The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, March 13, 2017 arraigned the trio of Emmanuel Onubogu, Onyeka Godday and Mamudu Musa alongside their company, Zirconafrik Limited, before Justice O.A. Taiwo of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere, Lagos.
They were arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretense to the tune of USD10, 000.00 (Ten Thousand United States Dollars).
The defendants allegedly approached the complainant, Adewale Olaiya, requesting the sum of $10, 000, which they said was needed as ‘‘authentication fee’’ for one million barrels of crude oil allocated to them by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for sale.
However, the defendants allegedly became elusive after receiving the money from the complainant.
One of the charges reads:
That you Emmanuel Onubogu, Onyeka Godday, Mamudu Musa and Zirconafrik Limited sometime in November, 2013 within Lagos in the Lagos Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of USD10, 000.00 (Ten Thousand United States Dollars) from Mr. Adewale Olaiya through Zirconafrik Limited’s Guarantee Trust Bank account number: 0023950101 under the false pretence that the money represented the authentication fee for one million barrels of crude oil onboard MT Patroclus allocated to you for sale by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which pretence you knew was false.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to them.
In view of their plea, prosecution counsel, M.S.Usman, asked the court for a trial date and prayed that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.However, counsels to the defendants, pleaded with the court to grant their clients bail.
The prosecution counsel did not oppose the prayers of the defense counsels.Justice Taiwo adjourned the matter to March 22, 2017, for hearing of bail applications and ordered the defendants to be remanded in the EFCC’s custody.