Isaac Adewole, a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God misled the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to issue legal advice in the case of money laundering and bribery involving staff members of Wema Bank Plc, documents seen by SaharaReporters have shown.
SaharaReporters had reported how top management staff members of Wema Bank fraudulently moved N1.7 billion to account number 0122367964, domiciled in the financial institution and operated by Adewole.
According to Adewole’s statement of account obtained by the newspaper, on January 28 2021, via transaction ID No: M35660, he received the sum of N424,811,000 from Caverton, N160,000,000 from Dana and N630,000,000 from Beam Energy, all with the same transaction number.
On June 18, 2021, via transaction ID No: M104031, the pastor received the sum of N300,000,000 via NIP transfer from an undisclosed account source.
Also on the same June 18, 2021, via transaction ID No: M104031, Adewole received the sum of N270,000,000 from Messrs Morrifoil Oil and Gas Ltd., all totalling N1,784,811,000.
In order to ascertain the legitimacy of these transactions, all the companies who were on record in the narration in the statement of account were invited for questioning by policemen from Area G, Lagos State Command led by ACP Ibrahim Zungura.
Each of them denied having made any of the payments attributed to them.
They also made statements to deny involvement and wrote to the police to dissociate themselves from the transactions.
Also, the statement showed that the funds deposited in Adewole’s account were not removed in that order or in the sums deposited but carefully removed in different tranches.
Subsequently, a case with suit number MIK/B/6/2022 was instituted by the police in a Lagos magistrates court in February 2022.
However, the case, which had Adewole, managing director of Shibahwells Energy, and Kingsley Ananwude, a staff member of Wema Bank, as defendants, was struck out following legal advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Lagos State which stated that the pastor reported the illegal transactions to Zone 2 police station.
The DPP advice however said all the companies who were on record in the narration in the statement of account denied doing any transaction with Adewole to warrant them sending him such an amount of money.
“Adewole Isaac admitted collecting Page A4 title document and also cleared the doubts as to the rumour of money laundering through his company’s account by reporting the case to Zone 2 in which DPP is prosecuting the staff involved in the diversion,” part of the Legal Advice signed by the DPP read.
However, documents obtained by SaharaReporters showed that Adewole didn’t report the fraudulent transactions in his Wema Bank account to Zone 2 police station as claimed but another fraudulent case entirely, involving his former employees and Access Bank.
“I refer to your letter dated 29th December 2020, requesting for police investigation report in a case of conspiracy, stealing, fraud, money laundering, threat to life and criminal collusion reported to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos by Olarewaju Bamgbose ‘m’ and Isaac Adewole ‘m’, Directors of Star Orient Nigeria Limited located beside JUHI 2, Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos against Dare Osomo ‘m’, former Managing Director of Star Orient Nigeria Limited, Tope Munis ‘m’, an officer of First City Monumental Bank (FCMB), Access Bank Plc and others. Another case of fraud and forgery was reported separately at Airport Police Command against Access Bank, which was subsequently transferred to Zone 2 Police Command, Lagos for Consolidation,” a police report signed by DCP Umar Yusuf on behalf of the AIG in charge of Zone 2, Onikan, read.
While the police report was issued on the Zone 2 case on 18th February 2021, Adewole on June 18, 2021, four months after via transaction ID No: M104031, received the sum of N300,000,000 via NIP transfer from an undisclosed account and N270,000,000 from Messrs Morrifoil Oil and Gas Ltd.
The result of the investigation by policemen in Zone 2 is the criminal prosecution in Charge No. ID/15422C/2021 – The State of Lagos Vs. Dare Osamo & 2 Others, pending before Honourable Justice O Ogala of the Criminal Division of the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja and has nothing to do with the Wema Bank’s illegal transactions.
Furthermore, the investigation also established a case of abuse of fiduciary/statutory duties (among other cases) against Dare Osamo during his period as “Managing Director of Star Orient and this is now the subject of multiple civil court actions at the Federal High Court, Lagos to wit:
(a) Suit No. FHC/L/CS/874/2020–Star Orient Nigeria Limited v. Dare Osamo & 2 Ors.
(b) Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1017/2020–Dare Osamo & Another v. Isaaki Adewole & 5 Ors.
(c) Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1054/2021 – Star Orient Nigeria Limited v. Dare Osamo & Fina Trust MFB Ltd.