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Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore | Nigeria | 18 Apr 2022

Who will watch the watchdogs? Nigeria's law enforcement agencies and the fight against white collar crime

While Nigeria has a robust legal, regulatory and institutional framework to combat white collar crime, it nonetheless appears that these crimes continue to increase, with convictions taking several years to secure. One major reason for this is the corruption of law enforcement agents, as portrayed in two cases discussed in this article.
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Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore | Nigeria | 15 Nov 2021

CDD and KYC requirements for Nigerian legal practitioners

A recent decision by a Nigerian court of appeal has suggested that lawyers in Nigeria have no obligation to conduct any client due diligence or know your client exercises when it comes to making inquiries as to the source of funds with which a client pays legal fees. However, lawyers remain bound by the general provisions of the anti-money laundering legislation, as well as by the specific......
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Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore | Nigeria | 5 Jul 2021

A long road to convictions for white collar crimes in Nigeria

In Nigeria, it is often the case that defendants in high-profile cases seek to terminate charges on technical grounds and evoke appeals; an anticipated strategy employed as part of their defence so as to ensure that there is no quick resolution to the case. This is sometimes described as the "an adjournment is as good as an acquittal" strategy. However, with two recent examples of this tactic......
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Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore | Nigeria | 4 Jul 2021

The International Arbitration Review: Nigeria

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Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore | Nigeria | 14 Jun 2021

Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission Law 2021

The Lagos State House of Assembly recently passed the Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Bill. According to the state government, the objective of the law is to deepen the culture of accountability and transparency in the expenditure of appropriated public funds generated in Lagos. However, there is speculation that its real intention is to protect high-profile individuals presently being......
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Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore | Nigeria, USA | 29 Mar 2021

Sentencing of Obinwanne Okeke and restitution for his victims

Obinwanne Okeke was recently sentenced in the United States for computer and wire fraud and ordered to forfeit various assets. The question raised by the forfeiture order is how likely it is to be enforced by the US government. Following Okeke's arrest, the Federal High Court ordered the forfeiture of funds stated to have been located in his Nigerian bank accounts. However, these sums were......
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Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore | Nigeria | 14 Dec 2020

Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal rules that ex parte disclosure orders are constitutional

The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal recently confirmed the constitutionality and validity of the Lagos High Court's granting of a proprietary injunction along with orders directing the defendants to swear to and file affidavits stating the location, nature and value of all assets that represented or were derived from the proceeds or fruits of certain transactions. The court pointed out......
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Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore | Nigeria | 19 Oct 2020

Yet another anti-corruption agency?

The federal government recently announced its intention to establish yet another anti-corruption agency. Given the ongoing accounting and management controversies surrounding assets which have reportedly been recovered by the existing agencies, there is reason to view this announcement with a degree of suspicion. If there is one thing that Nigeria does not need, it is another bureaucratic......
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Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore | Nigeria | 5 Oct 2020

Court issues forfeiture orders against property belonging to alleged corrupt public official

In July 2020 the Federal High Court ordered the interim forfeiture of assets allegedly belonging to former Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Chair Ngozi Olejeme. Despite this recovery step, the question remains as to why it took the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission so long to discover Olejeme's alleged connection to these particular assets. Since she left office, the NSITF......
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Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore | Nigeria | 13 Jul 2020

War against corruption in public sector

In June 2019 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as part of its investigation into the affairs of a former state governor, reported that it had frozen a number of bank accounts alleged to belong to the former governor which contained suspected public funds. In 2020 the EFCC reported that, to date, a total of N7.9 billion had been recovered from these accounts and more than......
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