Court remands businessmen for allegedly duping bank N7.8b

Court

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Monday arraigned two oil service companies and their directors for allegedly defrauding a bank over N7billion.

The businessmen, Ogbor Kehinde Eliot and Godwin Okoronkwo, and two firms, Danium Energy Services Ltd and Petrosol Energy Ltd, were arraigned before Justice Oluremi Oguntoyibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos.

They pleaded not guilty.

EFCC said they allegedly defrauded the bank of N7, 802,649,000.

The agency said they presented forged documents to the bank after claiming to have been awarded multi-billion naira contracts by Total Nigeria Plc.

The defendants claimed they got contracts to supply thousands of metric tons of diesel and needed funding.

EFCC, in the charge signed by prosecuting counsel Rotimi Oyedepo, said the four, on or about October 5, last year in Lagos, with intent to defraud, conspired to induce the bank to deliver N1, 573,146,000.00. to Danium Energy Services.

The commission said it was under the false pretense that Total Nigeria contracted Danium Energy Services to supply 10,000 Metric Tons of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) for the sum of N1, 990,440,000.00.

EFCC said the accused persons, on November 15 last year, with intent to defraud, induced the bank to deliver N1, 573,146,000 to Danium Energy Services.

The commission said Eliot and Danium Energy Services on or about January 30 in Lagos conspired to induce the bank  to deliver N3, 339,225,000.00 to Danium Energy Services.

EFCC said they claimed that Total Nigeria, through a letter dated January 30, with Ref No: OPS/SUP/01/17/084 contracted Danium Energy Services to supply 15,000 Metric Tons of AGO for N4, 103,100,000.00.

Eliot and Danium Energy Services were alleged to have collected the N3,339,225,000.00 from the bank on February 3.

The prosecution said on February 9, Eliot and Danium Energy Services allegedly conspired to induce the bank  to deliver N2,890,278,000.00 to Danium Energy Services.

According to EFCC, they pretended that Total Nigeria, vide a February 9 letter, with Ref No: OPS/SUP/02/17/125, contracted Danium Energy Services to supply 15,000 Metric Tons of AGO for N4, 015,800,000.00.

They were said to have collected the money on February 17 in Lagos by inducing the bank to “deliver” it to Danium Energy Services.

The alleged offence is contrary to section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3)of the same Act.

The defendants were also accused of “uttering” (presenting) a forged document dated October 5, 2016 with Ref No: OPS/SUP/10/16/361 to the bank.

The alleged offence is contrary to Section 19(6) and punishable under Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

The accused persons were also accused of “uttering” a of a forged document dated January 30 with Ref No: OPS/SUP/01/17/084 to the bank.

Oyedepo said he needed time to respond to the defendants’ bail applications.

He asked the court to remand them in prison.

Justice Oguntoyinbo ordered that the defendants be remanded in EFCC’s custody.

Their bail applications will be considered on Wednesday.

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