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Desperation of a Blackmailer

9 years ago | 97



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For refusing to prevail on her husband to withdraw two criminal cases against him in Abuja courts, Chukwuemeka Anagor, a businessman, is using false petitions to anti-corruption agencies to tarnish the image of Uzoma Cyril Attang, director in the federal ministry of Communication Technology

|  By Mike Akpan  |  Mar. 11, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

UZOMA Cyril Attang, director, federal ministry of communications technology, has learnt one bitter lesson that is likely to live with her for the rest of her life. The lesson is that she will never underestimate the criminal intention of anybody who approaches her with any business idea or proposal. She underestimated the criminal intention of Chukwuemeka Anagor, former staff of Grand Products, Apapa, when he approached her with a business idea of investing in general importation and distribution of household and office equipment in 2007. Today, she and her family are paying the price of that naivety.

[caption id="attachment_4650" align="alignright" width="202"]Uzoma Attang Uzoma Attang[/caption]

Even though Cyril Attang, an engineer and former group managing director of Modandola Group of Companies, had known Anagor since 2003, he was somehow hesitant to embrace the business idea when he first introduced it to him orally in 2007. Determined to push ahead with the idea, Anagor approached Uzoma, who was then an assistant director in Police Pension Fund, to prevail on the husband to give serious thought to the business idea. And she did. Thereafter, Attang asked Anagor to put the business idea in writing. He promptly complied.

After the proposal was approved, Anagor demanded for and collected N2 million from Attang to rent a shop at Peoples Plaza located at Plot 1263, Jere Street, Garki, Abuja, as the branch office of Royal Diadem Business Logistics Limited, RDBL. The amount was approved and paid into his account number 0286050100004 in Fidelity Bank Plc on July 23, 2007. Anagor was specifically directed to rent the shop in the name of Attang pending the incorporation of the new company.

After the company was incorporated in October 2007, Anagor was formally employed as the Abuja branch manager of Royal Diadem Business Logistics Limited in January 2008. In that capacity, he submitted a business plan which the company approved and released N15.2 million immediately for its implementation. The money was transferred from RBDL’s account in Zenith Bank for onward payment to the branch manager. The amount was to be used for the purchase of stocks and  sales/delivery vehicles for the Abuja branch office. As branch manager, he got the mandate from the head office in Lagos to recruit the staff he needed to work with and to issue the company’s identity cards to them. He was authorized to personally sign the company’s identity cards of the staff.

The business  started on a good note but soon went awry when, sometimes in late 2008, Olagunju Ojuade & Company, a firm of chartered accountants based in Lagos, was hired by the company to do an initial stock-taking and also put in place a proper accounting and reporting system to ensure a smooth operation in the Abuja branch office. The stock-taking and valuation reports which were jointly signed by the auditor and Anagor had some shocking revelations. Anagor could not produce some basic receipts like the receipt for the rent paid and the tenancy agreement of the rented shop. More so, he had diverted sales proceeds amounting to N11 million to his private account.

[caption id="attachment_4651" align="alignright" width="207"]Cyril Attang Cyril Attang[/caption]

This revelation necessitated the employment of a branch accountant for the Abuja branch office who also discovered that the N2 million Anagor had collected from Attang for a two-year rent of the shop was actually inflated. As against N1 million he collected, the annual rent for the shop was N 500,000. By implication, Anagor pocketed the other N 1 million. But that was not all. Early in December 2008, the headquarters of the company wrote to the shop management in Abuja requesting for the tenancy agreement of the branch office. Shockingly, the tenancy agreement sent to Lagos bore the name of “RDBL Ltd” which Anagor signed on behalf of the company. Even at this point, the company still underestimated the criminal intention of Anagor probably because all the stock cards, receipt booklets, invoices and waybills in the shop located at Peoples Plaza, Plot 1263, Jere Street, Garki, Abuja, were still bearing Royal Diadem Business Logistics Limited whose acronym was interchangeably written as RDBL. But unknown to  Attang and Uzoma, Anagor had fraudulently incorporated a new company in June 2008 to take over Royal Diadem Business Logistics Limited as his own property. In the new company, he and his wife were the only directors and shareholders. Curiously, James Ocheche Adeka, a lawyer, who Anagor introduced to Attang as a friend, undertook the incorporation of both Royal Diadem Business Logistics Limited and RDBL Ltd. at the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC. Although rearranged, the Articles and Memorandum of Association of the two companies were similar, an indication that the twosome were up to something.

