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UK jails Nigerians for laundering N440m for cult leader

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Three Nigerian siblings in the United Kingdom have been sentenced to 16 years in prison for laundering £1 million (N440 million) for Delta State politician and suspected Black Axe leader, Augustus Bemigho-Eyeoyibo.

According to UK Crown prosecution, the siblings – Okemiorukaye Nakpodia, 56; Esther Nakpodia, 35; and Unuakpotovo Nakpodia, 46 – were found guilty.

The Black Axe, which also goes by the name Neo-Black Movement, is a cult that has been fingered in the killing of persons, especially youths across many government-owned universities for decades.

The convicts were alleged to have laundered the proceeds of fraud between 2007 and 2015.

Police identified 174 suspicious transactions entering bank accounts. Money from a number of the victims of the original frauds ended up in the defendants’ bank accounts and was then laundered by the Nakpodias.

The report read in part, “The leader of the Black Axe, Augustus Bemigho-Eyeoyibo, is the brother-in-law of the three defendants.

“Black Axe is a banned organisation in Nigeria and has been linked to decades of murders, rapes, extortion and drug dealing in Nigeria and across the world, with members allegedly swearing a ‘blood oath’ to join.”

The counsel for the CPS, Philip Slough, said the prosecution was able to show that Bemigho-Eyeoyibo, who ran for Warri-North Constituency on the platform of the Labour Party, directed the convicts on how to launder the funds.

Slough said, “We were able to show the Nakpodias were talking to Augustus Bemigho-Eyeoyibo, the leader of Black Axe, based on conversations found on their devices.

“They talked about the amounts and what to do with the funds after they arrived, including how much to keep for themselves.”

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