By Ugo Aliogo
The federal government has requested the extradition of a United States-based Nigerian, Jim-Daniels Nnah, accused of defrauding two companies of the sum of $712,000 approximately N261.3 million.
The request was contained in a letter marked HAGF/Ext/08/14 from the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) addressed to the US Department of Justice, Washington DC.
This extradition request is coming four years after Nnah through his company, Biowish TM Africa Limited allegedly fleeced Environ-Aid Technologies Nigeria Limited and Alsa Logistics Limited of the sum under the pretence of giving them sole distributorship rights of some bio-chemicals.
Made pursuant to the provisions of the extradition treaty between the governments of the USA and United Kingdom (UK) of December 22, 1931, which is applicable to Nigeria, the request was signed by the AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Giving facts of the case, Malami said Nnah obtained the money for the purpose of supplying the complainants with products made by Biowish Technologies Inc., USA.
He said the complainants alleged that the suspect neglected or refused to supply the products, thereby, has stolen or converted the money to his personal use.
Malami stated that by his alleged action, the suspect deprived the complainants of their money and the goods in-spite of several efforts to recover the property or money.
He said: “The complainants claimed that sometime in September 2012, their companies entered in an existing joint venture agreement with Biowish Technologies Inc., 150N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2800, Chicago, Illinois 60601, USA, to supply its products in Africa.
“For Biowish Technologies products to be sold in Africa, Jim Daniels-Nnah incorporated Biowish TM Africa to market a variety of the products ranging from Biowosh-Aqua, Biowish Odor, Biowish Remediation, Biowish Crops (fertilizer), etc.
“Relying on the information provided by the suspect, the complainant entered into separate agreements with Biowish TM Africa Limited to procure Biowosh Technologies’ products for which the sum of $712,000 was paid into Jim Daniels-Nnah’s company, Biowish TM Africa Limited and IC&T America Inc.’s offshore accounts numbers 2531597994 and 2513861179 at BBVA Compass Bank, Houston Texas, respectively at different times.
“Unknown to the complainants, Jim Daniels-Nnah has signed two separate identical contract notes making each of the two companies the sole distributor of the same products in Nigeria, demonstrating fraud and insincerity in handling the whole transaction.”
Continuing, Malami stated that both companies separately terminated the agreements and demanded for a refund of their money paid Nnah when he failed to deliver the products over a period of time.
He said the suspect’s inability to supply the products or refund the complainants’ money made them suspect fraud and individually filed complaints with the authorities in Nigeria.
“After a detailed investigation conducted in respect of the amount claimed to have been paid to the suspect, the Nigerian INTERPOL NCB found out, through cash transfer documents from the complainants’ bank and swift transfer records that the said sum was indeed paid into the accounts. The NCB is unable to interrogate the suspect as he is currently in the USA.
“The illegal act alleged in the case is against the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as such, I shall prosecute any act in violation of Nigerian laws relating to financial and other economic crimes.
“To do this, the Federal Government of Nigeria would require the authorities and government of the USA to take steps within the scope allowed by the US laws, to execute this request in the interest of justice, the spirit of fighting international crimes and in the ground that when a similar request is made by the USA, Nigeria will render the same assistance.
“The purpose of this letter is to request the relevant US authorities to identify the suspect in this case, arrest him with a view to extradite him to Nigeria for prosecution on charges against him and for the recovery and eventual surrender of the money to the victims’ companies,” said Malami.
In a bid to stop his arrest in 2013, Daniels-Nnah dragged the Inspector General of Police (IG), Commissioner of Police (CP) Special Fraud Unit (PSFU), Chief Chris Iheanacho his companies, Environ-Aid Technologies Limited and Enercon Nigeria Limited and two others before a Federal High Court, Lagos.
The matter which was before Justice Mohammed Yunusa, was on July 2, 2014 struck out for want of diligent prosecution, at which time the suspect had returned to the USA.
Although Nnah had since stayed away from Nigeria following the hunt for him by the authorities, the suspect had insisted that the allegations against him were false.
A report attributed to his lawyers, Okoye & Partners, alleged that Iheanacho did not meet up with a fee of $500,000 which was agreed upon as the fee for distributorship of Biowish products in Nigeria, adding that he only paid $350,000.
The law firm said it was agreed that Iheanacho be refunded the $350,000 paid in the form of products of equivalent value.
It said: “Due to the regulated nature of the products, they could not be imported without approval from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), which application process was delayed due to Iheanacho’s companies being unable to provide proper warehousing.
“As at August 2013, NAFDAC approval had been obtained and the products shipped into the country. Chief Iheanacho was required to place an order, indicating which specific products he required out of the myriad bouquet. Instead of doing this, Iheanacho tried to use the police to arm-twist our clients into giving him distributorship for which he could not afford to pay.”