How Halimat Tejuosho embezzled ₦436 million

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Halimat Tejuosho has been alleged to embezzle ₦436,325,000 which she got after defrauding her financier Emmanuel Suku.

Tejuosho approached Emmanuel Suku to partner with her as a financier after securing a contract for the construction of 500 units of houses at Karshi FCT, Abuja, in May 2021, and asked him for an initial advance fee of ₦300,000,000 and another ₦136,325,000 paid in tranches to her personal and company accounts.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court ordered that Halimat Tejuosho and her company, Haleems Nigeria Limited, be served with court processes for allegedly defrauding her financier of ₦436,325,000 earmarked for the execution of a building contract awarded by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Suku stated that he was entitled to 30% of the ₦4.47 billion contract deal per the partnership agreement contained in a police investigation report.

When Tejuosho began to avoid him, the financier suspected foul play, prompting him to send his brothers to the construction site to monitor the project’s progress.

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However Suku learnt through his brothers that that project had not progressed.

A police investigation report signed by a Police Commissioner, Mohammed Yakubu, said that “That no work has been done on the project site since the groundbreaking ceremony.

“An uncompleted gatehouse structure and two (2) shipping containers were seen on the site. There were, however, no workers, equipment and building supplies seen on the site.”

Tejuosho tried to flee Nigeria

Suku later learned that the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry had withdrawn the project from Tejuosho and her company due to contract violations.

Ms Tejuosho “could not give a satisfactory account of how she spent the money” when confronted with the findings and began making plans to flee the country to avoid accountability to her financier.

How she spent the money on

Tejuosho spent the project’s funds on four exotic cars worth ₦150,000,000, luxury shoes and bags, designer watches, a soundproof generator for her house, and other electronic items worth millions purchased from Cash ‘N’ Carry store.

She also provided scholarships to 30 students at Espam Formation University in Cotonou, Benin Republic, where she serves as chancellor.

Her bank statements also revealed that she wired several million naira to one Ifeoma Vivienne Obilor, an interior decorator, to furnish her home in Peace Garden Estate, Sangotedo, Lagos with expensive furniture.

A portion of the funds were traced to one Royal Apparel, said to be her staff, with Heritage Bank account number 5100351905, which had received ₦200 million in installments.

Prosecution

After establishing a case of advance fee fraud, criminal diversion of funds, criminal breach of trust, and cheating against Ms Tejuosho, the police commissioner recommended her prosecution.

The case has been adjourned till January 25, 2023 for further hearing.

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