EFCC arraigns 3 pastors over N7.9m fraud

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BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH
LAGOS—Three pastors David Eshiet, Samson Ugbara and Adesanmi Aderoju, were yesterday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over alleged N7.9 million fraud .

The defendants who were arraigned before Justice Olabisi Akinlade of an Ikeja High Court, are facing a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences, forgery and uttering.

The defendants were charged by the anti-graft agency alongside their company, Prince and Zion International Service Ltd.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges proffered against them.

The trio were accused of defrauding their victims of the sum under the pretense of helping them to secure large sum of money as loan.

The EFCC counsel, Mr Ben Ubi alleged that the defendants had conspired among themselves to fraudulently obtain N4 million and 25,000 US dollars (N3.9 million) from one Angel Estate Residents Development Association in Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos.

Ubi alleged that the money was obtained on October 27, 2011 under the pretext of helping the complainants source for a 100 million US dollars loan facility.

He stated that the loan was being sourced by the association to finance some community projects, adding that the defendants had obtained the money as processing charges.

Ubi, however accused the defendants of forging various documents which were used in facilitating the fraud.

Adding that after collecting the money, they  failed to secure the loan as promised which led the complainants to petition the EFCC.

Ubi said their alleged offences contravened Sections 1, sub-sections 1,2,3 and 8 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

He said it also contravened Sections 363 and 364 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011.

However the judge ordered the defendants  be remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Security Prisons pending the hearing of their bail applications fixed for March 27.

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