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N2.7bn Fraud: Court adjourns couple’s trial until February

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Court adjourned the case until February 2, 2024

The Ikeja Special Offences Court, under Justice Mojisola, adjourned on Wednesday until February 2, 2024, the alleged N2.7bn fraud involving a couple, Ruth and Oriyomi Idowu.

The couple was arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, on 20-count charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, money laundering, stealing, retention of stolen property, and forgery to the tune of N2,757,188,000.00 (two billion, seven Seven Hundred and fifty-seven million, one One Hundred and eighty-eight thousand Naira only).

They were arraigned alongside Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Limited, Samee Idowu Company Limited, and Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, which all belong to Ruth Idowu.

Count one reads: “Ruth Sameeha Idowu, aka Loiry Ventures, Oriyomi Kabeer Idowu, aka Yocli Ventures, Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Ltd., Samee Idowu Company Limited, Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, between 31st of March 2022 and 17th of May 2023 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves by false pretence that you had a genuine Local Purchase Order (LPO) from various vendors and with intent to defraud, obtained from Creditpro Business Support Services Ltd the sum of N2,757,188,000.00 (Two Billion, Seven Hundred and Fifty Seven Million, One Hundred and Eighty-eight Thousand Naira Only).

Another count reads: “Ruth Sameeha Idowu, aka Loiry Ventures, Oriyomi Kabeer Idowu, aka Yocli Ventures, Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Ltd., Samee Idowu Company Limited, Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, sometime in 2023 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, converted the sum of N10,000,000 to purchase a GLK Benz, a purchase sum derived from converting the sum of N500,000,000 belonging to Creditpro Business Support Services with the aim of disguising the illegal origin of the funds.”

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At Wednesday’s proceedings, prosecution counsel, A.O. Mohammed, informed the court that his witness was unavoidably absent in court.

“Up until yesterday, the witness gave an indication of appearing in court. But yesterday, there was an unexpected change in the situation. I apologise to the court and to the defence,” he said.

Responding, Babatunde Ogala, SAN, informed the court that he came prepared for the trial. He, however, added that “it was only this morning, while seated here, that I was informed that the witness is not here and that they are not ready to go on; and so, I will seek an adjournment.”

The counsel for the first defendant, James Alara, also aligned with Ogala. He further urged the court to take notice that the stalling of the proceedings was at the instance of the prosecution.

Apologizing for the development, Mohammed prayed the court for a short adjournment.

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Consequently, Justice Dada adjourned the case until February 2, 2024.

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