Court refuses businessman bail over alleged stealing of N41.6m

EFCC

A Lagos High Court in Ikeja yesterday refused to grant bail to a businessman, Okoro Samuel Uchechukwu in a N41.6 million case of stealing filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Dada while ruling on bail application filed by the defendant’s counsel, Mrs. Janet Okolie, said the defendant should continue on the order of remand.

The court had on January 16, 2018 remanded him at the Ikoyi Prisons following his arraignment alongside his company, Jayjingo Nigeria Limited on a two-count charge of stealing and obtaining money under false pretence.

The EFCC alleged that the defendant stole and converted the money to his own use.

It claimed that defendant fraudulently obtained the money on the representation that he had $130.000.00 to sell to the Managing Director of Lovonus Trust and investment Limited, Onoja Usman.

His offence contravenes sections 278 and 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No 11, 2011 and Sections 1(1) and 1(3) of Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act No 14 of 2006.

However, when the matter was called, EFCC counsel, Samuel Daji, told the court of the commission’s readiness to continue with the trial, noting that three out of seven witness were present in court.

But Okolie opposed commencement of trial, as she informed the court that she needed time to study the case file and to prepare her defence.

She also said she has filed application for bail and urged to grant her client bail, noting that her client was a family man with reasonable surety and that he did not have criminal record.

Opposing the bail application, Daji told the court the defendant was not granted bail as stated in his application.

He said defendant does not have address in the jurisdiction and urged the court to grant accelerated hearing, adding that three of his witnesses were present in court.

Justice Dada, therefore, ruled that that the essence of bail was to ensure that the defendant attended the trial.

She said that he should continued on remand ordered and adjourned further hearing till February 5, 2018.

Okolie had earlier told court that her client was brought from the Port Harcourt Prison and needed to attend trial in Port Harcourt, as confirmed by the prosecution and prison officer.

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