Alleged fraud: EFCC opens case against movie producer

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has opened its case against a Nollywood movie producer, Ifeanyi Onyeabor, being tried for allegedly defrauding a Lagos-based company of N8.8 million.

 

The EFCC began its case against the accused before Justice Habeeb Abiru of the Ikeja High Court, Lagos, on a seven-count charge bothering on stealing and fraudulent conversion.

 

EFCC prosecutor, Cosmas Ogwu, at the sitting on Thursday, called his first witness, Johnson Oshodi, an EFCC Investigative Officer.

 

Mr. Oshodi told the court that he was mandated to investigate the matter following a petition sent to the commission by Steve-James Investment Ltd.

“According to the petition, Onyeabor collected a total sum of N8.8 million from Steve-James Nigeria Ltd. in December, 2008.

 

“The money was for the purpose of producing two movies entitled ‘Young Amazon’ and ‘Tribes’. The money was collected in installments from the complainant,” he said.

 

The witness said that Mr. Onyeabor, who is the Managing Director of Igo Motion Pictures International, collected the money but failed to produce the movies.

 

He said the accused was invited to the EFCC Office in Ikoyi to defend himself against the allegations.

 

Mr. Oshodi said that the accused could not “explain” what he did with the money he collected from the complainant.

 

“The accused only showed us photographs of some people on horses, which he claimed was a scene from the movie,” the EFCC witness said.

Thereafter, Justice Abiru adjourned the matter to June 4 for continuation.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr. Onyeabor, 41, had pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and was granted bail.

 

 


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  • M

    EFCC are the wrong government agency to handle such a case.. There are loads of Ex governors, politician, etc cases which have not yet been taken to court. This is more of civil matter, although the police should procecute if at all there is any criminal allegations to answer.

    It is an abuse of EFCC resources. These are supposed to be a bunch of highly trained (british and american educated) force dedicated to high profile cases that represent the “image of corruption” in Nigeria.

    • Ralph

      Mr M, easy for you to say since you are not the complainant… It does not matter who is prosecuting, EFCC, ICPC, POLICE, ARMY etc, fraud is fraud and all fruadstars who are giving Nigerians bad names be they politicians or ordinary business people should be prosecuted. today it’s a Nigerian company, tomorrow it could be a US or UK company coming in to invest in our entertainment industry.

      Politicians succeed in their fraud because they get help from business people, but if they know that even the business people can be investigated and prosecuted, it could serve as a warning for all.

      This is the time to wage this war against corruption for the sake of our children. Come let’s join the war!!!

      • M

        From your comments above, I won’t be supprised you are actually a representative of the prosecuting company, Steve-James Investment Ltd.

        Nobody is trivialising corruption, but you can’t drag CIA, FBI or CI5 into a minor matter, just because you’ve got the attention of someone in position. That is what the police and other agencies are for. Based on the investment and foreign training EFCC receives from foreign donor countries, it baffles me that a case like this can even be entertained by them. It should be referred to the police immediately.

        I got defrauded by a scam estate agent, collecting 5 years rent on two properties which where declared to me as “Unoccupied”…simply because I reside abroad. EFCC simply referred the matter to the police. Although it was FRAUD, it does not quite fall into their remit of specialised cases.

        Needless to say the my enthusiasm for prosecuting the case wained as the case officer began soliciting bribes to make arrest. Unfortunately, this is Nigeria but I still go back.

        EFCC was instituted by Obasanjo for specific reasons. FIGHT CORRUPTION IN HIGH PLACES. Distractions will completely weaken it’s resolve to target major issues affecting Nigeria PLC and not Joe Bloggs…or even ME.