Businessman, woman face N92m fraud charge

A businessman, Ogbonna Okechukwu, was on Friday arraigned in an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, for allegedly obtaining N92 million under false pretences.

Okechukwu, 58, was arraigned alongside a businesswoman, Chika Chikwuocha, 36.

The duo whose residential addresses were not given, are facing a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and stealing preferred against them by the police.

The Prosecutor, ASP George Nwosu, told the court that the accused and others still at large committed the alleged offences between 2016 and July this year.

Nwosu said that the duo fraudulently obtained the sum of N92 million from the complainant, Mr Francis Onyekaokwu, under the pretence of registering him as a contractor.

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He said that the accused promised to secure contracts from the Nigeria Army, Nigeria Police, Federal Ministry of Works and Power and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for the complainant.

The offences contravened sections 285, 312 (a) and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

However, the accused pleaded innocent to the offences.

Counsel to the accused, Gani Oyarevuegbe, urged the court to grant bail to the accused on liberal terms.

Consequently, Magistrate Mrs Folashade Botoku granted them bail in the sum of N10 million each with two sureties each in like sum.

She said that the sureties must be resident in Lagos State, adding that one of the sureties must have landed property within Ikeja with Certificate of Occupancy.

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The Magistrate said the sureties must show evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

Botoku also said the sureties must show affidavit of means of livelihood, show means of identification, which include Permanent Voters Card, driver’s licence, National ID card.

She also ordered that the sureties addresses must be verified by the prosecutor.

The case was adjourned to Oct. 30 for mention.