A United Kingdom High Court of Justice, Strand, London, (Queen’s Bench Division) has set aside the judgment received by the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Dr Daniel Olukoya, in a case against a Nigerian blogger, Maureen Badejo, over alleged defamation.
According to the court order obtained by SaharaReporters, the UK judge in his judgment set aside the March 30, 2021, judgment by a High Court of Justice in Ogun State of Nigeria in proceedings numbered AB/407/2020 obtained by Olukoya.
The judge also on July 28 ordered the claimant, Olukoya, to pay £50.00 within 14 days to Badejo as application fees.
The judge said, “Upon the application of the Defendant, AND UPON hearing the solicitor for the Claimants and the Defenfdant in person, IT IS ORDERED THAT:
“The registration orders each dated 30 March 2021 in respect of the judgment dated 9 February 2021 of the High Court of Justice of the Ogun State of Nigeria in proceedings numbered AB/407/2020 as a judgment in the Queen Bench Division of the High Court of Justice are set aside.
“The Claimant shall pay the Defendant cost of the application assessed at £50.00 within 14 days.”
In February 2021, the Ogun State High Court had ordered Badejo to pay N500million to Olukoya for defamation.
Abiodun Akinyemi, while delivering the judgment, had also ordered Badejo, the proprietor of Gio TV, to pull down and erase the offending online publications concerning the claimants from the internet.
But the UK court set aside the rulings in a july 28 court judgment sent to SaharaReporters.
The UK ruling came a few weeks after a United States District Court in California also struck out a case by Olukoya against the blogger.
The US Court in the case Number 20-cv-08001-HSG also gave an order “denying motion for default judgment” and it dismissed the case for lack of personal jurisdiction.
“The plaintiff (Olukoya) filed a motion for entry of default on February 3, 2021, and entry of default was noticed by the Clerk on February 4, 2021. At the initial case management conference on February 16, 2021, the Court expressed to Plaintiffs’ counsel concern that the Court lacked subject matter and personal jurisdiction over this matter.
“The Counsel responded that he would consult with his clients to either file a notice of dismissal or a motion for default judgment that set out the basis for the Court to exercise jurisdiction.
“On March 9, 2021, a letter from Ms. Badejo was entered into the docket in which she stated that she is a permanent resident of the United Kingdom and that she disputes the Court’s jurisdiction over her. Plaintiffs filed the currently pending motion for default judgment,” the court document reads.
In the judgment delivered on May 6, the US District judge, Haywood Gilliam, stated that the plaintiffs’ (Olukoya and MFM) motion for default judgment is denied and the case is dismissed.
The judge had said, “In determining whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant is proper, a district court must apply the law of the state in which it sits when there is no applicable federal statute governing personal jurisdiction. District courts in California may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant to the extent permitted by the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.
“The party seeking to invoke jurisdiction has the burden of establishing that jurisdiction exists. Here, Plaintiffs offer no argument that the Court has general personal jurisdiction over Defendants and allege no facts to establish that Defendants’ contacts with California are 'substantial' or 'continuous and systematic.' Plaintiffs allege only that Ms. Badejo is a Nigerian-born blogger who resides in the United Kingdom; that she operates an online news site, Defendant Gio TV, with an emphasis on Nigeria; and that this online news site is accessible on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
“Their allegations are insufficient to establish general personal jurisdiction over Defendants. Plaintiffs thus fail to show that Defendants directly targeted California with their conduct and therefore cannot satisfy the express-aiming element of the Calder effects test, which is required to establish the first element of the Ninth Circuit’s test for the exercise of personal jurisdiction.
“Accordingly, the Court finds that it lacks personal jurisdiction over Defendants. Conclusion - Because the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Defendants, Plaintiffs’ motion for default judgment is denied, and the case is dismissed. The Clerk is directed to terminate the case. It is so ordered.”
In 2020, Badejo was accused of using her social media channels to blackmail Olukoya and his church on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
She claimed that Olukoya and his church, the claimants, duped the United States Government by selling his books in the US without paying due tax.
The blogger also alleged that a pastor from MFM in the UK paid £150,000 into the personal account of Olukoya and then went to Nigeria to meet the cleric so he could help him cover up his fraud.
By SaharaReporters, New York
Instagram sensation Ismaila Mustapha, alias Mompha, says that he was instrumental to bringing Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, from Malaysia to the United Arab Emirates.
He noted that Hushpuppi was stubborn and would not listen to advice, hence his current travails.
Hushpuppi, who attracted millions of followers with pictures of a glamorous jet-setting lifestyle was arrested June 2020 by Dubai police amid claims of a £350m cyberscam.
He is being detained as part of an investigation into money-laundering, cyber fraud, hacking and scamming.
Eleven other suspects were detained during the coordinated early morning raids in an operation comprised of officers from the FBI, Interpol and Dubai police. Detectives seized more than 150 million dirham (£30 million) when they swooped on his Dubai apartment as he slept.
Investigators allege that Hushpuppi, a former second-hand clothes trader in Lagos, used his Instagram account to project a billionaire’s luxurious lifestyle to attract followers and lure in potential victims.
