Police arraigns clearing agent over alleged N27.9m, $17.3k fraud

A Clearing and Forwarding agent, Ifeanyi Ezenwabachili, has been arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos, on alleged conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and fraud of N27, 920 million and $17,360.

The Clearing and Forwarding agent was arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo led-court, by the men of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID Annex) Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos, on the alleged offences.

The prosecutor, Barrister Morufu Animashaun, had told the court that the defendant and others now at large, committed to offences sometimes in 2021.

The prosecutor informed the court that the defendant and other now at large, fraudulently obtained the above mentioned sum from Festus Egwuim and his business partner.

To be precise, the prosecutor informed the court that the defendant obtained a total sum of N27, 920 million, under the pretence of clearing 10 forty-feet containers loads of spare parts, through one Emeka Okoli Canice’s account number 0013472640, domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank Limited)

He also informed the court that the defendant also obtained the sum of $17,360 USD, from Festus Egwuim’s business partner in China, under the pretence of clearing two containers, but fraudulenty converted the money to his personal use.

The prosecutor told the court that the defendant’s actions, contravened Sections Section 8 (a); 1(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Fraud Offences Act 2006 Act 2006 (as amended) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act. And Section 383 of the Criminal Code Act Cap.C38, Laws of Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 390 of same Criminal Code Act Cap.C38 Laws of Federation 2004.

The defendant however denied the charges and pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

Following his plea of not guilty, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date. While equally urged the court to remand him in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), till the determination of the charge.

But the defendant’s counsel led by Mr. Abdullahi Anthony Dania, while moving the defendant’s bail application, urged the court to grant him bail in the most liberal terms.

Dania particularly pleaded with the court to release his client to him on the ground of ill-health, so that he could have adequate medical attention. 

In his ruling, Justice Oweibo admitted bail to the defendant in the sum N5 million with one surety in like sum.

The surety according to the judge, must be a land owner with title documents within the court’s jurisdiction. And that the surety must depose to affidavit of means.

The judge however released the defendant to his counsel for the period of two weeks, after which he will be remanded in NCoS’ custody if he failed to meet up with the bail terms.

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