The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arraigned a businessman, Olumuyiwa Williams, before a Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos, for allegedly stealing ₦165.2million from an oil company, Equitorial Energy Company Ltd.
Mr Williams and his company – Manhattan Corporate Essentials Ltd – were arraigned on a three-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.
According to the charge, the defendant and his company committed the offences in 2017 alongside five accomplices who are now at large.
“The defendants alongside Rotimi Ogundairo, Captain Edward Williams, Olayinka Iduda, Atlantic Finaplux Ltd and Jodaf Investment Ltd who are all at large in January 2017 conspired to steal money belonging to Equitorial Energy Company Ltd.
“Between Jan. 9 and Feb. 9, 2017, the defendants and their accomplices with a dishonest intent, stole another cumulative sum of N41.2 million belonging to the complainant.
“Between Jan. 26 and Feb. 10, 2017, the defendants and their accomplices stole a cumulative sum of N125million belonging to the oil company,” he said.
The offences were stated to contravene Sections 285(1)and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011.
Following his plea of not guilty, Tunde Busari, the defendant’s counsel in an application dated February 6 asked the court to grant the defendant bail “in the most liberal terms” saying the defendant’s medical challenges require urgent intensive medical check-up.
Anselm Ozioko, counsel to the EFCC, objected to Mr Busari’s submission, noting that the defendant is a flight risk and should be remanded in custody.
In her ruling, Olusola Williams, said the defendant does not pose a flight risk based on evidence before her.
“I am satisfied that the defendant is not a flight risk, he should be admitted to bail for many practical reasons, one of which is the decongestion of prisons,” the judge said.
“He is admitted to ₦10 million bail with three sureties in like sum, the defendant should provide details of his residential address within jurisdiction and enter an undertaking that he would not change addresses without notifying the court.
“The defendant shall be remanded in EFCC custody for up to seven days till the perfection of his bail and if he fails to do so within that time, he shall be moved to the Ikoyi Prisons,” the judge said.
Mrs Williams adjourned the case until March 25 and April 30 for trial.