Court Fixes Trial Of Men Who Defraud Ex-Rep Of $1.362M, N46.5M For June 27

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By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi


The trial of three men who allegedly defrauded a former member of the House of Representative, Mr. Eseme Eyiboh,   Representing Eket Federal Constituency, of Akwa Ibom State, of $1.362m and the sum of N46.5m has been adjourned till June 27.

The alleged fraudsters are: Izekor Osatohanmwen Ogiemonyi, alias, Prince Joshua Akenzua: Stephen Victor, alias James Ajayi: Bolade Babatunde, alias Honourable Lawal Adewunmi.

The Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU) , Ikoyi-Lagos, had on August 1, 2018, arraigned the three men before Justice Sule Hassan, on charges bordering on conspiracy, fraud, and false representation.

They were arraigned alongside one Alhaji Jimoh Saka, alias, Peter Ajayi, who is now late.

The offences according to Mr. Emmanuel Jackson, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), 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

They defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and were admitted to bail.

The SFU in a charge marked FHC/L/435c/2017, 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 presented themselves to one Honourable Eseme Sunday Eyiboh, a former House of Representative from Eket Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State, as accredited representatives of International Foreign Exchange Monitoring Agency/Bureau, in Nigeria.

The accused person were also alleged to have fraudulently collected the sum of $1.362 million in three tranches of $1.230 million, $20, 000, and $112, 000, and the sum of N46, 533 million, from their victim, Honourable Eyiboh, with the pretence that they can use their position to deliver vehicles and industrial machines at affordable and official exchange rates.

The police also alleged that the fourth accused persons, Alhaji Jimoh Saka, alias, Peter Ajayi, now late, supplied others accused with the bank accounts domiciled in First Bank, Diamond Bank, and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) into which the sum of N46. 533 million was paid in by Honourable Eyiboh, and later handed over the money to other accused persons.

However, the defendants’ trial which was scheduled for today, could not proceed at the instance of their counsel, who asked the court for an adjournment to enable them get some documents needed for the defence from the prosecution.

In particular, counsel to Ogiemonyi, alias, Prince Joshua Akenzua, the first defendant, told the court to order the prosecution to get some documents, which he intend to used for defence certified.

The prosecutor, Mr. Jackson, told the court that the request of the defendant’s counsel is a ploy to delay the trial of the defendants.

He said the documents requested for by the defence teams have been served on them with the prove of evidence since the defendants were arraigned.

He therefore urged the court to award a cost against the defendants in favour of the fraud victim, who he said came to Lagos from Abuja, for the matter, for unduly delay of the trial.

But Justice Hassan, while adjourning the trial of the defendants till June 27, declined to grant prosecutor’s request on award of cost against the defendants.

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