The Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of Nigeria Police Force thursday arraigned one Abiodun Adisa, the Managing Director of Picket Suites and Services Limited, before a Federal High Court, Lagos, for issuing a dud cheque of N130 million.
Adisa was arraigned on a 15 count-charge bordering on the alleged offence.
SFU in a charge marked: FHC/L/461C/2017, stated that the accused had between August 22, 2016, and June 30, 2017, issued 15 Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) cheques to one Okechukwu Enelameh of Fredliz Estates Limited, in settlement of his indebtedness to the company for three months.
SFU, however, stated that but upon presenting the cheque for payment, they were returned dishonoured for lack of funds in the accused person’s account.
SFU through its prosecutor, Mr. Sylvester Azubike, had listed in the charge the cheque numbers issued by the accused person as follows: 53547337, 53547338, 53547339, 53547340, 53547341, 53547342, 53547349, 53547350, 53547343, 53547344, 53547345, 53547346, 53547347, 53547348 and 53547364.
The offences, according to the prosecutor, Mr. Sylvester Azubike, are contrary to and punishable under section 1(a) (i) of the Dishonoured Cheques (offences) Act Cap. D11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The accused however pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Following the not guilty plea by the accused, his lawyer, Mr. Adewale Olawoyin, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), pleaded with the court to grant his client bail in liberal terms, pending the trial.
Olawoyin told the court that in urging the court for bail, he had filed a bail application dated December 21, 2017, and such has been served on the prosecution.
Lawyer to the accused also told the court that the bail application was pursuant to section 158 and 163 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, and Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.
Olawoyin particularly informed the court to discountenance the allegation made by the prosecution that his client would not come to court if granted bail, saying even when the accused was granted administrative bail, he travelled to America for medical treatment, and he willingly reported back to the police on his arrival.
He, therefore, pleaded with the court to grant his client’s bail application.
Responding, the prosecutor, Azubike, stated that police filed 15-paragraph counter-affidavit, adding that the nature of the accused person’s sickness was unknown to the police, and that the medical report attached with the bail application was from unknown government hospital in Nigeria.
The prosecutor, therefore, urged the court to refuse the bail application, stating that the police are of the opinion that the accused would be unable to attend trial, if granted bail.
After listening to the submissions of both parties, the presiding judge, Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari, while ordering that the accused be remanded in prison custody, adjourned till January 3, 2018, for ruling on the bail application.