalent of the naira that the couple had transferred to the accounts of the persons nominated by Mr. Uziewe since October 2017. Sequel to the investigation, AIG Zone 5 declared him and his associates wanted and blocked their accounts. According to them, instead of coming forth to resolve the issue, they “fought back” by petitioning EFCC to get back at them and got Mrs. Isioro’s account frozen and ordered for her arrest, alleging that she was receiving proceeds of business email compromise and romance scam from Mr. Uziewe with respect to previous successful transactions between them. The court based on evidence before it came to the conclusion that the couple were framed. Justice Dada discharged and acquitted the couple of all charges on Friday. The judge berated EFCC for wasting public funds, precious time of the court and messing up their lives and careers on an issue that should not be brought to the court in the first place. She warned EFCC to desist from bringing baseless matters to court.

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