By Onozure Dania
A former Administrative Officer with one of the leading telecom companies in Nigeria (name withheld), Udoh Ekepete Kyrian, 34, and one other suspect, Ikechukwu Attah, 31, were, last week, arraigned before a Lagos Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ikeja, for allegedly stealing N50.9million from their victims.
The defendants who were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Demi Ajayi, are facing 38 count charges of conspiracy, obtaining goods under false pretence and stealing preferred against them by the police.
The police Prosecutor, Superintendent Barth Nwaokoye, said the defendants and others at large committed the alleged crime between June and October 2011. He said that the accused, sometime in September 2011, at about 12noon at the telecom office, Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island under false pretence, conspired to receive 500 cartons of toner cartridge worth N10million belonging to one Admin Jibunoh. He also alleged that the defendants defrauded one Vera Mene Weirst of N11million by receiving 600 cartons of toner cartridges from her under false pretence of supplying, selling and remitting the proceeds of the sale to her which they failed to do.
The prosecutor told the court that the defendants stole the sum of N6million which they converted to personal use, adding that it was the proceed which they realized from the 300 cartons of Toner Cartridge they received from one Onyinye Enyinna, which they promised to supply and sell to the telecom company, a representation which they knew to be false.
Nwaokoye, further said that on July 25, 2011, at about 3pm, the defendants obtained N 6,300,000, from one Tony Esho, under the pretext of assisting him to purchase toner cartridge which they never did but converted the said sum to their own use. According to the prosecutor, the accused also stole N4,500,000, from one Blessing Odowaye, under false pretext that they were going to help her start a supply with the telecom toner cartridges but failed to help her start the supply.
Other victims that were defrauded are Nnosiri Chinedu, from whom they stole N3,100,000, Oziri Patrick, N2,600,000, Wilson Ekene Abia, whom they received one carton of cartridge on October 7, 2011, at about 3pm, at Amadu Bello way Victoria Island, valued at N2million.
They were also accused of receiving 50 cartons of toner cartridge valued at N1,250,000, which is the proceed realized from the sales of the goods which was entrusted to them by one Walter Molokwu. But they converted into their own use the sum of N1,400,000, belonging to one Goodnews Enwerem. The court was also informed by the prosecutor that the defendants also defrauded one Ibrahim Sule, by obtaining N 2,800,000.
Nwaokoye, said that the offence committed is contrary to section 278 (1) (b) and punishable under section 409, 312 (3), 285 (1) of the criminal code No 34, Vol 44, laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.
However, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the 38 count charges against them and Magistrate Ajayi, granted them bail in the sum of N1 million each with two sureties in like sum.
The matter was adjourned to October 23, 2013.