Police rearraigns unregistered BDC operator over N162m fraud

An unregistered Bureau De Change (BDC) operator, Uju Peace Izuogu, who allegedly defrauded her customer of the sum of N162 million alongside her accomplice, Richard Owegie, were today, rearraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos, by the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU).

The two alleged fraudsters, Uju and Richard, alongside their company,  Reoworld Enterprises Limited, were rearraigned before Justice Ayokunle Faji, led-court on a three-count charges of fraud, obtaining under false pretence and receiving and retaining proceeds of fraud.

They were formerly arraigned before the court on charges of fraud, obtaining under false pretence and issuance of dud cheques.

The alleged fraud suspect, Uju, who had once told the court that she is an unregistered Bureau De change operator, during the trial and her accomplice, Richard, were first arraigned before the court on September 4, 2019.

Both the prosecution and the defendants have concluded their trial before the court and the matter has been adjourned for adoption of written addresses.

However, at the last hearing of the case, the prosecutor, Mr. Emmanuel Jackson, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), had informed the court of amending the charge against the defendants, following of discovery of some grammatical errors noticed in the charge.

At the resumed hearing of the case today, the prosecutor informed the court of the amended charge and urges the court to retake the plea of the two defendants on the amended charge dated March 3, 2020.

He also told the court that the defendants will not be prejudiced by the amended charge, as the parties and other information on the old charge were the same as new charge.

Counsel to the defendants, E. O. Okoli and V. C. Odinaka, did not opposes to the taking of their clients’ plea on the amended charge.

Following, non opposition from the defence team, the presiding judge, Justice Faji, ordered that the plea of the defendants be taken and the charge were read to the defendants.

After the taking of defendants’ plea on the amended charge, Mr. Jackson, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), told the court that he had filed a written address on the amended charge and same has been served on the defendants

However, the defence team, told the court that the needed time to respond to the prosecution’s written address on the amended charge.

Consequently, Justice Faji, adjourned till September 16, for the adoption of written addresses of parties of the charges.

Uju alongside Richard and his company, Reoworld Enterprises Limited, in a charge marked fHC/L/295c/17, were alleged to have between January and May 2016, conspired among themselves to fraudulently obtained the sum of N162 million from a lawyer, Nwosu Maduabuchi, under the pretence that they will assist him in sending it to his clients in China, Dubai and Turkey, for the payment of goods he ordered for.

The second defendant, Richard, was alleged to had aided the first defendant, Uju, to obtained the said N162 million from Barrister Nwosu, who sourced the money from his different clients, and allow his Diamond Bank account to be used to receive and retain the money, and later diverted and disbursed it to third parties on the instructions of the first accused.

The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Emmanuel Jackson, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) are contrary to and punishable under sections 8(a) and 1(3), and 1(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2014.

The two defendants had pleaded not guilty to the offences when they were first arraigned and equally admitted to bail in various terms. But have remained in prison custody till today, due to their failure to meet the bail terms.

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