EFCC Arraigns Three over N66.5m Scam
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, arraigned the trio of Kachy Kennedy Okoye, Usong Ibor Matthew, Igberaese Lawry, before Justice Christopher Balogun of the Lagos High court, Igbosere, on a thirteen count charge of conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretence. Specifically, they were alleged to have conspired to defraud one Lady Lora Marire of a total sum of Sixty Six Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N66.5Million) under the pretence of helping to register her as a contractor with the Nigerian Ports Authority and offering her a contract to build one hundred units of duplex at Lekki, Lagos.
Four other individuals involved in the scam are at large. They are: Tony Elijah; John Williams; Engr. Chude Ngini and Alkali Hammed.
One of the charge reads: “Kachy Kennedy Okoye, Usong Ibor Matthew, Igberaese Lawry, Chekwu Tony Elijah (at large), John Williams (at large), Engr. Chude Ngini (at large) and Alkali Hammed (at large) on or about the 25th day of May 2010 at Ikeja within the ikeja Judicial Division with intent to defraud conspired to obtain the sum of N39, 100,000.00 (thirty nine Million One hundred naira only) from lady Lora Marire by falsely representing that the said sum represented the sum used by you for the registration of her company as contractor with the Nigerian Ports Authority and the award of a contract to her to build one hundred unit of duplex at Lekki Lagos”.
The three accused persons pleaded not guilty to all charges. Counsel to the EFCC, Olubunmi Bosede prayed the court to grant two applications filed before it. The first was for an early date for hearing and the second to remand the accused persons in prison custody. However, the counsel to the first accused person, Gbolahan Samuel told the court that he had filed an application for bail. He requested for a short date for hearing of the bail application and urged the court to remand the accused in EFCC custody due to the fact that he had health challenges.
Counsel to the second accused person, E.S.N Ijeh said he had also filed an application for bail and prayed the court that the accused person be allowed to remain in EFCC custody. Counsel to the third accused person, Austin Abkunimen, however said he had not filed any application for bail but aligned himself with the prayer of Samuel, claiming also that his client had health challenges.
Justice Balogun, after listening to all their submissions, adjourned the case to November 13, 2012 for hearing of the bail applications. He ordered that the first accused person be remanded in EFCC custody based on the medical report in his bail application while second and third accused persons are remanded in Ikoyi prison.
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