The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Dr. Bright Ikechukwu Echefu, the Managing Director and CEO of Telecom Satellites Limited (TSTV), on charges of tax evasion, money laundering, and advanced fee fraud.

Dr. Felix Nnamdi Ignoanuga, TSTV’s Executive Director, TSTV, and Briechberg Investment Limited were also arraigned before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja. The EFCC has brought a nine-count criminal charge against them.

On May 18, 2020, both men allegedly violated money laundering laws by evading taxes, including VAT, Company Income Tax, and PAYE from 165 employees' salaries, an offence under Section 15 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended in 2012). They also allegedly diverted N33.9 million, N13.5 million, and N19.4 million in tax money for personal use, further breaching the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.

Additionally, Echefu is accused of defrauding Senior Advocate of Nigeria Mr. Turaki Kabir Tanimu of N960 million under false pretences. On May 18, 2020, while acting as the Managing Director of Briechberg Investment Limited, Echefu allegedly secured N150 million from Tanimu, who is the MD of Kalsiyam Farm, purportedly as a loan to acquire telecom equipment. The funds were deposited into Briechberg Investment Limited's Zenith Bank account. On the same day, Echefu allegedly obtained another N380 million and N400 million from Tanimu, who is also the MD of BYI General, for the same purpose. Tanimu, acting as the Managing Director of K.T. Turake, made two additional payments of N15 million each into Briechberg Investment Limited's account for the same reason.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all nine charges. Their lawyer, Eyitayo Fatigun, SAN, sought bail for them, which the EFCC opposed, citing the defendants' alleged evasion of arrest and flight risk. However, Fatigun argued that the EFCC had previously granted them administrative bail.

Justice Ekwo granted bail under EFCC's conditions, prohibiting travel without court permission and ordering the seizure of their passports. Any breach of these conditions would result in bail revocation. The EFCC was instructed to provide the court with the record of the administrative bail within seven days. The trial is set to commence on July 15, 16, and 17.


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