The Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force on Monday re-arraigned four suspected fraudsters who allegedly obtained the sum of $1.362 million and N46. 533 million under false pretence, from a former House of Representative member, Eseme Eyiboh.
Appearing before Muslim Hassan of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court were Izekor Osatohanmwen Ogiemonyi, alias Prince Joshua Akenzua; Stephen Victor, alias James Ajayi; Bolade Babatunde, alias Honourable Lawal Adewunmi; and Jimoh Saka, alias Tola Ajayi.
The SFU in a charge marked FHC/L/435c/2017, filed before the court by E. A. Jackson, a Chief Superintendent of Police, alleged that the accused persons and others now at large, had between June 2016 and August 2017, at Jatoz Royal Hotel, Osolo Way, Ajao Estate, Lagos, conspired among themselves and approached Mr. Eyiboh, from Eket Federal Constituency in Akwa Ibom State, as accredited representatives of International Foreign Exchange Monitoring Agency/Bureau in Nigeria.
The police alleged that the accused persons fraudulently collected $1.362 million in three tranches of $1.230 million, $20, 000, and $112, 000, as well as N46, 533 million from Mr. Eyiboh with the pretence that they could deliver vehicles and industrial machines at affordable and official exchange rates.
The police also alleged that the fourth accused person, Mr. Saka, provided bank accounts domiciled in First Bank, Diamond Bank, and First City Monument Bank into which the N46.533 million was paid in by Mr. Eyiboh and later handed over the money to the other accused persons.
The offence, according to the police, are contrary to Sections 8(a), 1(1)(a) and 8(9), and punishable under Sections 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, No.14 of 2006.
All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The accused lawyers pleaded with the court to admit their clients bail “in liberal terms,” a move that was countered by the police prosecutor, Mr. Jackson.
Mr. Jackson particularly objected to the bail plea for the third accused person, Mr. Bolade, on the grounds that he has no means of livelihood.
After listening to the submissions of both parties, the judge adjourned till January 19 for ruling on the bail application and February 19 for trial.
The judge ordered that the four accused persons be remanded in prison pending the determination of their bail application.