N176m fraud: Accused persons, sureties capitalise on court’s ruling

Three accused persons standing trial before a Yaba Magistrate Court in Lagos over alleged N176 million fraud, Clement Enenche, Micheal Enenche and Lawrence Audu Oduh have abandoned a criminal charge filed against them by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Lagos State Police Command.

The accused persons were charged to court for allegedly deceiving unsuspecting members of the public to supply petroleum products running into several thousands of litres, without the intention of paying.

According to the 19-count criminal charge filed against the accused and signed by Nosa Watson Uhumwangho, the legal officer in charge of State CID, Yaba, it was alleged that the accused issued dud cheque to the victims for the supplies of several thousands of litres of petroleum product made, and later fled before they were arrested by the police.

Some victims of the alleged fraudulent antics of the accused persons include Ogundare Adenike, Abiodun Ogini, Famuyibo Gbenga, Simoh Ezeoha, Emmanuel Ogunleye, Adegbola Samuel, Peter Ezigbo, King Simon Global Resources Limited, Obafungo Rasaq, Profound Energy Resources Limited and Dimeji Jimoh.

However, the initial Magistrate who adjudicated over the matter, Mr P.A Ojo had granted bail to the accused persons after their arraignment in the sum of N1 million each with two sureties in like sum.

The sureties were required to provide evidence of gainful employment as well as swear to affidavit of means, as well as provide evidence of tax payment in Lagos State.

But Magistrate Ojo did not order the verification of the addresses of the sureties, a development which both the accused persons and the sureties capitalized on to abandon the case.

The matter was later re-assigned to Chief Magistrate Y.O Aje-Afunwa, who after an oral application by the prosecuting counsel, ordered that the accused persons should be declared wanted by the police and their photographs published in national dailies.

Again, the matter was re-assigned to Chief Magistrate A.O Soladoye, who has adjourned the matter to May 15, 2015 to allow the police more time to intensify efforts on the quest to re-arrest the accused persons.

According to the charge, the accused persons were said to have “between the months of October 2010 and May 2013, at House 8, F Close, 4th Avenue, Festac Town, Lagos in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: obtaining goods by false pretence, stealing and issuance of dud cheque and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.”

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