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EFCC arraigns businessman over $63,590 fraud



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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Abdulhamid Isah on Wednesday before the Ikeja Division of the Lagos High Court over an alleged $63,590 fraud.

Mr. Isah is facing a three-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretences and stealing and retaining proceeds of criminal conduct.

The defendant, arraigned before Justice Ismail Ijelu, pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

The EFCC prosecutor, Nwandu Ukoha, told the court that the defendant had, sometime in October 2022, obtained $63,590 through false pretences.

Mr. Ukoha said the defendant also stole the amount belonging to one Chinedu Ugokwe. He informed the court that the money was given to Mr. Isah with the intention to exchange the same for the naira equivalent, which the defendant failed to do.

The prosecutor stated further that the defendant also retained the amount, suspected to be the proceeds of criminal conduct.

According to him, the offences contravene sections 1(1)(2) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006. He said the offences also contravened Sections 278(1)(b), (2)(1), and 285(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No. 11 of 2011 and Section 17 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004.

Mr. Ukoha urged the court to remand the defendant accordingly, pending the commencement of trial. He also said the bail application of the defence counsel should be at the court’s discretion.

The defence counsel, Emmanuel Ogbeche, moved a bail application, praying the court to grant the application and requesting that the defendant be remanded in EFCC custody.

Consequently, the judge granted the defendant bail of N5 million, with two sureties in like sum. Mr. Ijelu said one of the sureties must be related to the defendant by blood and reside in Lagos.

He also said the sureties must present evidence of a reliable source of livelihood and that the defendant be produced at every trial date. The judge then ordered the defendant to be remanded in Ikoyi Prison custody, pending the completion of his bail.

The case was adjourned until February 1, 2024, for trial.