EFCC arraigns monarch for fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned a traditional ruler, Cornelius Nwoga, Nze Obi IV, before Justice V. Agishi of the Federal High Court, Enugu, Enugu State.

Nwoga was taken to the court on eight counts of conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretences.

Spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement alleged that the accused conspired with a syndicate to defraud one Okey Marcel of N12.5m by falsely presenting himself as an employee of the Agip Oil Company and awarding a contract to construct five boreholes to Okey Marcel with the pretense that the Agip Oil Company was awarding the contract for Aggah town, Egbema, Rivers State.

Other members of the syndicate, who were said to be at large, were Njoku Eze, Ikechukwu Obi and Chinasa Osadebe.

The EFCC said the last member of the syndicate,  one Donatus Azubike, aka Engineer Casmir, had been convicted.

The charges read in part, “That you, Nze Cornelius Nwoga (also known as HRH Nze Obi the 4th), Azubike Donatus (also known as Engineer Casmir now convicted), Chinasa Osadebe(now at large), Liu Ali (now at large), Ikechukwu Obi (now at large), Njoku Odili Eze (now at large), on or about the 20th day of August 2009, at Enugu, Enugu State within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N2.5m from one Mr. Okey Nwanekezie, when you falsely represented yourselves as workers of the Agip Oil Company and elders of Aggah village with a contract to construct five boreholes in Aggah village, which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (b) of the Advance Fee and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No.14 of 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”

The accused person pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The prosecuting counsel, Innocent Mbachie, urged the court to fix a date for the trial and to remand the accused in prison.

Attempts by the defence counsel, Sunny Onyike, to move the motion for bail for his client was opposed by the prosecuting counsel.

Justice Agishi adjourned the matter to April 14 for hearing on the bail application while the accused person was remanded in prison.

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