The Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Zuba, Abuja, has issued a direct criminal summons against factional APGA Governorship candidate and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, over serial abuse of office and breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers while he held office as the Governor of the CBN between 29th May, 2004 and 29th May, 2009.
In a Direct Criminal Complaint brought pursuant to Sections 88 and 89 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 by one Oliver Bitrus complaining that between the period Prof Soludo held office as a Public Officer he flagrantly breached the Code of Conduct for Public Officers by buying or acquiring interest in a property known and described as No. 50 Brondesbury Park, London, NW6 7AT, United Kingdom.
The property is covered by File Plan of Tile No. MX362301.
Oliver claimed that this property, was bought or acquired using a proxy and/or nominee company known as Universal Energy Company Limited, and which investigation revealed was incorporated in the Isle of Man; and now used to round-trip public funds for the purchase.
As a matter of fact, purchase price of £2,150, 000 was paid on 20th October, 2006 in a single tranche, which sum was not fairly attributable to his income as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria at the material time.
Further investigation also disclosed that presently, the property is being occupied by the defendant, his spouse and children and used as their personal and official addresses for all their companies and other business undertaking.
The Complainant listed companies owned and operated by the Soludo’s and domiciled at the said property to include
i. ZINORA LIMITED: A private company owned by Mrs. Nonye Soludo (spouse of Chukwuma Charles Soludo).
This is a company limited by shares which was registered on 29th January, 2013 with Company N: 8379214 and also has its registered office at No. 50 Brondesbury Park, London, NW6 7AT, United Kingdom.
(ii) THE SOLUDO FOUNDATION: Registered on 24th July, 2014 as a private company limited by guarantee with its registered office at No. 50 Brondesbury Park, London, NW6 7AT, United Kingdom.
It also has the Company No: 9145134. The company has the following persons as members or directors – Nonye Frances Soludo, Chukwuma Soludo, Ozonna Tochukwu Soludo, Ifeatu Adaora Nnenna Soludo etal with having the above mentioned property as their address.
(iii) ALLSTERS INVESTMENT LIMITED: Registered on 2nd September, 2015 as a private company limited by shares with Company No: 9757553.
It has its registered address at the same No. 50 Brondesbury Park, London, NW6 7AT, United Kingdom and also has the following persons as Directors – Mrs. Nonye F. Soludo, Miss Ifeatu Adaora Nnenna Soludo, Mr. Ozonna Tochukwu Soludo and Mr. Chinua Belolisa Naeto Soludo with all the directors having the property in issue as the address.
The Claimant further claims that a sequential trail of evidence has revealed that while holding public office as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the defendant abused his office and breached the Code of Conduct for Public Officers by using a proxy, nominee or trustee company – Universal Energy Company Limited, incorporated in the Isle of Man for syndication of fund, to acquire the property and deliberately failed to declare the said property or his obvious interest therein in his Assets Declaration Form submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau.
As a result, he flagrantly violated Article 11 of the Part 1, 5th Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and thereby liable to the penal sanction of disqualification from holding any other public office for a period of 10 years and forfeiture of the illicit property to the Federal Government of Nigeria pursuant to Article 18(2) of the Law.
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