- The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigns businesswoman for alleged N17.6 million fraud
- The anti-graft agency alleges that the woman committed the alleged crime with her husband, who is currently on the run
- Justice Anna Akobi of a Federal Capital Territory high court ruled that she be remanded in EFCC custody
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, January 31, arraigned one Ngozi Anumudu before Justice Anna Akobi of a Federal Capital Territory high court sitting in Kwali on a three-count charge.
The charges bordered on conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and retention of proceeds of criminal conduct.
The EFCC claims that Anumudu, along with her husband, Chidi Anumudu and one Sarah Okafor (currently at large) “falsely presented themselves to one Dr Paul Edherije that they had the letter of mandate from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to supply crude oil to buyers in China."
One of the counts reads: “That you, Ngozi Loretta Anumudu, being the MD/CEO of Yaang Impressions Limited, Chidi Anumudu (still at large) and Sarah Okafor (still at large) sometime between September and December 2016 at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud conspired to obtain the sum of N17,600,000 (seventeen million, six hundred thousand naira) by false pretence and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 8(a) and (b) of the advance fee fraud and other fraud related offences act, 2006 and punishable under section 8(c) and 1(3) of the same act.”
She pleaded not guilty to the charges making the prosecuting counsel, Richard Dauda, to ask for a trial date which would enable the prosecution assemble its witnesses and bring them before the court.
The report said the defence counsel, Obinna Ekezie, moved the motion for the bail of the defendant, pursuant to section 35(1), 36(5) and 41 of the constitution as well as section 156 and 162 of the administration of criminal justice Act 2015.
Legit.ng learnt that Ekezie also presented a medical report attached to the affidavit which, according to him, emanated from the Nigerian Police Hospital confirming that the defendant was not in good health.
“We pray the court to exercise discretion in favour of the defendant,” Ekezie said, but the bail application was opposed by Dauda, who argued that the defendant was “a flight risk” and will fail to stand her trial.
“She was granted administrative bail twice but ended up jumping bail at all times after reporting few times when granted bail,” Dauda argued.
Dauda said it took the efforts of the Nigeria Police to effect her arrest in Owerri, Imo state, after which she was transferred to the EFCC office in Abuja.
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Dauda argued further that the presumption of innocence does not exempt a wrongdoer from prosecution, “it only means that the burden of displacing the fact that an accused person is innocent is on the prosecution and it is at the discretion of the court to grant or refuse bail judicially and judiciously as the essence of bail is to ensure attendance.
“We urge that if the defendant will be granted bail, the court should give conditions that will make her stand trial.”
Justice Akobi ordered that she should be remanded in EFCC custody pending the ruling on the bail application on February 7, 2019.
The judge also asked that she should be allowed to have access to full medical facilities.
Legit.ng earlier reported that EFCC warned the general public against ex-officers pretending to be staff of the commission and brandishing authentic or fake identity cards, in a bid to defraud people.
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