The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibadan zonal office, Wednesday, arraigned a hotelier, Ebiesuwa Fredrick, and a female colleague, Tinuola Oyegunle, for alleged fraud to the tune of N53 million, before a Federal High Court in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The commission’s head, media, Ayo Oyewole, said the accused faced a two-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretense, before the judge, Joyce Abdulmalik.
He said the defendants were arraigned following a petition submitted to the commission by a complainant, (name withheld) alleging that they masterminded a dollar scheme to entrap her.
Mr. Oyewole said the complainant, sometime in May 2013, boarded a taxi with three other passengers who were purported members of a syndicate who specialise in hoodwinking unsuspecting victims.
He said the complainant alleged that she heard the three arguing about a Ghana-must-go bag filled with U.S. dollars in the boot of the car, while one of them told her that she must be ”cleansed to avert sudden and mysterious death having heard their discussion.”
”At that point, she was taken to an unknown destination where she subsequently started giving the defendants, and the other members of the syndicate different sums in cash and bank payment totaling N53, 713, 260.00, which she allegedly got from the sale of her properties in both Ibadan and Lagos,” Mr. Oyewole added.
The spokesman said preliminary investigations, however, revealed that over N9.1 million was paid to the second defendant, Ms. Oyegunle, in an account domiciled in one of the third generation banks apart from other funds traced to the first defendant, Fredrick’s personal account reportedly from the victim.
He said it was also discovered that the first defendant has built a hotel located at Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Lagos State from the proceeds of the crime. He said the defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.
The prosecution counsel, Adeola Elumaro, in view of their plea asked the court for a trial date but urged the court to remand the defendants in prison custody. Prior to their plea, the defendants accepted to act without a legal representative.
The judge ordered that the defendants be remanded in the Federal Prison, Agodi. She also directed the defendants to get a legal representative by the next adjournment or else the court will get one for them.
The case was adjourned to March 19, 2018.