Corruption and Underdevelopment

Court threatens revocation of alleged fraudsters’ bail

By Paul Michael

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has threatened to revoke the bail and order the arrest of two alleged fraud suspects, Seun Awosanya and Amaechi Osita for refusing to appear for their trial on an alleged N130 million fraud.

Awogboro, who dangled the axe at the resumed hearing of the fraud charges brought against the two defendants by the police, said their bail would be revoked if they fail to appear in court on the next adjourned date.

The men of the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) arraigned the defendants before the court in 2016, on a two-count charge of alleged conspiracy and fraudulent conversion of the sum of N130 million belonging to a company, Logic Vantage and Trust Limited to personal use.

The police had alleged in the charge marked FHC/L/c/2016 that the defendants committed the offences sometime in March 2015, with one Okoli Chigozie Kingsley, who is said to be at large, and a firm, Osymaco Investment Limited, belonging to the second defendant, Amaechi Osita.

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The offences, the police maintained, are contrary to Section 1(1)(a) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006. And section 15(1)(a)(ii)(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 as amended.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were formally arraigned before Justice Saidu Saliu, who has since retired from the Bench.

On two occasions that the defendants’ matter came up before Justice Awogboro, they refused to appear for their trial, the development forced the prosecutor, Daniel Apochi, to ask the court for a Bench warrant, which was granted.

Ruling on the submissions of the lawyers, Justice Awogboro, declined to revoke the defendants’ bail and urged police not to arrest them before the next proceedings.

Further hearing on the matter has been fixed for September 21.

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