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Published On: Sun, Oct 12th, 2014

Bribe scandal: Extradition trial of ex-MINT boss, Okoyomon, begins today

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MR EMMANUEL EHIDIAMHEN OKOYOMONBy Edoama Hanson

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will today present former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Security, Minting and Printing Company (NSPMC),  Ehidiamhem Okoyomon, for extradition before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

Okoyomon’s extradition is being sought by the UK government over his alleged role in the bribery allegation involving officials of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the NSPMC, and Securency International Pty of Australia, between 2006 and 2008.

A reliable EFCC source confirmed the story to Peoples Daily yesterday.

Okoyomon, who holds dual Nigerian and British citizenship was the chief executive of the NSMPC until November 2013 when he was suspended by the board of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the wake of the N1000 notes disappearance scandal.

He has however been under investigation since 2012 by Nigeria’s anti-graft police, the EFCC following a request for by the British National Crime Agency. To Facilitate his extradition process, a top official of the agency told iReports-ng.com in Abuja today that Okomoyon may have been taken into custody preparatory to his appearance in court where a judge needs to approve of his extradition before he can be flown to face trial in the UK.

The request followed the discovery by the Australian authorities that some Nigerian officials at the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Mint, received bribes from Securency Pty Limited, a polymer substrate producing company for the contract to produce N20 polymer notes for the Central Bank of Nigeria between 2006 and 2008. The bribes were routed through offshore accounts in the UK and other jurisdictions.

The EFCC investigation was said to have uncovered a web of forgery, identity fraud and money laundering running into millions of naira. The erstwhile Mint boss allegedly used the names of his driver and clerk to open different bank accounts in which he diverted several alleged bribery funds without their knowledge.

He allegedly forged a driver’s license with the photograph of his driver but bearing a different name belonging to his official clerk, to open the account, in which N368million proceeds of laundered bribery funds were traced, with Okoyomon as the sole beneficiary.

Over N750million is alleged to have exchanged hands between officials of the CBN, the NSPMC and Securency International Pty of Australia, (now Innovia Security Pty Limited).

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