The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Lagos zonal office, on Thursday, October 19, 2017, arraigned the duo of Eze Okoronkwo and Okechukwu Ariguzo before Justice Ridwan Mohammed Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on a five-count charge bordering on impersonation, forgery and obtaining money under false pretense to the tune of USD13, 275 (Thirteen Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy- five United States Dollars).
The suspected fraudsters were arrested following a complaint received by the Commission from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The duo allegedly used forged NAFDAC, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) documents to obtain the sum from one Yaser , an India national.
The offense is contrary to Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006.
One of the counts reads: “ That you, Okonkwo and Okechukwu Ariguzo, between the 17th day of October 2016 and 10th day of November 2016 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of USD13, 275(Thirteen Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy Five United States Dollars) from one Mr. Yaser , an Indian national, through Ndukwe Darlington's First Bank Dollar Account Number 2028486705 under the false pretense that the said sum represented the cost of registration of some regulated products from Indian by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) which representation you knew was false, contrary to section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.”
The accused pleaded not guilty to the counts preferred against them.
In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Idris Abdullahi Mohammed, asked the court for a trial date and to remand the accused in prison.
However, counsel to the accused told the court about pending applications for bail on behalf of their clients and pleaded with the court to grant them bail on liberal terms.
Justice Aikawa admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N1 million with one surety each in like sum.
The sureties must be resident in Lagos State and own landed property in the state.
Also, the sureties must either be public servants with the Federal or state public service.
The judge directed the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court to ascertain and verify the addresses of the sureties.
The defendants are sign an undertaking not to delay the trial.
The accused were ordered to be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of their bail conditions.
Consequently, Justice Aikawa adjourned the case to November 28, 2017 for commencement of trial.