Justice Dehinde Dipeolu of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has adjourned the trial of Prof. Uche Chigozie Edwin, a defendant that allegedly defrauded maize farmers the sum of N1.4billion, till May 20, 2024, just as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC opened its case presenting its first witness.

The EFCC had on Thursday, February 15, 2024 re-arraigned Edwin, alongside his companies, Visionary Integrated Consulting Limited, NEMAD Associates Limited and Revamp Global Enterprise, on 11-count charges bordering on conspiracy, retention and conversion of funds to the tune of N1,473,367,046.04 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Seventy-three Million, Three Hundred and Sixty-Seven Thousand, Forty-six Naira, Four Kobo).

One of the counts reads: “That you, Professor Uche Chigozie Edwin , Visionary Integrated Consulting Limited, Nemad Associates Limited and Revamp Global Enterprise, sometime in 2021, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Court conspired amongst yourselves to use the sum of N1, 473,367,046.04 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Seventy Three Million, Three Hundred and Sixty Seven Thousand, forty six Naira, Four Kobo), property of the Maize Growers, Processors, and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN), which sum you
reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity to wit: fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”

READ:  19 Akwa Ibom Varsity Students arrested by EFCC over internet fraud

He pleaded “not guilty” to the counts.
At the resumed sitting on March 13, 2024, prosecuting counsel, C.C. Okezie called the first prosecution witness (PW1), Mary Kugbe, a compliance officer with United Bank for Africa, UBA.

In her evidence, Kugbe told the court that although she did not know the defendant personally, she was aware that he maintains an account with the bank through his company, Visionary Integrated Consulting Limited (2nd defendant).

“Sometime in 2021, we received a request from the EFCC, requesting for the statement of account and account opening packages of the 2nd defendant”, she said.

“We obliged them and forwarded all the documents. The document forms part of the records of the bank and also came from the bank.” She further identified the said documents in open court.

Okezie, thereafter, applied to tender the letter dated September 27, 2021, along with its attachment. The documents were admitted by the court and marked as exhibits.

READ:  Breaking! Full detail of Suspended Humanitarian Minister's indictment emerges

Justice Dipeolu adjourned the matter till May 20 and 21, 2024, for continuation of trial.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *