The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on May 12, 2015 arraigned one Uche Obodoekwe alongside his company DE CANON Investment Limited before Justice M.B Idris of the Federal High Court Lagos on an 8-count charge bordering on Money Laundering.
He allegedly used the property of an insurance firm, Royal Exchange Assurance Plc as collateral to secure a N500, 000,000 (Five Hundred Million Naira Only) loan from the defunct First Inland Bank, purportedly to purchase about two hundred million units of shares.
However, after taking the facility, the accused neither used the money to buy shares nor service his obligation to the bank.
Investigations revealed that N480m of the said loan was placed on call deposit by Uche, which he eventually converted to personal use.
Count one of the charge reads “that you Mr Uche Obodoekwe and De canon Investment Limited between 22nd January 2008 and 28th January 2008 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, converted an aggregate sum of N458,500,000 (Four Hundred and Fifty Eight Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira Only) by placing same into call account with the First Bank of Nigeria Plc, which sum formed part of the funds you derived from an illegal act to wit: stealing by conversion of Royal Exchange Assurance Plc’s funds entrusted in your care by the said Royal Exchange Assurance Plc and with the aim of disguising the illicit origin of the said sum and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 14(1)(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2004.”
The accused pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.
Justice Idris granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N10, 000,000 and two sureties in like sum. The sureties must provide affidavit of means while the accused passport is to be deposited with the court registry.
The case was adjourned to June 17 and 18, 2015 for commencement of trial.
In a related development, the EFCC has arraigned one Adekunle Olayemi before Justice Lawal Akapo of Lagos State High Court, sitting in Ikeja on a 3-count charge bordering on possession of false documents and obtaining money by false pretence. When the charges were read to the defendant on May 12, 2015, he pleaded not guilty.
One of the counts read: “Adekunle Olayemi (a.k.a Timmy Mike and ‘Rachael Williams ) on or about the 7th day of May, 2014 at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division had in your possession a document in which you represented yourself to one Mr. Orest as Timmy Mike and demanded for the sum of $5, 800 (Five Thousand, Eight Hundred Dollars) so that you could help his lover from being prosecuted, which representations you knew or ought to have known to be false having regard to the circumstances of this case”.
The prosecution counsel, Mustafa Aliyu asked the court to fix a date for trial in view of the defendant’s plea of not guilty. However, the defense counsel, Akin Bayidada pleaded with the court to grant his client bail on liberal term as the offence was bailable.
Justice Lawal-Akapo adjourned the case to 17th of June, 2015 and ordered that the defendant be remanded in Kirikiri maximum prison.
Also, the EFCC arraigned one Adebanjo Olamilekan( a.k.a Candice Gloria) before Justice Lawal Akapo on a two count charge for obtaining money by false pretence. The accused is alleged to have defrauded one Collins, an American, of $2,500.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Justice Akapo adjourned the case to June 10, 2015 for hearing.
Similarly, one Owolabi Lateef ( a.k.a Timmy) was arraigned before Justice Lawal-Akapo on a two count charge of forgery and being in possession of a false document. The defendant was allegedly found with a letter of conviction purportedly from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, in which one Miss Gloria convicted for drug trafficking, would serve eight years jail terms or pay a ransom of 8,800 United States Dollars to procure an acquittal.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The case was adjourned to June 10, 2015 for hearing of the bail application.
Head, Media & Publicity
15th May, 2015