Group petitions ICPC, seeks investigation of Andy Uba on advance fee fraud, money laundering

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A group, The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), has petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), demanding the prosecution of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Andy Uba, in the Anambra election, over a publication by Premium Times on September 20, 2021, in which Andy Uba was accused of unbridled corruption, advance fee fraud and money laundering.

Chairman, CACOL, Debo Adeniran, in the petition to the ICPC chairman, declared: “to this end, we hereby petition your distinguished office to investigate and prosecute, if need be, the allegations against Andy Uba, a Nigerian politician, indicted some years back for smuggling dollars to the U.S and pound to the UK, and who is presently a gubernatorial candidate of one of the political parties in the upcoming governorship election in Anambra State.”

Adeniran stated that the publication revealed that Uba was subject of a U.S investigation into an advance fee fraud scheme, known as 419 in Nigeria, according to the U.S government.

CACOL added that Uba was said to have been barred from entering the UK.

According to Adeniran, the authorities said the Nigerian politician was associated with “fraud and other criminal activities”, and that “his presence in the UK would not be conducive to the public good”.

The CACOL chairman said that Uba, otherwise known as Emmanuel Uba, allegedly ran into trouble with the American government in 2003 for smuggling $170,000 into the U.S, using Nigeria’s presidential aircraft which flew into New York for a meeting of the United Nations.

CACOL alleged that Uba concealed the bulk cash, failed to declare it at the John F. Kennedy International Airport, and later handed it over to his girlfriend, contrary to the U.S law, which he was familiar with as a regular traveler and as someone who had lived in the U.S before, according to court papers released by the American government.

CACOL alleged that the U.S. government seized the $170,000 after going through legal processes in which Uba and his girlfriend, Loretta Mabinton, were represented by lawyers.

Adeniran said that Uba also allegedly ran into trouble with the UK government, and was barred from entering that European country.

According to CACOL, “on the basis of your character, conduct and association with fraud and other criminal activities, your presence in the UK would not be conducive to the public good and the Home Secretary has, therefore, decided that you should be excluded from all territories of the United Kingdom,” the UK authorities were said to have told Uba in a December 2, 2008 letter informing him of a decision to revoke his multiple visit visa to the UK, a document from a London court revealed.

CACOL noted that despite being barred, Uba attempted to enter the UK on December 24, 2008, in a private jet. The UK authorities, Adeniran said, turned him back at London Luton Airport, after confiscating a large amount of cash of about €135,000 from him.

CACOL narrated that the UK authorities said Uba also had “a large quantity of gold jewellery in his possession”. CACOL added that the UK government said they suspected that the money was “from crime, or that it would be used for a criminal purpose”. “Surprisingly, €100,000 of the cash found on Uba, “subsequently became unaccounted for and later formed the subject of investigations,” Adeniran said. He added that the remaining sum, the court document said, was seized by the UK government under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and, subsequently, forfeited by order of the Court.

The chairman highlighted that CACOL is an aggregate of human rights, community based and civil society organizations and individuals with an anti-corruption and openness in governance agenda across Nigeria. It is a non-political, non-religious, non-sectarian, non-profit organization.

He declared: “Sir, we are encouraged to submit this petition to you based on our resolve to always expose any corrupt act(s) being perpetrated by anyone either in public or private sphere and also our convictions that a person whose integrity and personality has been discredited and indicted by foreign countries, lacks the moral rectitude  to preside over the affairs of our people at the state level especially when we have more credible, trustworthy, honest, dependable and reliable people in and from that state.

“Moreover, this petition is directed at your good offices, knowing that statutorily, it is the primary responsibility of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission to investigate and prosecute this kind of cases and we have no doubt that you will do due diligence in carrying out this assignment for public good…”