Corruption and Underdevelopment

Court to rule April 25 on bail bid of ‘Army General’ in fraud case

By Paul Michael, Abuja

Justice O.A.Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has set aside April 25, 2022 for ruling on the bail application of one Bolarinwa Abiodun, a self-acclaimed Army General.

Abiodun is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 13-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, forgery of documents and possession of documents containing false pretence to the tune of N266,500,000.

The defendant was arraigned on April 11, 2022 by operatives of EFCC, The Trumpet gathered.

He was also accused of falsely representing himself to the complainant, Kodef Clearing Resources, as a General in the Nigerian Army, who had been shortlisted by President Muhammadu Buhari to be appointed as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and that he needed a short grant to “press and process the appointment”.

He is also accused of being in possession of a forged document titled: Letter of Authorisation, purportedly signed by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo permitting one Bamidele Olusegun Safiriyu, of De-Rock Maritime Resource L.T.D. to enter Apapa Port freely and load their truck.

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Abiodun was also alleged to have, in May 2020, forged a Nigeria Army Identity Card with serial number 387140, claiming the same to have been issued to him from the Nigerian Army, and another forged Letter of Recommendation purportedly signed by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, recommending one Adebayo Rasaq Adebola, with recruitment No 77RRI/OG/556/0032555 and Adeogun Emmanuel Adesola, with recruitment No 77RRI/OG/352/0123751, for employment into the Nigeria Army.

Abiodun was arrested at his house in the Alagbado area of Lagos State on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.

The charge reads: “Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun between 17th August 2017, and 12th December 2018, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud and whilst holding yourself out as a General in the Nigerian Army, obtained the sum of N23,300,000 from Kodef Clearing Resources Limited, under the pretence that the sum represented part of the amount expended to “press and process” your incoming appointment by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, as the Chief of Army Staff of the Nigerian Army, which pretence you knew to be false.

“Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun sometime in April 2018, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, had in your possession a document containing false pretence titled: letter of Recommendation purportedly signed by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo recommended one Adebayo Rasaq Adebola with recruitment No 77RRI/OG/S56/0032555 and Adeogun Emmanuel Adesola with recruitment No: 77RRI/OG/352/0123751 for employment into the Nigeria Army, which documents you knew to be false.”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following his plea, the prosecuting counsel, A.O. Muhammed, prayed the Court for a trial date and for the remand of the defendant at the facility of the Nigerian Correctional Service.

The defence counsel, Kayode Lawal, informed the Court of a summons for bail filed on behalf of the defendant.

The prosecution acknowledged receipt on April 8, 2022, noting that “we are still within time to respond and we intend to respond.”

Acknowledging the position of the prosecution, Lawal prayed the court for “the shortest date to move our bail application.”

Thereafter, Justice Taiwo adjourned till Thursday, April 14, 2022 and ordered that the defendant be remanded at Ikoyi Correctional facility, Lagos.

Having held the bail application, the court has fixed April 25 for its ruling on the application.

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