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CRIME

Businessman Attempts To Print Fake N20bn Notes – DSS

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The Department of State Services (DSS) yesterday narrated to a Federal High Court in Lagos how a businessman John Edem attempting to print counterfeit naira notes, worth N20bn.

A DSS Principal Officer in Charge of Investigation at the agency’s Ikoyi, Lagos office, Peter Uche told the trial judge, Justice Saliu Saidu that the accused person violated the provisions of “the Counterfeit Currency Offences Act, 2004.”

Uche, who was led in evidence by the prosecutor, E.K. Ugwu, told the court that the DSS received a petition against Edem in December 2016.

The witness also claimed that the petition, written by one Francis Okowa, was delivered to him in his office on December 7, 2016 at about 4pm by one Grant from the law firm of Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN).

He also testified that the petitioner, a client of Rickey Tarfa’s chamber, alleged in his petition that the defendant, Edem, was plotting to print naira notes, worth N20bn.

Uche said, “Based on the petition, I went to my director and immediately a team was constituted to identify and arrest him (Edem).

“The following day, around 2pm, we were able to apprehend the suspect along Governor’s Drive, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi.

“The team was split into two; one to go and search his house while the other was to search his company.

“I led the team that went to his house on Banana Island in the evening of the same day.

“We met someone in his house; so, we tendered a search warrant and subjected ourselves to body search by the defendant and the person in his house.

“We went into the house; we recovered items that we believe support the petition. Some of the items we recovered were 92 pieces of golden colour holograms, a textbook and handbooks on how to print currencies. We also recovered a manual numbering machine,” the witness stated.

The DSS operative further maintained that he took two statements from Edem on December 9 and 11, 2016, adding that though the defendant denied the allegation, the items recovered from his house supported the petitioner’s claims against him.

Justice Saidu admitted as exhibit the 92 pieces of golden colour holograms, which the witness said were recovered from the closet in Edem’s master bedroom.

The court also admitted in evidence a textbook with the title, ‘Optical Document on Security,’ and the handbooks said to contain instructions on how to print currencies and the manual numbering machine.

The two statements by the defendant were also admitted as exhibits.

Justice Saidu was forced to adjourn till Tuesday for further proceedings after the defence lawyer, Idris Faro, sought an adjournment to cross-examine the witness.

 

 

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