From: Lukman Olabiyi
Four men, who allegedly obtained the sum of $1.362 million and N46. 533 million under false pretence, from a former House of Representative member, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh were, on Monday, re-arraigned before the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The four men are Izekor Osatohanmwen Ogiemonyi, alias, Prince Joshua Akenzua: Stephen Victor, alias James Ajayi: Bolade Babatunde, alias Honourable Lawal Adewunmi, and Alhaji Jimoh Saka, alias Tola Ajayi. They were docked before Justice Muslim S. Hassan by Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force ( NPF ).
In the charge filed before the court by Mr. E. A. Jackson, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), he alleged that the accused persons and others now at large, had between June 2016 and August 2017, at Jatoz Royal Hotel, Osolo Way, Ajao Estate, Lagos, conspired among themselves, and presented themselves to one Honourable Eseme Sunday Eyiboh, a former House of Representative from Eket Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State, as accredited representatives of International Foreign Exchange Monitoring Agency/Bureau, in Nigeria.
The police also alleged that the accused persons fraudulently collected sum of $1.362 million in three tranches of $1.230 million, $20, 000, and $112, 000, and the sum of N46, 533 million, from their victim, Honourable Eyiboh, with the pretence that they can use the position to deliver vehicles and industrial machines at affordable and official exchange rates.
The police also alleged that the fourth accused persons, Alhaji Jimoh Saka, alias, Peter Ajayi, supplied others accused with the bank accounts domiciled in First Bank, Diamond Bank, and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) into which the sum of N46. 533 million was paid in by Honourable Eyiboh, and later handed over the money to other accused persons.
The offences according to CSP Jackson, are contrary to Sections 8(a), 1(1)(a) and 8(9), and punishable under Sections 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, No.14 of 2006.
All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Following their plea of not guilty, their lawyers pleaded with the court to admit their clients bail in the most liberal terms.
In response to their bail applications, the prosecutor, CSP Jackson, urged the court not to grant the bail application.
CSP Jackson particularly objected to the third accused person, Bolade Babatunde, alias, Hon. Lawal Adewunmi, bail, saying that he has no means of livelihood, and grant his bail application will be dangerous to the society.
After listening to the submissions of both parties, the presiding judge, Justice Hassan, adjourned the matter till January 19, for ruling on the bail application, while fixed February 19, for the commencement of trial.
The judge, however, ordered that the four accused persons be remanded in prisons custody, pending determination of their bail application.