Story by Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, today, ordered the remand of three Bureau De Change (BDC) operators who were arraigned on charges bordering on alleged N437 million fraud and issuance of dud cheques in Police custody pending the hearing of their bail applications.
The three BDC Operators are: Jimmy Ibrahim, Obianuju Tessy Umejesi and Uche Madubuko.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo made the remand order, after the BDC Operators had pleaded not guilty to five counts charge offences brought against them by the police.
The Police in the charge number FHC/L/292c/19, alleged that the three BDC Operators who operates under the names of Regis Bureau De Change, Jayjibs Ventures, Johim Ventures and Jajibs Bureau-De-Change had sometimes in January 2019, fraudulently obtained the sum of N437 million from a company under false pretence of giving the company $1.2 million USD equivalent.
One of the BDC Operators, Jimmy Ibrahim, was said to have in April, May and June this year, issued three United Bank for Africa (UBA) cheques numbers: 77046252; 77046253 and 77046254 from account number 1015196430i, with the total value of N73 million, which were dishonoured for insufficient funds on presentation for payment.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Chukwu Agwu are contrary to and punishable under 8(a), 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act. No. 14, of 2006. And Section 1(a)(i) of the Dishonoured Cheques (offences) Act 2004.
All the BDC Operators pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Consequent upon the defendants not guilty plea, the prosecutor, Mr. Agwu asked the court for a trial date, while also urged the court to remand the defendants in prison custody pending the determination of the charges against them.
Agwu also informed the court that counsel to the defendants informed him upon arrival at the court that they have filed motions for bail and same have been served, which he told them he is yet to receive any application, but he was obliged with the copies of the motions.
Agwu however asked for a short date to respond to the motions.
Responding, defendants’ counsel, who includes Mr. A. Ezeaba and John Nwoku, told the court that they have filed motions for their clients bail and that same have been served on the prosecution.
The presiding judge, Justice Oweibo, in corroborating the prosecutor’s submission told the defendants’ lawyers that there was no prove of service in the court’s file.
Following the clearance on the bail applications by the judge, the defendants’ counsel pleaded with the court to remand their clients in police Custody as against the prison custody as demanded by the prosecutor.
While adjourning the matter till September 4, for hearing of bail applications, the judge conceded to the defendants’ counsel request and ordered that all the defendants be remanded in the custody of the police.