Sunday, August 4, 2013

Nigeria: EFCC Detains Party Chairman Over Alleged N66 Million Property Scam

Abuja — Two-time presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party, HDP, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has been detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for alleged property scam worth N66 million.
Owuru, who is also the National Chairman of the party, was arrested and taken into custody on Wednesday over alleged involvement in the scam.
Acting Media Head of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrest of Owuru in a statement made available to Vanguard in Abuja, yesterday.
The commission explained that Owuru, a lawyer, was arrested for obtaining the said amount from one Ikechukwu Eze under false pretence.
The complainant alleged that he paid the sum of N60 million through Skye Bank, Olu Obansanjo Road branch, Port Harcourt, to Barrister Owuru for a property located on Nzimiro Street, Amadi flat, Port Harcourt.
The complainant in a petition to the commission alleged that in the process of taking possession of the property, he discovered that a portion of the said property had been sold to another person.
Owuru is reported to have demanded additional N6 million from Eze to settle the other buyer, one Chief Austin Omire, which Eze promptly paid, bringing the total amount to N66 million.
The commission said however, that its investigations revealed that since the payment of the amount to Owuru, Eze had not been allowed to gain access to the property and his money not refunded to him.
The commission said: "Upon receipt of the petition and commencement of investigation, the EFCC invited the suspect severally but he refused to honour the invitations, prompting us to arrest him" .
He is to appear in court soon, Vanguard learnt.
Owuru has contested as the Presidential candidate of the HDP twice without winning even a local government in the country but that has not deterred him from contesting.
It is not clear if the arrest would stop him from contesting in 2015.