Two Business Men, Firm Arraigned Over N215M Fraud

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Story by Gbenga Ogunbufunmi


Two men, Sylvester Otu and Adio Murtala Atanda alongside their company, Absalam Murrangay Investment Limited have been arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos, over alleged fraud of N215 million.

The two men and their firm were arraigned by men of the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (ForceCIID) Annex, Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos, on eight counts charge of conspiracy, fraud, impersonation, forgery, email hacking, stealing and obtaining under false pretence.

The police alleged that the defendants and others now at large, had on November 13, 2017, conspired among themselves to defraud their victim, GDN Nigeria Limited of the sum of N215 million.

To achieve the alleged illegal act, the police stated in the charge marked FHC/L/272c/2019, that the defendants wilfully and unlawfully intercepted an electronic email from the victim’s client, Josien Holding Limited and presented same to the fraud victim, which the company acted on as genuine from its real client and paid the sum of N215 million into their company’s account number 0025488262 domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).

The police also stated that the defendants steal the sum of N215 million property of GDN Nigeria Limited, the alleged fraud victim.

The prosecuting police officer, B. O. Asogwa, told the court that the offences committed by the defendants are contrary to and punishable sections 27(1)(a)(b), 9, 11, 13 of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.

Asogwa also told the court that the offences contravened sections 8(a), 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act. No. 14, 2016. And section 390(9) of the Criminal Code Act Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The defendants upon the reading of the charge to them pleaded not guilty to all the counts of the charge.

With the plea of the defendants, the prosecutor, Mr. Asogwa, asked the court for a trial date, while also urging the court to remand the defendants in prison custody, till the hearing and determination of the allegations against them.

However, the defendants’ counsel, Mr. Joseph Oche and A. Inyang, asked the court to admit their clients to bail in the most liberal terms.

Oche and Inyang told the court that their requests were based on motions for bail of their clients which have been filed and same served on the prosecution.

Responding, the prosecutor admitted been served with the applications and said he had responded to the applications.

Though, he told the court that admitting bail to defendant is at the court’s discretion. He however urged the court to admit them to bail with conditions that will ensure that they attend their trial.

Ruling on the bail argument, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties each in the same sum.

The judge also ordered that the sureties must be residents within the court’s jurisdiction, with landed property and evidence of three years tax payment and means of livelihood.

Justice Oweibo also ordered that all the bail conditions must be verified by the men of ForceCIID and that the defendants be remanded in prison custody pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions, adjourned the matter till November 12, for trial.

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