The plot came to light after the Garki police, which investigated a reported case of fraud at the Abuja branch of the company, arraigned Anagor on a four-count charge of criminal breach of trust, cheating, store-breaking and theft at an Upper Area Court, Abuja, on December 22, 2008. In a desperate attempt to forestall the trial, Anagor instituted two civil suits in Abuja high courts. One was to secure a court order to stop the inspector- general of police from investigating him in respect of the reported crimes for which he was standing trial. In another civil suit at the federal high court, Abuja, Anagor lay claim to the ownership of Royal Diadem Business Logistics Limited. In the suit, RDBL Ltd. and Chukwuemeka Anagor were first and second defendants respectively while Uzoma Cyril Attang, Cyril Attang,  the Commissioner of Police, Abuja and Royal Diadem Business Logistics Limited, were joined as first, second, third and fourth defendants respectively.

[caption id="attachment_4649" align="alignright" width="147"]Mohammed Abubakar Mohammed Abubakar[/caption]

The first claim of the plaintiffs in the suit was that the court should declare that Royal Diadem Business Logistics Limited is their bona fide property. The second claim which was also a prayer was that the court should grant an injunction restraining the defendants, their agents and privies from interfering with the plaintiffs’ occupation and enjoyment of the aforesaid shop. They also prayed the court to grant them N50million as general damages for their mental anguish, strain, stress and defamation.

Expectedly, the fourth defendant also came up with claims that countered those of the plaintiffs. The first was that the counter-claimant was the bona fide and lawful occupier of its branch shop at Plot 1263, Jere Street, Garki. The second was that the fourth defendant was the lawful owner of its properties comprising household and office equipment and other stocks in its Abuja branch office. The third was a prayer that the court should make an order restraining the plaintiffs, their agents, servants, privies, assigns or such other persons howsoever described, acting on their behalf from trespassing, interfering or disturbing the counter-claimant from enjoying the tenancy of its branch shop in Abuja. Another prayer was for the court to order Chukwuemeka Anagor (second plaintiff) to refund one million Naira being specific damage for the balance of its two-year rent of the branch shop in Abuja. Altogether, the fourth defendant submitted 10 counter-claims.

[caption id="attachment_4648" align="alignright" width="230"]David Mark David Mark[/caption]

On November 27,2012, Justice Ugochukwu A. Ogakwu, who presided over the suit, No.CV/1059/2009, dismissed all the claims of the plaintiffs while some counter-claims of the defendants succeeded. The civil suit of the plaintiffs was, indeed, an eye-opener to the Attangs who pressed on for a thorough investigation of how Anagor and Adeka had conspired to dispossess them of the bona fide property of the family. After a thorough investigation, the police slammed a five-count charge of joint act, making false documents, forgery, using as genuine forged documents and possession of forged records on Anagor at the Chief Magistrate’s Court, Wuse, Abuja. For the part Adeka played in the sordid affair, Attang addressed a complaint to the chairman of the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee. The letter dated March 4, 2009 and entitled: Re: Complaint of Gross Professional Misconduct Against Mr. James Ocheche Adeka — A Legal Practitioner, which was signed by Attang on behalf of his company, was duly acknowledged by Linda Bala, who identified herself as the legal adviser of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA. The acknowledgement letter was dated March 23, 2009. At this point it was very clear to Anagor and Adeka that they were about to stew in their own juice. As a last resort, they turned to Uzoma and started to mount pressure on her to prevail on her husband to withdraw the criminal cases in courts against Anagor and the petition against Adeka. When the threats and blackmail failed to move her to do their bidding, they resorted to negative media campaigns against her. The  next stage of their campaign was the series of false petitions Anagor addressed to all anti- corruption agencies, David Mark, Senate President, as well as other relevant federal government agencies accusing her of looting N240 billion during her tenure at the Police Pension Fund. How he came about that staggering amount is anybody’s guess because in the five charges that the EFCC has linked her with, the amount mentioned is not even close to N60 billion. And Anagor has never been a staff of Police Pension Fund to lay any claim to being an insider.

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