Judiciary

Alleged N92m fraud: Don’t grant suspected fake colonel bail, SFU tells court

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The Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force on Thursday prayed an Ikeja Special Offences Court to deny bail to an alleged fake Colonel, Paulson Ogbonnah, who allegedly defrauded a businessman of N92 million.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that SFU counsel,  Mr E.A. Jackson, made the request  while responding to Ogbonna’s  bail application.

The application was filed by defence counsel, Mr Aramide Adeogun.

Jackson said that the court should deny the  defendant bail because he allegedly threatened the complainant.

The prosecution counsel added that the defendant  posed a flight risk.

“My lord attached to the counter-affidavit opposing the bail application are two exhibits labelled A to B1.

“Exhibit A is a bench warrant issued by Justice A. A. Aneke of the Federal High Court against the defendant for his failure to be arraigned on a similar charge pending before that court.

“Exhibit B1 is a piece of electronic evidence wherein the nominal complainant in this case, Mr Obinna Onyekaokwu, cried to the police that the defendant issued threats to his life.

“There is also intelligence that the defendant will relocate to the United States of America where his wife and children are hibernating,” Jackson said.

Justice Sherifat Solebo adjourned the case until Jan. 7, 2020, for ruling on the bail application.

NAN reports that Ogbonnah, said to be a civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence, was on Oct. 15 remanded by Solebo after his  arraignment.

He pleaded not guilty to obtaining money by false pretences, stealing by fraudulent conversion and impersonation.

According to the SFU, the defendant induced Onyekaokwu and his company, Mujede Nigeria Ltd.,  to deliver to him, directly and indirectly, N92 million by falsely representing to him that he was an army colonel.

“He told the complainant that by virtue of his high rank,  contacts and connections in the Nigerian Army, he was capable of influencing his appointment and registration as a contractor with the Nigerian Army.

“Ogbonnah told Onyekaokwu that his appointment as a contractor will enable him to supply the Nigerian Army with assorted brands of wine and other products.

“He also falsely represented to the complainant that the 92 million represented his registration fees, charges, expenses and rewards to facilitate the said appointment and registration as an army contractor.

“The defendant, however, fraudulently converted the complainant’s money to his own use,” prosecution counsel,  had Jackson, said.

The SFU prosecutor also alleged that Ogbonnah extended the scam to members of his church in Lagos.

“He also falsely represented to members of Saint Timothy’s Catholic Church, Ojodu Berger, Lagos, which is his church, that he was a colonel in the Nigerian Army,” he said.

The alleged offences contravene Section 1(1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, Sections 108, 383(1), 383(2)(f) and 390(9) of the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Edited by Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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