By Innocent Anaba
LAGOS—A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, ordered the remand of the General Overseer of a Pentecostal Church, Pastor Chris Anyalebechi, over alleged N58 million fraud.
The accused was arraigned before Justice Babs Kuewumi by the Special Fraud Unit of Nigeria Police, SFU, on a two-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretence.
The police in the charge sheet, alleged that the accused person had, sometimes between April 2014 and March 2015, while conspiring with some other persons now at large, obtained the said sum from one Nestor Nwankwo of Zicozeen Nigeria Limited, under false pretence of buying used ship, and sell same in parts or scraps on behalf of the company.
The offences are contrary to Sections 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and punishable under Section 1(1)(a)(3) of the same Act.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. And he did not have a lawyer to represent him.
The prosecutor, Mr Asuquo Effiong, urged the court to remand the accused person in prison’s custody, pending trial.
The trial judge, Justice Kuewumi, ordered that the General Overseer be remanded in custody, and adjourned the matter till October 17 for trial.
Count two of the charge reads: “That you, Pastor Chris Anyalebechi, General Overseer, Christ Glory International Gospel Centre, Ikorodu, Lagos, sometimes between April 2014 and March 2015, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, by false pretence and with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N85 million from a company known as Nestor Nwankwo of Zicozeen Nigeria Limited, by representing to the company that you will purchase for the company a used ship or vessel and sell same in parts or scraps on behalf of the company;
“A representation you knew to be false, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 1(1)(a)(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences, Act, 2006.”