BY OLUGBENGA SOYELE, Lagos
The Police in Lagos Monday charged eight men and two firms before the Federal High Court, Lagos for allegedly obtaining N313.200 million under false pretence.
Those charged by the men of the Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit, Abuja before Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari were, Akala Anthony, 49: Umar Ali, 61: Saidi OK, 43: Bashir Mohammed, 44: Dr. Chukwuemeka Anyanwu, 50: Agboola Rasheed Gbade, 67: Nkechi Nwafor, 43: and Larry Balogun Otunba, 51.
While the two firms are: Grantland Investment Nigeria Limited and Abroad Development Foundation.
In the charge, the police alleged that all the defendants and others now at large, had on June 15, 2017, at Lekki, Lagos, conspired among themselves and fraudulently obtained the sums of N313.200 million from one Austin Albert, under the pretence of assisting him to buy $1 million USD.
The offences according to the prosecutors, Maroof Animashaun are contrary to sections 8(b) and punishable under section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.
The arraignment of the defendants which was scheduled for Monday, could not go on due to the absence of some of the defendants.
Those that were not in court on Monday: are Dr. Chukwuemeka Anyanwu: Agboola Rasheed Gbade: Nkechi Nwafor: and Larry Balogun Otunba, as well as the representatives of the two firms.
Due to the absence of some of the defendants, the prosecutors pleaded with the court for a short adjournment to enable the police present all the defendants before the court for their pleas to be taken together.
However, lawyers to the four defendants that were in court on, Bala Usman and Akeem Balogun, objected to the adjournment sought by the prosecutors.
The defence lawyers told the court that their clients have being in police custody for over four months without being granted administrative bail, while others were admitted to bail by the police.
Lawyers to the four defendants urged the court to take the plea of their clients so that they could move their bail applications.
In response, the prosecutors told the court that the four defendants were remanded on the order of an Abuja court.
After listening to both parties, Justice Rabiu-Shagari ordered the police to ensure that all the defendants are present in court on the next adjourned for their pleas to be taken.
The case has been adjourned till October 12, for arraignment of all the defendants.