By Onyewuchi Ojinnaka (Senior Correspondent)
Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court Lagos on Thursday granted N200 million bail each to Ogbor Kehinde Eliot and Godwin Okoronkwo, who were accused of defrauding Fidelity bank of over N7 billion.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Ogbor Kehinde Elliot, Godwin Okoronkwo and their companies – Danium Energy Services Ltd and Petrosol Energy Ltd – before a Federal High Court , Lagos over alleged criminal offence of defrauding the bank to the tune of N7,802,649,000.
The anti-graft agency averred that the accused persons presented forged documents to the bank after claiming to have been awarded multi-billion naira contracts by Total Nigeria Plc.
It was further stated that the defendants claimed they got contracts to supply thousands of metric tons of diesel.
According to the charge signed by EFCC prosecuting counsel Rotimi Oyedepo, the defendants were alleged to have on or about October 5, 2016 in Lagos, with intent to defraud, conspired to induce the bank to deliver N1,573,146,000.00 to Danium Energy Services.
It was under the false pretense that Total Nigeria Plc contracted Danium Energy Services to supply 10,000 Metric Tons of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) for the sum of N1,990,440,000.00 .
EFCC submitted that the accused persons, on November 15, 2016, with intent to defraud, induced the bank to deliver N1,573,146,000 to Danium Energy Services.
Furthermore, it was stated that Eliot and Danium Energy Services on or about January 30, 2017 in Lagos conspired to induce the bank to deliver N3,339,225,000.00 to Danium Energy Services, among others.
They were said to have collected the money last February 17 in Lagos by inducing the bank to “deliver” it to Danium Energy Services.
The Commission averred that the alleged offence is contrary to Section 8 (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 were also accused of “uttering” (presenting) a forged document dated October 5, 2016 with Ref No: OPS/SUP/10/16/361 to the bank.
The alleged offence is also contrary to Section 19(6) and punishable under Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge levelled against them.
Following their plea, their lawyer made submission for court to admit them to bail.
In his ruling, Justice Hassan admitted them to bail in the sum of N200 million each with two sureties in like sum.
The judge further directed that the sureties must be owners of landed properties within jurisdiction of the court and must swear to an affidavit of means.
In addition, the defendants are to deposit their international passports with the EFCC.