The Port Harcourt’s Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has arraigned one Azubuike Uzoma, an oil magnate, for defrauding victims dealing in petroleum products.
Uzoma was arraigned before Justice A.T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
According to EFCC, the suspect has defrauded victims the sum of N24, 310,000.
Investigations showed that the defendant is into a fraudulent oil business by defrauding his clients into paying several amounts of money for the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from Warri depot.
Further investigations showed that he neither supplied the products nor returned the clients’ money to them.
Azubuike’s case started when EFCC Operatives arrested him at Ndoni Community of Onelga Local Government Area of Rivers State for alleged illegal dealing in petroleum products and money laundering.
He was arraigned on October 25, 2023 on three-count charges bordering on money laundering and illegal dealing in petroleum products and had pleaded not guilty to the charges read to him.
One of the count charges reads: “That you, Azubuike Uzoma (Trading under the name & style of ALVIN D INTERNATIONAL) sometimes in June, 2022 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court took possession of the aggregate sum of N23,310,000.00 paid into your account with Keystone Bank Limited, when you reasonably ought to have known that the said fund formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity, to wit: Illegal dealing in petroleum products and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Act.”
In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel Abdulrahman Abubakar, prayed the court to fix a date for trial and for the defendant to be remanded in a Correctional Service.
Meanwhile, Counsel to the defendant, C .J. Nmerem, didn’t oppose the prayers of the prosecution, but urged the court to grant his client bail to enable him prepare for his trial.
The judge granted the defendant bail in the sum of N1, 000,000.00 and two sureties in like sum.
He said one of the sureties must be a civil servant with the Rivers State government not below grade level 14, and the other surety shall be a family member of the defendant.
Other conditions are that the sureties must deposit two recent passport photographs with the court and must have verifiable addresses and the case was adjourned till January 22, 2024 for commencement of trial.
EFCC Arraigns Oil Magnate Over Alleged N24.3m Fraud is first published on The Whistler Newspaper