COURTROOM NEWS 29/06/2022
Police Arraign Ibadan Businessman For Alleged N186 Million Fraud
The Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) Lagos on Tuesday brought an Ibadan-based businessman, Oluwabukola Odeleye to the Federal High Court in Lagos in connection with alleged N816million fraud and forgery.
It arraigned Odeleye and his firm, Beedel Strategic Investment Company Limited, before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on a charge marked FHC/L/342c/2022.
Prosecution counsel Emmanuel Jackson alleged that the defendants committed the offences sometime in 2020 in Lagos.
Jackson, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) and Officer-in-Charge of the PSFU’s legal department, alleged that the duo defrauded two firms – Bostocke Close Investment Limited and Ctando Capital Limited – of the said N186 million.
The court heard that they allegedly committed the offence with forged Local Purchase Orders (LPOs) of multinational firms and local firms.
The firms whose LPOs were said to have been forged included British-American Tobacco Nigeria Limited; Fan Milk Plc; Lafarge Nigeria Limited; National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP); G.R. Building and Constructions Nigeria Limited, and GB Foods Nigeria Limited.
The defendants were also accused of converting the N816m “to their own use and benefit.”
According to Jackson, the offences contravened Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 14 of 2006 and were punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The offences also infringed sections 465, and 468 and were punishable under Section 467 of the Criminal Code, 2004.
The defendants pleaded not guilty.
Their counsel, Olabiyi Ademola, applied for Odeleye’s bail.
He was opposed by Jackson, who supported his argument with a 14-paragraph-counter affidavit detailing why the court ought to exercise his bail discretion against Odeleye.
The prosecutor applied for a trial date and prayed the court to remand Odeleye till the conclusion of the trial.
Justice Oweibo, in a bench ruling, upheld Ademola’s application and granted the defendant bail in the sum of N100million and one surety in the like sum, among other conditions.
He adjourned till October 25 and 27, for trial and remanded the defendant in Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS)’ custody till the perfection of the bail terms.