EFCC nabs Benue vigilante commandant for N449.5m ‘fraud’




The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Makurdi Zonal Office, has arrested the Commandant, Benue State Vigilante Group (BSVG), George Mbessey, over allegation of conspiracy, abuse of office and diversion of public funds to the tune of N449.5 million.

A press statement by the EFCC Head, Media & Publicity, Dele Oyewale, Friday in Abuja, said Mbessey was arrested by operatives of the EFCC on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in Makurdi, following a petition urging the Commission to investigate a case of alleged financial recklessness against the suspect.

The petitioners stated that, the BSVG receives official funding of N20 million, monthly, directly from the Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs through its official account.

It added that, between October 2018, and May 2020, the suspect allegedly collected funds meant for the BSVG to the tune of N449,500,000 using personal account, an act they claimed did not follow due process hence the petition to the EFCC.

The spokesperson said the suspect has volunteered useful information to the commission and would be arraigned in court as soon as investigation was concluded.

In a related development, Justice A.T. Mohammed of Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Thursday, convicted and sentenced one Igweneme Moses a.k.a. Griffith Doyle,  to one year imprisonment for conspiracy and money laundering.

The convict, who defrauded his victim, Chantai Meadery in February 2018 through a dating scam, with a promise of “building a future together” in Switzerland, was arraigned by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the EFCC on July 23, 2019, on a 4-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and money laundering.

He said the defendant initially pleaded not guilty, however, at the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, Moses changed his plea to guilty.

The spokesperson said in view of his guilty plea the Prosecuting Counsel, T. M. Iko, urged the court to convict the defendant as charged and order the restitution of the total sum of $240,000 to the victim.

Justice Mohammed consequently convicted Moses and sentenced him to one year imprisonment and ordered total restitution of $240,000 to the victim.

Oyewale said the convict has so far returned $100,000 to the victim.

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