The defendant is being prosecuted for three different cases of fraud.
Justice Olabisi Akinlade of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on Tuesday ruled that an alleged serial fraudster, Seun Ogunbambo, continue to stay at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison, Lagos.
Mr. Ogunbambo is involved in multiple cases of fraud and is renowned for his ease to assume multiple identities, according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The commission is accusing Mr. Ogunbambo, and his company, Adeline Investment Ltd., of fraudulently obtaining a credit facility of over N1.2bn from Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc in 2009.
Mr. Ogunbambo conspired with Olamide Ogunbambo and David Ayodele – both of them at large – to obtain the facility, the commission said.
While fixing trial for January 24th, 2013; Ms. Akinlade said that the defendant did not convince the court that he would not jump bail before the date.
“I’ve gone through the evidence against the defendant, the evidence is quite weighty and serious,” Ms. Akinlade said.
“Also, the claims that the defendant was using different names to procure international passports at different times were not challenged or contradicted; therefore admitted as the truth,” the judge added.
The judge maintained that she would give the trial an accelerated hearing.
The credit facility was granted to Mr. Ogunbambo, after he forged bank statement of Guaranty Trust Bank and Bank PHB, in four tranches – N610m, N230m, N200m and N180m, according to the anti graft agency.
In the bank statements that helped facilitate the fraud, Mr. Ogunbambo claimed that he earns a monthly salary of N5.5m, with an additional N5m per month taking care of his housing allowance, the EFCC added.
When he was arraigned last week, Mr. Ogunbambo pleaded not guilty to all 14 counts and was remanded in prison.
At the hearing of the bail application on Tuesday, Adebayo Adenipekun, counsel to Mr. Ogunbambo, said that his client had already refunded N120 million to the bank.
Mr. Adenipekun also told the judge that they have been meeting with the EFCC, as well as Stanbic IBTC, towards a resolution of the matter.
“It is not in dispute that before the arraignment and after the arraignment, the applicant has been meeting the complainant towards the settlement of the matter,” said Mr. Adenipekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
“The applicant will not only attend trial when the trial commences, he is also taking steps to settle this matter by plea bargaining,” he added.
Ms. Akinlade, however, responded that their meeting is not the matter before the court.
Different faces; one man
Francis Usani, counsel to EFCC, said that the commission “tried all within its means” to get Mr. Ogunbambo to receive notice of court service.
“The defendant consistently avoided response,” Mr. Usani said.
The EFCC counsel noted that Mr. Ogunbambo had earlier been denied bail by another judge, where he is also facing allegations of fraud, due to his multiple identities.
Different copies of Mr. Ogunbambo’s international passports, including a UK passport, were presented before the court.
Some of the passports had Mr. Ogunbambo’s photos on them but bore different names.
“As we speak, the defendant has not brushed himself off those multiple identities,” Mr. Usani said. “One of the elements for the refusal of bail (by the other judge) is the possibility of further charges being preferred against the complainant.”
Multiple Fuel subsidy scams too
Mr. Ogunbambo, alongside Habila Theck and their firm, Fargo Energy Limited, are facing a six count of N976.6 million fuel subsidy fraud before Adeniyi Onigbanjo.
He is also appearing before Mr. Onigbanjo where he is facing 14 counts of subsidy fraud, along with Mamman Ali, son of former chairman of Peoples’ Democratic Party, amounting to N4.46 billion.
Mr. Onigbanjo also refused Mr. Ogunbambo bail on the N4.46 billion fraud on Monday. During an earlier trial of the case, the EFCC gave an example of how Mr. Ogunbambo goes by different names in different countries.
“He used different names. His name is just a wearing apparel, which he changes as he likes. If he is in the United Kingdom (UK), he is Benson Adekunbo Oladapo Sobowale but in this case, he claimed to be Oluwaseun Ogunbambo,” the EFCC counsel told the court.
The cases against Mr. OgunbamboOluwaseun Ogunbambo resides at Park View Estate, Icy, Lagos.
|S/N||Charges against him:|
|1.||A six-count charge of N976.6 million subsidy fraud before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo; arraigned alongside Habila Theck and their company Fargo Energy Limited.|
|2.||A 13 count of N4.46 billion subsidy fraud before Mr. Onigbanjo. Arraigned alongside Mamman Ali, Christian Taylor, and Nasaman Oil Services.|
|3.||A 14 count of N1.2 billion fraud against Stanbic IBTC bank before Justice Olabisi Akinlade. Charged with his company, Adeline Investment Ltd, and Olamide Ogunbambo, and David Ayodele (both still at large).|
|– Jumped bail in 2010 during a multi million naira fraud case instituted by the EFCC.- Embassy of Republic of Ireland notified the EFCC of his arrest, in January 2010, for money laundering.
– Two passports – Nigerian and British – still in EFCC’s custody. He still travels abroad.