Story by Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
Justice Ayotunde Faji of a Federal High Court, Lagos, today, fixed February 26, 2020, for the arraignment of an independent oil marketer, Chima Anyaso, who is charged before the court on alleged forgery and N2,066,400 billion fraud.
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), has filed a three count-charge against Anyaso alongside his oil company, Ceecon Energy Oil and Gas Limited before the court since January 15, 2019.
Since the charge was filed, the defendants had not appeared before the court, due to several applications filed which includes an application challenging the competency of the charge and the Court’s jurisdiction to entertained the charge.
All the applications were decided in favour of the prosecution, which pave way for his arraignment today.
At the resumed trial of Chima and his company today, the prosecutor, Mr. Julius Ajakaiye, a Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Justice, informed the court that, counsel to the defendants, Mr. Goddy Uche (SAN) called him last Friday and informed him that his client will be unable to attend the court today, due to illness.
He further told the Court that Mr. Uche (SAN) sent him a letter suggesting another day for the arraignment of his client.
A counsel from Mr. Uche’s Chambers, E. O. Okeme, confirmed the prosecutor’s position and also conceded to the adjournment.
In fixing February 26, 2020, for the arraignment of the defendants, Justice Faji held: “court was not copied with the letter for adjournment, by the agreement of the counsel, the matter is hereby adjourned till February 26, 2020, for the arraignment of the defendants”.
The AGF in charge marked FHC/L/332c/18, alleged that the oil marketer of 16, Babatunde Dabiri Street, Lekki and having his company’s Corporate office located at third floor of Worth Plaza, of Olaza 307, Suit 301, Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, was alleged to have committed the offence on a or about February 21, 2011.
The oil marketer was alleged to have forged a letter head paper of Total Nigeria Limited, captioned ‘offer to sale dated February 21, rf 2011, with reference number AAC/CSO/OPS/, which he falsely presented to Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), to obtained credit facility in the sum of N2,066, 400, 000 billion, for delivery of 15 metric tonnes of Aviation Turbine kerosene (ATK).
He was also alleged to have on February 22, 2011, forged another letter head paper of Total Nigeria Limited with reference number FEB/yjo.FIN22.11, dated February 22, 2011, which he presented to GTB for the payment of N2,066,400 billion, for supply of 15 metric tonnes of ATK.
The AGF also alleged that the oil marketer fraudulently obtained the said sum from GTB as credit facility.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Julius I. Ajakaiye, a Deputy Director in the AGF’s office are contrary to and punishable sections 2(1)(c) and section 1(1)(a) of Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences, Cap. A6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
In one of the court’s proceedings on the charge, the prosecutor had told the court that the criminal charge against Chima and his company, arose from a petition by Guaranty Trust Bank, dated January 19, 2017 and signed by one Sarah Ugamah and Tolulope Fadipe on behalf of the Bank.
Count one of the charge against the defendants read: “that you Mr. Chima Anayso, Male of 16 Babatunde Dabiri Street Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, Ceecon Energy Oil & Gas Limited, of Olaza 307/ Suite 301, 3rd Floor Right Wing Wright Plaza, Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos on or about the 21 February’s, 2011 at Lagos state, under the Jurisdiction of this court did utter a false document to wit: Letter Of Offer For Sale dated 21st February, 2011 with Ref No. AAC/CSO/OPS on the letter Head of Total Nigeria Plc, with intent that Guaranty Trust Bank may belief it is genuine, be induced to believe that you have the offer of sale for delivery of Aviation Turbine kerosene