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EDITORIAL

Two Docked For Alleged N382m Contract Fraud In Enugu

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The Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arraigned the duo of Onuaguluchi Ifeakanwa Chris and Izuchukwu Shedrack David, before Justice Mohammed Garba Umar of the Federal High Court sitting in Independence Layout, Enugu State.

They were arraigned on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy, retention of proceeds of crime and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of N382, 336, 955. 00 (Three Hundred and Eighty-two Million, Three Hundred and Thirty-six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty-five Naira).

One of the counts reads: “That you, Mr. Izuchukwu Shedrack David, Mrs Onuaguluchi Ifeakanwa Chris and Chief S. C. Ugwuanyi (Now at large), sometime between 4th May, 2023 in Enugu, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, by false pretences and with intent to defraud, obtained from Architekon Nigeria Limited, an aggregate sum of Three-hundred and Thirty-one Million, Three-hundred and Seventy-six Thousand Naira (331, 376, 000. 00), paid into account number 1534670390, with account name Izuchukwu Shedrack David, domiciled in Access Bank Plc by falsely representing that the money is meant for counterpart fund for a contract to construct six unity houses for hospitals in six Local Government Areas in Ebonyi State as approved by World Health Organisation, a pretext you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.

The defendants pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them. In view of their pleas, counsel to the EFCC, Michael Ikechukwu Ani and Blessing Obasi prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendants to be remanded at Enugu State Correctional facility.

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However, defence counsel, E. C. Chinenyeze and C. I. Enechionyia informed the court about pending bail applications before it. They moved the said applications and prayed the court to grant their clients bail on liberal terms.

Ani and Obasi vehemently opposed the applications on the ground that if granted bail, the defendants might jump bail considering the gravity of the offence.

The matter was thereafter adjourned to June 6, 2024 for ruling on the bail applications while the defendants were remanded at the Enugu State Correctional Facility.

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The defendants allegedly swindled one Mackombo Omoila, Managing Director/CEO of Architekon Nigeria Limited of the said sum for a purported non-existent World Health Organisation contract to construct six Unity Houses for hospitals in six Local Government Areas of Ebonyi State. They were arrested on January 31, 2024 in Anambra State.

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