EFCC Charges 4 Over ‘$1m Fraud’

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arraigned Umar Audu Bida, Truth Igogori, Ifenyinwa Nwankwesiri and Ogechukwu Obaji before the Federal High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja, and presided by Justice Binta Nyako, on a 9-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of $1 million.
Also arraigned by the accused were four companies: Universal Contractors, Lambda Energy Services Limited, Double Wonder Concept Limited, and ICS Energy Services Limited. The accused were alleged to have in 2014 conspired to defraud one Donald Latella of North Park LLC of $1million on the pretext of supplying about two million barrels of Bonny Light Crude Oil, an offence that contravenes Section 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
According to the Count 2 of the charge: “That you, Umaru Audu Bida, Truth Igogori, Ifenyinwa Nwankwesiri, Ogechukwu Obaji, Universal Contractors, Lambda Energy Services LTD, Double Wonder Concept Limited, and ICS Energy Services Limited and others now at large, sometime in 2014, within the Judicial Division of the Federal High Court of Nigeria attempted to obtain the sum of $1,000,000.00 (One million United States Dollars) from Donald Latella of North Park LLC under the false pretence of supplying about 2 million Barrels of Bonny Light Crude Oil which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty, while the counsel to the EFCC, Onjefu Obe, pleaded with the court for a date to present his witnesses and called on the judge to remand the accused in prison custody pending trial.
Barrister Ammeh O. Ammeh, who represents the 1st and 5th defendants and R. O. Attabo standing for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th defendants, prayed the court, through oral application, to grant bail to the accused.
Justice Nyako adjourned the case to Thursday, February 16, 2017 to enable the defence counsels make their bail application formal. The court ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody.

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