EFCC docks man over $1m fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal Office, on Thursday, April 1, 2021, arraigned one Uchenna Igwegbe before Justice Sherifah Solebo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on a three-count charge bordering on retention of proceeds of criminal conduct and obtaining money by false pretence.

One of the counts reads: “Uchenna Justice Igwegbe, sometime between July 2013 and November 2013 in Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, retained in your control the aggregate sum of $1,030,302.00 only through your account domiciled with First Bank being proceeds of criminal conduct on behalf of Obinna Kelvin (now at large).”

He is also accused of facilitating “the fraudulent obtaining of funds from unsuspecting members of the public totaling the sum of $937,073.00”.

The offences are contrary to Section 17 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Act, 2004 and Section 1 (1)(a) and 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Fraud Offences Act 2006.

Deal of the day

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

In view of his plea, counsel for the EFCC, Ebareotu Pereagbe, who held the brief of Ahmed Yerima, asked the Court for a trial date in order for the prosecution to prove its case.

The defence, however, moved its bail application and urged the Court to grant the same.

Ruling on the bail application, Justice Solebo granted the defendant bail in the sum of N25million with two sureties in like sum, one of whom must have landed property within the jurisdiction, while the other must be a credible citizen.

The matter has been adjourned till May 24, 25 and 26, 2021 for commencement of trial.