N72m Fraud: Businesswoman, 5 Others Get N60m Bail Each

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A businesswoman, Chinweze Agada, alongside five other fraud suspects, who were accused of defrauding a Bureau De Change Operator (BDC) of N72 million, were on Thursday, admitted to bail by a Federal High Court, Lagos, in the sum of N60 million with one surety in a like sum each.

Other accused persons admitted to bail with the businesswoman by Justice (Professor) Chuka Austine Obiozor led-court are: Adekunle Ademola, 56, Kupoluyi Adesina, 38, Remi Yusuf, 32, Tessy Olalekan and Yemi Morolani.

In particular, Justice Obiozor also ordered that the surety to-be to the businesswoman, could be a landed property owner within the court’s jurisdiction or a Director with the civil service of Lagos state of Federal government.

He also ordered that the sureties to all accused persons must have paid three years tax, and have their addresses and means of livelihood, alongside two recent passport photographs submitted to court and verified by the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR).

Alternatively, Justice Obiozor ordered that counsel to businesswoman, Agada, if wish to stand as her surety, must submit to court his Call-to-Bar certificate and a bank Bond of N70 million.

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Pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions, the judge ordered that Adaga be remanded at Female Section of Kirikiri Prisons, while her male counterparts be remanded at Ikoyi prisons.

Justice Obiozor admitted bail to the businesswoman and her co-accused, after entertaining arguments from their lawyers who include Lanre Ogunlesi (SAN), Sunday Abumeren, Dapo Daramola, Abdulrahaman Yussuf, Olanrewaju Agbeniyi and O. Y. Arogundade, and the prosecutor, Mr. Usman Jibrin, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP).

Agada alongside her co-accused were arraigned before Justice Sule Hassan led-cour, on court on July 31, by Men of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID) Force Headquarters, Abuja, for allegedly defrauded a Bureau De Change (BDC) Operator, Murtala Haruna Usman of the sum of N72 million, under the false pretence of exchanging the money to $200, 000 US Dollars.

All the six accused persons were charged on a nine-count charge, bordering on conspiracy, obtaining under false pretence, false representation, unlawful conversion, fraud, intent to cheat and false information.

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Arraigning the accused before Justice Hassan, the prosecutor, ACP Jibrin, had informed the court that the accused persons and others now at large, committed the offence on June 1, 2018, at 22, Olabisi Street, off Association Avenue, Shangisha Lagos.

The police in a charge numbered FHC/L/256c/2018, alleged that the first accused, Chinweze Agada, who operate with a company named Agiers Energy Company Limited, who is the brain behind the fraud, gave her Access Bank account number 0059808015, where Usman paid the N75 million.

And that a bid to perfect the fraud, introduced one Hassan Adamu, (now at large) as her staff in her firm named Agiers Energy Company Limited, to the fraud victim, Usman,

The police had also alleged that the businesswoman, in a bid to cover up the fraud, through her lawyers in the law firm of Raw Law Solicitors, wrote a petition to the Police headquarters at Abuja, wherein she alleged the the fraud victim, Usman  is members of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist, which led to his arrest and prosecution by Federal Special Armed Robbery Squad (FSARS).

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Also, all the accused persons were allege to have refused to handover the US Dollars equivalent of the N72 million paid by Usman into Agada’s Access bank Plc account.

The prosecutor, Jibrin, told the court that the actions of the accused, contravened Sections 1 (1) (a-c) and (2), and punishable under section 1 subsection 3 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related offences Act 2006.

Jibrin also to the court that accused’s action is contrary to sections 125 and 385 of Criminal Code Law of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, and punishable under section 390(2) of the same Act.

All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The matter has been adjourned till September 24, for commencement of trial.

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