EFCC arraigns ex-editor, businessman for alleged N350m fraud

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has arraigned a former executive director of the Punch Newspaper, Azubike Ishekwene and a businessman, Olalekan Abdul before Ikeja Special Offences Court over alleged N350 million fraud.
They were arraigned alongside Adeyinka Adewale and Morakinyo Bolanle said to be at large before Justice Mojisola Dada.
According to the charge number NO:’|D/11126C/2019, the defendants were arraigned on an amended 15 count charge, bordering on forgery, conspiracy to forge, using false documents, making documents without authority and obtaining money by false pretence contrary to section 411, 365, 366 and 335 (2) of the criminal laws of Lagos state of Nigeria 2015 and also obtaining money by false pretence contrary to section 1(1),(2) of the advance free fraud and other related offences Act No.14 of 2006.
Muiz Banire (SAN) appeared for Olalekan Abdul, 1st defendant while Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN) appeared for Ishekwene, 2nd defendant and third defendant, Adeyinka Adewale.
The EFCC prosecutor, Mohammed Idris, told the court the defendants used a false document titled “Board Resolution of Cleanserve Integrated Energy Solution Limited” dated 27th day of September 2010 to open an account with Keystone Bank PLC formerly known has Bank PHB as genuine.
The prosecutor alleged that the defendants with intent to defraud and obtain credit facility for Cleanserve Integrated Energy Solution in the sum of N350,000,000 by false pretence from Wema Bank by falsely representing to them that the “Board Resolution of Cleanserve Integrated Energy Solution” dated 14th December, 2010 as genuine which representations they knew to be false.
The defendants however pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them by the EFCC.
EFCC counsel Idris told the court in view of the plea of the defendants they be remanded in prison custody. She drew the attention of the court to absence of Adewale said to be at large.
He urged the court for proper actions to effect the arrest of the defendant by the commission.
However, Olumide-Fusika, the defence counsel to Abdul and Adewale requested that Abdul be granted bail by the court.
He also clarified that the third defendant, Adewale was not on the run but was rather out of the country.
“The first defendant has been on administrative bail of the EFCC since 2018 and anytime he was invited to their office he never failed to honour their invitation.
“The interest at this stage is to ensure that the defendant comes for trial.
“We plea that he drops his international passport and if we can have a trial date for Friday, we will bring him to court. I undertake to also bring Adewale to court,” he said.
Mr Muiz Banire (SAN) the defence counsel to asked the court to grant his client bail because the correctional facilities are congested.
“The maximum capacity of the prison is 800, as at today it is 3000,” Banire said.
Justice Dada granted their requests and granted bail to the defendants. Nation
In granting the bail request, personal plea of the defence counsel on their attendance in court and the forfeiture of their international passports temporary bail have been granted therein for the hearing of the bail application.
The case was adjourned to January 31 for continuation of trial

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