Justice Akintayo Aluko of a Federal High Court in Lagos State, on Wednesday, remanded an oil marketer, Enyinnah Benson, in the Nigerian Correctional Services’ custody for allegedly swindling four women and a company to the tune of N87,557,600.
The judge made the remand order after the defendant pleaded not guilty to a four-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence, and fraud preferred against him by the Police Special Fraud Unit.
During the arraignment of the defendant on Wednesday, the police prosecutor, Chukwu Agwu, told the court that the defendant, his wife, Nneka Benson, and his companies, Gloroy Energy Company Limited, Petroyal Energy Company Limited and Glonnek Energy Resources, committed the offences between 2021 and May 2022.
He told the court in charge No. FHC/L/452C/22 that the defendant alongside his companies and his wife, Nneka, who is at large, conspired among themselves to commit the offences, under false pretence of supplying the victims’ petroleum products.
The victims allegedly defrauded by the defendant were Obimma Chinazor, Chioma Ifeanyichukwu, Vivian Ndukwu, Chidiebere Okoli, and Greenland Energy Limited.
The prosecutor also told the court that the defendant, his wife and companies, fraudulently obtained the sum of N27, 477, 600, from Chinazor; N15.5m from Ifeanyichukwu; N28,980,000 from Ndukwu; N15.6m from Okoli, and N20,850,000 from Greenland Energy.
According to the prosecutor, the offences committed contravened Sections 8 (a) and 1(1)(a), (b) and (c), of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. The prosecutor asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendant in the NCS’s custody till the determination of the charges against him.
The defendant’s counsel, Mr. Benson Ndakara, did not object to the trial date but urged the court to take his client’s bail application which had been served on the prosecutor.
After listening to the submission of the counsels, the presiding judge ordered the remand of the defendant in the NCS’s custody till August 29, for the hearing of his bail application.