EFCC Arraigns 2 Men For Defrauding Indian National Of $13. 275
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) today arraigned two Nigerians before a Federal High Court, Lagos, for allegedly defrauded an Indian national, Yaser De Zhkam to the tune of $13, 275.
The two Nigerians arraigned before Justice Rilwan Aikawa are: Eze Okoronkwo and Okechukwu Ariguzo.
The EFCC in a charge marked FHC/L/223c/17, alleged that the defendants had on October 17, 2016, conspired to defraud the their victim under the false pretence of registering a product for him with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC).
The defendants were also alleged to have on November 10, 2016, fraudulently obtained the sum of $13, 257 from the Indian, through Ndukwe Darlington’s First Bank account with number 2028486705, under the pretence that the money will be used to register the said product.
The two defendants were also alleged to have forged various NAFDAC documents which includes: a NAFDAC letter with reference number: NAFDAC/ABJ/FGN/021572/016, dated September 6, 2016, captioned “Notification of Product Approval”, said to have been issued by one Pharmacist Joy Ekenma.
Also, a NAFDAC’s Certificate of Registration index number 2014881 and registration number 01-8097 in the name of Fresh Mango, purportedly to have been issued by the NAFDAC’s Director-General. And another NAFDAC’s letter with reference number NAFDAC/ABJ/FGN/021512/06, dated October 18, 2016, captioned “Re: Confirmation of file number NAFDAC/ENU/DHR/APS/092276/016, said to be meant for immediate issuance of NAFDAC Certificate”, and purportedly to have been issued by one Yetunde Oluremi Oni, an Executive Director in NAFDAC.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Abubakar M. Idris, are contrary to sections 8(a) and 1(1)(a) and punishable under sections 3 and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2016.
The offences according to the prosecution are said to be contrary to sections 465 of the Criminal Code Act Cap C38, laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under sections 467 of the same Act.
The two defendants however pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Upon the defendants’ plea, the prosecutor, Mr. Idris, pleaded with the court for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendants in prisons custody pending the commencement of trial.
However, the defendants’ lawyers, Mr. Elechukwu Emmanuel and Chinelolo Ngbeadichie, pleaded with the court to admit their clients bail pending commencement of trial.
The duo of Emmanuel and Ngbeadichie, told the court that they have filed bail applications for their clients and same have been served on the prosecution, adding that their clients have been diligent since they were admitted to administrative bail by the NAFDAC.
The lawyers’submissions was confirmed by the prosecution.
Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Aikawa admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N1million with one surety each in the same sum.
Justice Aikawa also ordered that the surety must be a landed property owner within Lagos state,or the alternatively, a Grade level 13 public servant in the federal or Lagos State Ministry.
The judge, however ordered that the two defendants be remanded in prisons custody pending when they will meet the bail conditions, while adjourning the matter till November 28, 2017, for commencement of trial.