The trial of a Lagos-based trader, Mrs Vivian Onwuka and her company, A.V.K Investment Limited, for alleged N36 million fraud over the supply of rice continued before Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court Lagos yesterday.
At yesterday’s sitting, the defendant, told the court that the alleged dud Cheques issued by her were not meant for presentation for payment, but as a guarantee to assure, the nominal complainant, Maliiinson and Partners Limited of payment if it supplied good and quality rice to mix the bad one the company had earlier supplied her.
Onwuka while being led in evidence by her lawyer , Mr C. A Nnakwe confirmed that the rice supplied her by Maliiinson and Partners Limited was bad and that when her customer started complaining about the bad quality of the rice she call the attention of the supplier who then came to the market to see things for themselves.
She added that consequently, a meeting was held between her and Maliiinson and Partners Limited where it was agreed that another good and quality rice would be supplied to her to mix the bad rice .
The defendant said that based on the agreement three Cheques amounting to N51 million were issued in favour of Maliiinson and Partners to assure them of payment if they keep to the agreement.
She, however, said that until the issues became subject of police investigation, the nominal complainant never meet the agreement, necessitating the refusal of her husband not to confirm the cheques.
The defendant also told the court that as a result of the bad quality of rice supplied to traders at Daleko market , the Daleko Market Women and Men Association, she was fined N150,000.
However attempt by the defendant’s lawyer to tender the report receipt said to have been issued by the Daleko Market Association was objected to by the prosecuting counsel, Mr E.A Jackson from the Police Fraud Unit, Alagbon, Lagos.
Jackson in his objection to the admissibility of the receipt, submitted that the name on the receipt was that of one Iya kanayo and not that of the defendant, (Vivian Onwuka ) .
Jackson further said that there were discrepancies in the amount written on the face of the receipt as well as alteration in the date .
The prosecutor said that while on one length, one hundred and fifty naira was written in words as the amount paid, on the other hand N150,000 was written in figure.
He therefore urged the court not to admit the document.
Justice Soho in his ruling rejected the document sought to be tendered by the defence on the ground of the discrepancies on the face of the document as canvassed by Jackson.
Meanwhile, further hearing in the matter has been adjourned till tomorrow.
The Police had in a three count charge marked FHC/ IKi/ CR/ 2/ 2011 alleged that the defendants , Vivian Onwuka and A.V.K Investment Limited between July and October 2007, at number 355, Agege Motor Road , Mushim Lagos within the jurisdiction of the court by false pretence induce Maliiinson and Partners Limited to confer a benefit on you to wit: supplying you with 12 trucks of Champion rice , valued at N36 million on the understanding that you will pay for the said rice and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act .14 of 2006.
The defendant were also alleged to have at the same time and place by a means of fraudulent trick to wit: deceive Maliiinson and Partners Limited through its staff into believing that you meant to pay for the 12 trucks of Champion rice valued at 36 million, obtained the said rice from Maliiinson and Partners Limited a, transaction the company would not have entered into with you, but for the fraudulent trick and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 421 of the Criminal Code , Cap C 48 , Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.