Posted by News Express | 5 September 2020 | 795 times
A woman, who allegedly defrauded Nigeria’s former Ambassador to India and others of N364,072 million and $7 million, was brought before a Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday.
Blessing Ogwatta was arraigned by the Police Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Annex, Alagbon-Ikoy, before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, on a five -count charge of conspiracy, obtaining under false pretence and stealing.
Ogwatta, a former Head of Logistics, Jezco Oil Nigeria Ltd, was alleged to have committed the offences alongside compliances on the run, between November 2012 and August 2019, at SPOG Petrochemical Ltd, Wharf, Apapa, Lagos.
Prosecution counsel Boniface Asogwa, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), alleged the defendant fraudulently obtained $7 million from Jezco Oil, under the pretext of using it for importation of base oil and purchase plots of land for the construction of a blending plant at Ibeju-Lekki for the aforesaid firm.
Instead, he alleged, the defendant fraudulently converted N7.5 million, part of $7 million, to her use, by buying land and building a residential house at Forthright Garden Estate Magbaro Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, Ogun State.
The court heard she allegedly fraudulently received N40 million, from one Ambassador Ndubuisi V. Amaku, for oil and gas business but ended up converting N27 million, part of the money to her personal use.
Ambassador Ndubuisi V. Amaku was the country’s envoy to India.
Asogwa, who is also the Officer-In-Charge of Legal Department of Force CID, Alagbon, Ikoyi, further told the judge that the defendant fraudulently obtained N44, 072 million from Emeka Okafor under the pretext of doing “Additive Importation Business” with him, but fraudulently converted N13 million part of the money to herself.
In another count, the defendant was alleged to have dishonestly stolen N18 million, part of a N262 million loan obtained by her employer, Jezco Oil Nigeria Limited, from a commercial bank.
The offences, according to the Prosecutor, contravened sections 8(3); 1(a); 1(c) and 1(3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Section 390 (9) of the Criminal Act, 2004.
Mrs. Ogwatta pleaded not guilty.
Following her plea, DCP Asogwa applied for a trial date and prayed the court to remand Ogwatta in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS) pending the determination of the charges.
But the defendant’s counsel, Mr. O. Fatoki, while not challenging the prosecutor’s application for a trial date, opposed the remand prayer.
Fatoki told the judge he had filed the defendant’s bail application and same had been served on the prosecutor, who had also responded.
In a bench ruling, the vacation judge admitted Ogwatta to bail in N10 million with two sureties in the like sum, among other terms
He remanded the defendant at the FCID, pending the fulfillment of the bail terms and adjourned till October 22, for trial. (The Nation)
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