A 43-year-old Canadian citizen of Indian ancestry, Santosh Singh, and a Nigerian, Olakunle Bello Shola, have been arraigned before a Lagos Federal High Court over their alleged involvement in a N100 million fraud case.
The duo were docked before the court presided over by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, by the Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) of the Nigeria Police in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Arraigning the defendants before the court, prosecutor Mr Sylvester Azuibuike told the court that the defendants and one Vivek Bansal, now at large, allegedly conspired to defraud a bank of the said amount through their company, Thramaseed Inpex Limited.
The prosecutor told the court that the defendants induced the bank represented by a collateral agent, Continental Logistics Limited, to confer a benefit to themselves by transferring 240 metric tonnes of sesame seed and 44.9 metric tonnes of cashew nuts, stored in Kano and Lagos warehouses, under false pretence.
The offence, according to the prosecutor, is contrary to Section 1 (2) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 but Punishable Under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following the defendants’ plea, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date, while also urging it to remand the defendants in prison custody till the determination of the charges against them.
However, the defence team led by Olalekan Ojo, SAN, told the court that they have filed bail applications for their clients and the same as been served on the prosecution.
They urged the court to take their applications and admit their clients to bail in the most liberal terms.
The prosecutor admitted being served with the bail applications.
After moving of the defendants’ bail applications, Justice Oguntoyinbo reserved ruling on the bail applications till November 4, fixing December 11 for the commencement of defendants’ trial.
Justice Oguntoyinbo also ordered that the two defendants be remanded in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Services (formerly Nigerian Prison Services).