Officers say they found the email addresses of nearly two million victims on dozens of phones, computers and hard drives. More than a dozen luxury cars were seized in the raid along with suitcases full of cash.
The operation, codenamed Fox Hunt 2, came after months of investigation into the group’s activities.
Mompha spoke on an Instagram live session with Daddy Freeze, in a vitriol-filled delivery.
Mompha said that after Hushpuppi’s arrest, people accused him of being responsible for it and that the agent that facilitated his [Hushpuppi’s] UAE visa was mortified at the turn of events.
Speaking in Pidgin English, he said, “The day dem carry Hushpuppi, I got lots of calls, with people saying, ‘Baba, see wetin you caused; na you make dem carry this guy; na you e dey compete with.'”
Mompha disclosed that, because of the pressure, he pulled down certain photographs from his Instagram handle but that “EFCC called me direct to post my pictures back.” He did not state who called him from the anti-graft agency.
“Na EFCC called me direct to post my pictures back because it will be as if, may be, I dey involved,” Mompha said.
It may be recalled that the UAE-based Instagram personality had stood trial in Nigeria alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd, on an amended 22-count bordering on cyber fraud and money laundering to the tune of N33bn.
He was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2020 but was released on bail.
Mompha, on the Daddy Freeze programme, disclosed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, was involved in his interrogation at the EFCC.
He was re-arrested by the anti-graft agency in Lagos when he went to the EFCC office in Ikoyi, Lagos, to reclaim his luxury possessions that included five luxury wristwatches, an Apple iPod, an iPhone 8 device, and a pair of sunglasses, which were among other items found on him when he was arrested on October 19, 2019, in Abuja.
His visit to the EFCC office followed a July 24 ruling by Justice Mohammed Liman ordering the release of the items.
His lawyer, Gboyega Oyewole, said Mompha also withdrew the N5m breach of fundamental human rights suit he filed against the EFCC to challenge his re-arrest.
Continuing, Mompha said, “I’m not angry that I’m always linked with Hushpuppi’s case because if I didn’t bring him, all these issues would not be linked to me. But it’s a normal thing.
“However, the only thing that messed him up was that he didn’t listen and he’s very stubborn.
“So in this life, if something happens to somebody, you’re supposed to think of the next step to take.
“In this life, there is something we do not understand. No matter how big you are, you must face one trial. The only prayer is that you’ll be able to overcome it. There is no trial that someone cannot face.”
A United States federal grand jury indictment unsealed two weeks ago alleges an elaborate scheme to steal more than $1.1 million from a businessperson attempting to finance the construction of a school for children in Qatar – and the subsequent laundering of illicit proceeds through bank accounts around the world.
Hushpuppi and five other persons were indicted, and the 37-year-old principal suspect has already pleaded guilty to money laundering and other charges. He awaits his trial that has been scheduled for late October.
The three-count indictment against Hushpuppi and five others — including a Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari — charges three U.S.-based defendants who have also been arrested, as well as three defendants believed to be in Africa – with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.
The criminal complaint that initiated the prosecution in February revealed that Hushpuppi was initially charged in this case.
“Court documents show that Abbas, a 37-year-old Nigerian national, pleaded guilty on April 20. A version of Abbas’ plea agreement outlines his role in the school-finance scheme, as well as several other cyber and business email compromise schemes that cumulatively caused more than $24 million in losses,” the statement revealed.
The defendants allegedly faked the financing of a Qatari school by playing the roles of bank officials and creating a bogus website in a scheme that also bribed a foreign official to keep the elaborate pretense going after the victim was tipped off,” said Acting United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison.
“Mr. Abbas, who played a significant role in the scheme, funded his luxurious lifestyle by laundering illicit proceeds generated by con artists who use increasingly sophisticated means. In conjunction with our law enforcement partners, we will identify and prosecute perpetrators of business email compromise scams, which is a massive and growing international crime problem.”
According to the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, Kristi K. Johnson, “Mr. Abbas, among the most high-profile money launderers in the world, has admitted to his significant role in perpetrating global BEC fraud, a scheme currently plaguing Americans.”
The court noted that Hushpuppi’s celebrity status and ability to make connections seeped into legitimate organisations and led to several spin-off schemes in the U.S. and abroad.
According to the indictment, Hushpuppi allegedly conspired with Abdulrahman Imraan Juma, a.k.a. “Abdul,” 28, of Kenya, and Kelly Chibuzo Vincent, 40, of Nigeria, to defraud the Qatari businessperson by claiming to be consultants and bankers who could facilitate a loan to finance construction of the planned school. Juma allegedly posed as a facilitator and consultant for the illusory bank loans, while Abbas played the role of “Malik,” a Wells Fargo banker in New York, according to court documents.
Vincent, in turn, allegedly provided support for the false narratives fed to the victim by, among other things, creating bogus documents and arranging for the creation of a fake bank website and phone banking line.
Yusuf Adekinka Anifowoshe, a.k.a. “AJ,” 26, of Brooklyn, New York, allegedly played a role in the fraud, assisting Abbas with a call to the victim posing as “Malik.” Special agents with the FBI arrested Anifowoshe in New York on July 22.
