By Lukman Olabiyi
The Economic and Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday docked one Femi Ogunlowo, who allegedly defrauded a Switzerland company to the tune of $859, 940 US Dollar, equivalent of N171. 2 million, before the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere.
Ogunlowo, whose address was not given, was arraigned alonside five companies, Forston Construction Ltd, Cheslinks Power System Ltd, Cheslinks Concept Investment Ltd.
Other accused include, De Beauvior Intergrated Ltd and Crestcom Educational Development Ltd.
The defendants are standing trial on a 10-count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing, fraud and retaining of stolen property.
The EFCC Prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedipo, told the court that the defendants committed the alleged offences between January 5 to 29, 2015, in Lagos.
According to Oyedipo, the defendants conspired and obtained $859, 940, from one Uralkali Trading SA of Geneva Switzerland through false pretences.
“Sometime in January 2015, the accused with false pretences and with intent to defraud induced the above company to deliver the said money to them.
“The accused with a dishonest intent converted the said money to their own use,” Oyedipo alleged.
The EFCC prosecutor also alleged that between January 5 to 29, 2015, the defendants with a dishonest intent knowingly retained a stolen property.
He also alleged that on January 6, 2015, the defendants conducted a financial transaction which involved the proceeds of a specified unlawful activity to enable them disguise the source of the said money.
“The defendants also retained the control of the proceeds of a financial crime, which they knew was a result of a criminal conduct,” EFCC alleged.
Oyedipo also alleged that on October 4, 2014, in Lagos,the defendants knowingly forged a document titled “Federal Republic of Nigeria National Driver’s Licence No: YYY 13850AA” dated Feb. 22, 2014.
He said that the defendant forged the licence and purported it to have been issued by the Federal Road Safety Commission.
He said the alleged offences contravened Sections 1 (b) (3), 7, 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act No 14 of 2006.
He also said the alleged offences contravened Section 285 (1), 363 and 326 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 201; and Section 17 (a) of the EFCC (establishment) Act, 2004.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The prosecutor urged the court to remand the defendant in prison custody and also asked for a short adjournment to enable him bring his witnesses.
Justice Raliat Adebiyi,after listing to the submission of both parties, remanded the defendant in Ikoyi prison and adjourned the case till March 17, for hearing of the bail application and April 18, 19, 25 and 28, for commencement of trial.