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.