The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, arraigned an alleged fraudster, Mohammed Gobri, before an Igbosere High Court of Lagos State on charges bordering on multi-million fraud.
The accused, who claimed to be a non-executive director and Chairman of Business Development Committee of Afromedia Plc, was arraigned before Justice Raliat Adebiyi led-court on a 17 count-charge of obtaining money under false pretence, stealing, fraud, use of forged documents, and possession of forged documents.
The anti-graft agency in a charge marked LS/2542C/16, alleged that the accused person had between January 2009 and December 2011, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N514, 457. 151.87, from the firm by falsely pretending that the amount represented the cost of facilitating and securing the sum of $70 million USD, from his account with NATVEST Bank, London, United Kingdom, as your investment fund in Afromedia Plc out of the sum of $250 million USD
He was also alleged to had obtained the sum of $2.102 million USD, and the sum of £51, 000 British Pound Sterling, under false pretence that the sums will be used to facilitate and securing the sum of $70 million USD, from his account with NATVEST Bank, London, United Kingdom, as your investment fund in Afromedia Plc out of the sum of $250 million USD.
The accused person was also alleged to have dishonesty converted the sum of $1 million USD, and the sum of N123 million belonging to the firm to his personal used.
The anti-graft agency also alleged that the accused person had on November 14, 2012, and September 12, 2015, forged a document belonging to Hot Forex a plc, captioned ‘Disclosure of fund depositor with Natwest Bank International London, purportedly signed by one Mr. Raymond Spinger, and communicate same to Mr. Akinola Irewunmi Olopade, the Afromedia Plc’s managing director/Chief Executive Officer, with intent that the said document may be used or acted on as genuine to the prejudice of Mr. Akinola Irewunmi Olopade or any other person.
He was also alleged to have on July 5, 2010, and December 2012, fraudulently used a Royal Dutch Exchange Bureau Plc’s document dated July 5, 2010, and captioned “Re: Update in the Natwest Bank deposits-OT21991($250m USD)”,and purportedly signed by one John Williams Smith, Director of Personal and Administration and communicate same to Mr. Akinola Irewunmi Olopade, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Afromedia Plc, with the intent that the said document may be used it acted as genuine to the prejudice of
Mr. Akinola Irewunmi Olopade or any other person.
He was also alleged to have forged an EU waiver certificate dated June 30, 2010, an used fraudulently claimed that it was issued by Royal Dutch Exchange Bureau Plc, to him as the beneficiary and signed by the Registrar, and communicate same to Mr. Akinola Irewunmi Olopade, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Afromedia Plc, with an intent that said document may at be used or acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of Mr. Olopade or any other person.
The offences, Mr. A.B.C. Ozioko, the EFCC prosecutor said are contrary to and punishable under sections 1(1)(a), 1(3), 285(8), 9(b), 278(1)(b), 363(1), 2(b), 364(1) of the Criminal laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003, and sections 6, 8(b), 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud related offences Act No. 14 of 2006.
The accused person however pleaded not guilty to all the counts charged.
Upon the plea of the accused person, the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Ozioko applied to court for a trial date, while urged the court to remand the accused in prison custody pending trial.
But lawyer to the accused person Mr. Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, informed the court that on serving the charge on the accused, he had filed a summon for bail, which is urging the court to admit bail to the accused on liberal term, and that such have been served on the prosecution.
Ozioko admitted that the bail summon has been served on the Commission but he needed time to respond to the bail application, while still urged the court to remand the accused in prisons custody pending when his bail application will be heard and determined.
Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Raliat Adebiyi, while adjourned the matter till March 22, for the hearing and determination of the accused person’s bail application, ordered that he should be remanded in prisons custody.
The judge also fixed the trial of the accused person to May 9,10,11, and 12, 2016


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