The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday, March 13, 2017 arraigned the trio of Emmanuel Onubogu, Onyeka Godday and Mamudu Musa alongside their company, Zirconafrik Limited, before Justice O. A. Taiwo of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere, Lagos on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretense to the tune of $10, 000.00 (Ten Thousand United States Dollars).
The defendants allegedly approached the complainant, Adewale Olaiya, requesting the sum of $10,000, which they said they needed as an "authentication fee" for one million barrels of crude oil purportedly allocated to them by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
However, the defendants allegedly became elusive after receiving the money from the complainant.
One of the counts reads:
"That you, Emmanuel Onubogu, Onyeka Godday, Mamudu Musa and Zirconafrik Limited sometime in November, 2013 within Lagos in the Lagos Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of USD10,000.00 (Ten Thousand United States Dollars) from Mr. Adewale Olaiya through Zirconafrik Limited’s Guarantee Trust Bank account number: 0023950101 under the false pretense that the money represented the authentication fee for one million barrels of crude oil onboard MT Patroclus allocated to you for sale by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which pretense you knew was false.’’
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to them.
In view of their plea, counsel to EFCC, M. S. Usman, asked the court for a trial date and urged that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.
However, counsels to the defendants, pleaded with the court to grant their clients bail.
The prosecuting counsel did not oppose the applications.
Consequently, Justice Taiwo adjourned to March 22, 2017 for hearing on bail applications and ordered the defendants to be remanded in the EFCC custody.