The conspirators allegedly defrauded the victim out of more than $1.1 million.
The proceeds of the fraud allegedly were laundered in several ways. According to the indictment, Hushpuppi was assisted in laundering the proceeds of the fraud by Rukayat Motunraya Fashola, a.k.a. “Morayo,” 28, of Valley Stream, New York, and Bolatito Tawakalitu Agbabiaka, a.k.a. “Bolamide,” 34, of Linden, New Jersey. These two defendants also were arrested on July 22 by FBI agents.
Approximately $230,000 of the stolen funds allegedly were used to purchase a Richard Mille RM11-03 watch, which was hand delivered to Hushpuppi in Dubai and subsequently appeared in his social media posts.
Other illicit proceeds from the scheme were allegedly converted into cashier’s checks, including $50,000 in checks that were used by Abbas and a co-conspirator to fraudulently acquire a St. Christopher and Nevis citizenship, as well as a passport for Abbas obtained by creating a false marriage certificate and then bribing a government official in St. Kitts.
By Victoria Edeme
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has alleged that money laundering suspect, Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, paid N8million, approximately $20,600, to the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, as a bribe for the arrest and detention of a “co-conspirator,” Chibuzo Kelly Vincent.
This was revealed by FBI Special Agent, Andrew John Innocenti, in a document titled, “Criminal Complaint By Telephone Or Other Reliable Electronic Means” filed before the United States District Court For The Central District Of California.
The document dated February 12, 2021, alleged that Hushpuppi contracted the services of Kyari after a fellow fraudster Chibuzo Kelvin allegedly threatened to expose an alleged $1.1m fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.
“Kyari provided the account information for a bank account at a Nigerian bank, Zenith Bank, in the name of a person other than Kyari himself,” a part of the document stated.
The document averred that, based on the conversation described in paragraphs 143 to 145, Abbas planned to pay the Nigeria Police Force officers who arrested Chibuzo for that service.
It alleged that “This was not the only time that Abbas arranged payments with Kyari;”adding, “On May 20, 2020, Abbas sent Kyari transaction receipts for two transactions from accounts at Nigerian banks (GTBank and Zenith Bank) of a person Abbas knew in the U.A.E.— a person also arrested with Abbas in Abbas’ apartment in the U.A.E. by Dubai Police on June 9, 2020 — to the Nigerian bank accounts of another person in Nigeria.
“The amounts on the transaction receipts totalled 8million Nigerian Naira, which was approximately $20,600 based on publicly available exchange rate information.”
Abbas had pleaded guilty to a multi-million fraud earlier this month and faces up to 20 years in jail.
He will be sentenced in the coming weeks and will forfeit some of his assets and his rights to appeal while also paying restitution to victims of his years-long fraud.
Meanwhile, following the allegations, Kyari has been suspended by the Police Service Commission based on the recommendation of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba.
A panel has also been established to probe the matter.
By SaharaReporters, New York
A 15-year-old boy, Emmanuel Nnaji, from Awala in the Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo State has reportedly led the police tactical team to a hotel in the Orlu Local Government Area, from where attacks were planned and executed on Omuma community and Njaba Police Station in the state.
This was revealed by the Imo State police commissioner, Abutu Yaro, in Owerri on Monday while parading over 20 suspected members of the Eastern Security Network, the militant arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
The suspects were raided from the said hotel in Orlu.
The police commissioner added that seven females were among those arrested.
It was gathered that the said hotel was where a victim was beheaded by the suspects and the head placed along the road.
Also, the ESN members were arrested with the Nigerian Army camouflage uniforms, arms and ammunition.
The commissioner said, “Sequel to the recent attack on Omuma Police station and Njaba Police Station respectively, where the bandits were swiftly repelled by the ever-alert tactical teams of Imo State Police Command and the unfortunate loss of a Divisional Police Officer, the police arrested one of the bandits, Emmanuel Nnaji, 15 years, a native of Awala in Ideato South LGA of Imo State with bullet wounds and brought him to the station.
“On interrogation by the command’s tactical teams, the suspect gave a vivid description of a hotel located in Orlu as where they, the bandits stayed, planned and executed their dastardly act on the police stations.
“The owner of the hotel has been accommodating and assisting them financially. He then volunteered and led security forces to the location of the hotel. On arrival, the hotel and house were cordoned and searched exhibits were recovered from the arrested 26 suspects including seven females.
“It is on good record that it was in the same hotel that the head of a young man was severed and placed on the road close to the hotel premises. Presently, the investigation is ongoing and the suspects are undergoing interrogation.
“Recall that, in the same Orlu, some months ago during the peak of IPOB/ ESN attacks and killing of policemen, some innocent citizens were also affected and some police stations in the state were burnt.
“That, the command’s tactical teams and Special forces, after a diligent gathering of technical intelligence, arrested one Boniface Okeke ‘Male’ age 57 years from Obor Autonomous Community in Orlu LGA of Imo State in connection with terrorism and attacks on security agencies and private individuals where several Police stations were burnt down and police officers killed in numbers.”
By SaharaReporters, New York