Court remands business woman for N25.9m fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned one Ighofose Oyoma before Justice E. A. Obile of the Federal High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State on a seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of $9,200.
Ighofose was arrested sometime in May, 2015 in Calabar, Cross River state following intelligence report on his involvement in internet scams.
During investigation different scam mails which he used in defrauding his victims , mostly foreign women by presenting himself as Mike Anderson, an American businessman, were recovered.
One of the charges read: “That you Ighofose Oyoma (a. k. a) Mike Anderson, on or about the month of May, 2014, at Warri, Delta State, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did conspire with one Bright Achi and Desmond (now at large) to commit felony to wit: obtaining money by false pretence, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8 (b) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.
In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, M.T. Iko, urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial and to remand the defendant in prison custody. However, the defence counsel O. W. Ewenode, informed the court that he had filed a summons for bail and served same on the prosecution.
Justice Obille adjourned the matter to 23rd May, 2016 for hearing of the bail application and ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody.
In another development, the anti-graft agency yesterday also arraigned Obiageli Funmilayo Nwagu on a six-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence and issuance of dud cheques before Justice C. O Ajah of the Enugu State High Court.
The accused person pleaded not guilty on all counts.
In view of the accused person’s plea, the defense counsel, O.A.U Onyema prayed the court to grant the accused bail.
But the prosecuting counsel, M.A Shehu opposed the bail application and immediately drew the attention of the court to two separate applications for bail by the defence. The defence counsel immediately withdrew the earlier application, which the court granted.
The EFCC counsel then prayed the court to adjourn the case to enable the prosecution respond to the bail application.
“Filing two different motions for bail for the same accused person in the same court is an abuse of court process hence I could not respond to any of the motions. I therefore pray the court to adjourn to allow prosecution file its counter to the motion.” Shehu said.
The court granted the prosecutions’ plea, and then adjourned to June 6, 2016, for hearing of the motion for bail and commencement of trial, while the accused person continued to enjoy the administrative bail granted her by the EFCC.
Nwagu allegedly took a loan of N8, 433,547.00 from a licensed money lender, and further introduced seven others who jointly took loans from same lender, with Nwagu standing as guarantor. The monies borrowed plus accrued interest amounted to a total sum of N25, 859,031.00, for which all seven borrowers and Obiageli issued cheques of different banks which when presented for payment were returned unpaid as the various accounts were not funded.
One of the charges read: “That you, Obiageli Nwagu trading under the name and style of Pizzaz Enterprises on or about the 2nd day of December, 2013 at Enugu within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Enugu State issued a First City Monument Bank Plc cheque No: 01952241 dated 2ndDecember, 2013, valued at N3,800,000.00 to Chinwe Uzakah, the said cheque when presented for payment within three months was dishonored on the grounds that insufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account upon which it was drawn and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) of the Dishonored Cheque (Offences) Act, Cap D11, Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 1(1) (b) of the same Act.”