Corruption and UnderdevelopmentCrime

Ponzi Scheme: FCID arraigns suspect for duping Colonel, Professors, others

By Paul Michael

Michael Ukiye Diongoli, a Ponzi scheme operator, who allegedly duped a retired Army Colonel, two Professors, MTN Staff Co-operative Society, and others of the sum of N1,286, 580,656 billion, has been arraigned before Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of a Lagos Federal High Court.

Diongoli was arraigned by the operatives of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos, on an eight-count charge of Conspiracy, obtained by false pretense, and fraud. The Trumpet Gathered

Diongoli was arraigned alongside his two firms, UK-Don Group and UK-Dion Investment Limited.

The suspects allegedly deceived their victims by promising them multiple Returns On Investment (ROI) within the period of six months to one year.

Some of the alleged fraud victims include Col. Chukwu Terngu (Rtd), Dr Basil Onugu, Prof Oneykachi Green Nwankwo, his wife, Elizabeth U. Onyekachi Green, Nnenna Ikubogh, Securities Ltd, Uchenna Nwankwo, Chinyere Oguejiofor, Sekoni A. Adetokunmo, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Prof iloeje Casmir, Lillian Ofondu, Suliaman Mamman, MTN Employer Cooperative, Gabriel Andrew, Obieme Adaku K., and others.

The prosecutor, Mrs Ezema Susan, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) while arraigning the accused on Monday, told the court that the defendants allegedly committed the offences between December 2021 and April 2022.

According to the prosecutor, the offences contravened Sections 8(a), 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related to Offences Act, 2006 and Punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

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However, the defendants denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following his not guilty plea, his counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN) who led other lawyers, informed the court that his client’s bail application has been filed and the same has been served on the prosecutor.

Responding to the bail application, the prosecutor, Mrs Ezema told the court that although the defendant’s lawyer has informed her that the bail summons has been served on the Prosecution, she, however, added that she is yet to receive it.

She, therefore, pleaded with the court for a short adjournment, so that she can get a copy of the bail summons and see if she will file a counter.

Consequently, Justice Allagoa ordered that the defendant be remanded in the FCID’s custody and adjourned the matter till Tuesday, for a hearing of the bail application.

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