Court remands Bureau de Change operator in prison custody over $950,000 fraud

From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha

A federal High Court sitting in Awka presided over by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba has remanded in prison custody , a Bureau De Change operator, Chibueze Ojeh pending the perfection of his stringent bail conditions following his arraignment for allegedly obtaining the sum of $950,000 from a businessman  by false pretence .

Also granted bail and released to their lawyers after perfecting other bail conditions were two other ex bankers, Obinna Nwosu and Emeka Njoku.

In a case of advance fee fraud, conspiracy to commit felony and obtaining by false pretense preferred against the trio and two other companiesby the Inspector General of Police in Charge No FHC/AWK/ C/25/2020,  Simon Lough SAN , Prosecuting Counsel, from the Legal Prosecution Section, Police Headquarters Abuja through Augustine Oboh told the court  yesterday , that the  three suspects,  Chibueze Ojeh, Obinna Nwosu, Emeka Njoku using the two companies, had on between 3rd April 2013 and 31st June 2013 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court while acting in concert and with intent to defraud Chief Nnamdi Ezenwa MD/CEO of Vinna Investment Limited,  conspired together to commit felony to wit: obtaining money to the sum of  $950,000.00 (Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) from him.

In the three count charges against the duo, the prosecuting counsel alleged that the that the trio acted in concert and deceitfully induced Chief Ezenwa of Vinna Investment through an agreement and collected the said $950,000 presently valued at about N551, 000,000 (Five hundred and fifty one million naira)  from him  on the pretext to transfer the money to his customers in Italy and  never did but rather  converted same to their personal use.

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The offences according to the prosecutor are contrary to sections 8(a) and 1(1) and punishable under sections 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006.

The three defendants however pleaded not guilty to the charges and following the bail application and pleas of their lawyers, the court admitted the first defendant on bail with the sum of N100 million and two surety who must be landed property owners within Lagos, Abuja, Port harcourt or Anambra in combined like sums of N300 million and to remain in prison custody pending the fulfillment of the bail conditions.

The 2nd and 3rddefendant were also granted bail of N50m and N10m  in like sum with  two surety all of whom must be a civil servant of not less than grade 12  in either the state or federal civil service.  Though released to their lawyers, they have five days grace to perfect the bail conditions or be remanded in prison custody too.

The matter was adjourned till March 16, 2022 for trial.

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