Raphael Ede, Enugu
The N4 billion Enugu ‘wonder bank’ ‘Let’s Partner With You’ financial scam, on Tuesday, suffered another setback as the Federal High Court, Enugu, adjourned the case until October 31 and November 6, 2018 for continuation of trial.
This was as the victims of the alleged financial fraud, numbering of 150, who came to court for the trial, decried the continuous adjournment of the matter since the court granted the accused, Chief Patrick Nwokike, bail soon after he was arraigned on April 6, 2017.
Nwokike, Chief Executive Officer of the ‘wonder bank’, was first arrested, on Thursday, October 5, 2016, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at his residence in Enugu for allegedly obtaining over N4bn from the public in five years through his company, ‘Lets Partner With You Ltd’.
Following hundreds of petitions from across the country on the activities of the accused and his company, it was discovered that Nwokike and his wife Rosemary were the only signatories to over six accounts of the company in about four banks.
According to investigations conducted by the EFCC, the company, ‘Lets Partner With You Ltd’, has no license to solicit and manage funds for the public. The company is also not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC) or the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
It was also uncovered that the company had, for some time, paid a 10 per cent (ten per cent) interest on investment but could not continue and all efforts by depositors to have at least their initial investments returned were futile.
Nwokike, wife Rosemary and his co-defendants were consequently arraigned on a 10-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence running into several billions of Naira. The alleged offense is contrary to section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offenses Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) of the same Act.
However, speaking to Daily Sun shortly after the case was adjourned the leader of the victims of alleged fraud, Dr. Nnabuchi Okwudili called on the Federal Government and NJC to intervene and looked into the continuous adjournment of the case which according to the victims there must have been underhand dealing in the matter which are trying to frustrate the trial.
He said that since October 5, 2017 when the trial started, the trial judge Justice Dugbo R. O. Oghoghorie, has serially adjourned the matter till date. Lamenting that most of their members have died because of heart attack as a result of this fraud.
Okwudili said that the accused is walking freely in the street of Enugu enjoying himself with the sweet of the poor Nigerians while the victims of his atrocities were dying of hunger and penury.