A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed March 10, 2020 for the arraignment of an oil firm, OBD Petroleum Ltd, and three others who allegedly defrauded the United Bank for Africa (UBA) of N299.86 million.
Justice Saliu Saidu fixed the date following an application by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).
The defendants in the charge are OBD Petroleum Ltd, Obinna Michael Umeanor; Samson Egbuwoku; Ilolo Ogho Gift and Isaac Okorodudu.
They are standing trial on offences bordering on conspiracy, obtaining under false pretence, forgery and fraud.
According to an amended charge marked FHC/L/281c/2016, they defendants forged a Zenith Bank Statement of account and used it to defraud UBA of N299.860 million.
At the scheduled arraignment of the defendants last Friday, prosecution counsel, Kehinde Bode-Ayeni prayed for a short adjournment, to enable all the defendants to be present in court to take their plea.
She informed the court of the prosecution’s intention to withdraw charges against the fourth defendant, who would be used as a prosecution witness during the trial.
The defendants, who were represented by O. J. Ozioko; Sam Ogungbamila and Joseph Okobieme, did not oppose the application.
Justice Saidu granted her prayer and adjourned till March 10 for arraignment of the defendants
According to the charge the defendants committed the offences sometimes in October 2014. The AGF alleged that the oil company and Obinna Michael Umeanor, by false pretence obtained N160 million from UBA, under the pretence that the money would be used to supply 1,100,000 liters of Automated Gasoline Oil (AGO) popularly called diesel to a firm, Lastan Energy Ltd.
The defendants and others now at large allegedly conspired and obtained another N139,860 million from UBA, under the pretext that the money would be used for the same purpose.
It was alleged that to perpetrate the fraud, Obinna forged a Zenith Bank statement of account number 1013015544 belonging to OBD Petroleum Ltd, while Okorodudu, Gift and Egbuwoke forged a Certificate Of Occupancy number 21/21/1991AR, registered in the name of Rotimi Olawoye, of a property located at Lekki Peninsular, Plot 6, Block B2, Eti-Osa area of Lagos State.
The offences according to the AGF contravened Sections 1(1)(a), 8(a), 18(a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other related offences Act, 2006 and were punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The offences also contravened Section 2(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, 2004 and Sections 18(a) and 15(2) of the Money Laundering Act, 2015.