Tuesday, 22 May 2012

EFCC Docks Lawyer Over N36 million Fraud … Arraigns Another Man for $500,000 Fraud

Barrister Odi Okereke Ajike
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today arraigned a 43-year old lawyer, Barrister Odi Okereke Ajike, before the Lagos State High Court on a three-count charge of conspiracy to steal. He was charged along with his company, Natuzzi Nigeria Limited.
According to an EFCC statement, Ajike conspired to commit the offence in 2008, and stole the sum of N36 million, property of Barrister Emeka Nwajiuba.
The EFCC alleged that the sum of N36 million was paid into Ajike’s account by Barrister Nwajiuba pending disbursement to the rightful owners. When the time came for the money to be refunded, however, Barrister Ajike could no longer account for it, and his cheque of N4 million, drawn on the account of Natuzzi Nigeria Limited, was returned.

Ajike pleaded not guilty to the three counts, and counsel to EFCC, Cosmos Ugwu, asked the court to fix a trial date and also requested that the accused person be remanded in prison custody. Efforts by counsel to the accused, U. C. Ukebule, to move for bail was refused by the trial judge who said it has to be done properly. Justice Lateefa Okunnu then adjourned to June 1 for hearing of the bail application while trial was slated for 18/19 of September. Justice Okunnu ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody.
Also today, the EFCC brought before the Lagos High Court, one Wilson Opuwei and his company, Dateline Energy Services on a four count charge of obtaining money by false pretences, contrary to section 1((1)(a) and 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.
Opuwei was said to have, sometime in April 2011 with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of $500,000 (five hundred thousand dollars) through one Chimaobi Anyaso from Prince Donatus Okonkwo under the pretence that the money was for the payment for the allocation of 5000 metric tons of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) to him from Petroleum Product Marketing Company, PPMC.
Opuwei was also said to have defrauded Prince Donatus Okonkwo of $50,000 under the pretence that the money represented part payment for the allocation of 5000 metric tons of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) from PPMC.
Opuwei, pleaded not guilty, and Justice Habeeb Abiru adjourned hearing of the bail application to May 31.


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