By Bartholomew Madukwe
LAGOS—The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, arraigned one Bashir Ishaq Bashir alongside his companies, Leda Greenpower Consortium, Leda Greenpower Nigeria Limited and Leda Consortium Limited before Justice S.E. Aladetoyinbo of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Maitama, on a three-count charge of obtaining by false pretence and cheating to the tune of $1 million.
The Commission has also accused one Adeolu Adeyanju of defrauding unsuspecting individuals, despite being imprisoned.
The commission explained that the fraudster’s fraudulent activities outside the prison yard came to the fore following a complainant’s petition.
Bashir was alleged to have collected the said sum as part payment of a $3 million agreement from Althani Investments Company Limited for the purpose of forming a consortium to bid for shares at the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company. The bidding failed and several attempts made by the company for a refund of the money proved abortive.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to him.
Prosecution counsel, Rimamsomte Ezekiel, thereafter asked for a trial date.
Responding, counsel for the defendant, A.B. Anachebe, SAN, moved the motion for his bail application.
Ezekiel opposed the application, arguing that “the defendant if granted bail will interfere with prosecution witnesses”. He further argued that the application was not proper in the sense that the defence only mentioned the name of the first defendant without reference to the second, third and fourth defendants.
Justice Aladetoyinbo, while adjourning to April 10, 2017 for hearing granted him bail in the sum of N2 million and one surety in like some. The surety must be resident in Abuja and must have a landed property.
Meanwhile, in a statement, EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said the commission is intensifying investigations into Adeolu Adeyanju’s activities.
Uwujaren explained that the suspect coned the petitioner into paying him N9 million being payment for 50 trucks of petroleum products to Detwinx Global Services Limited.
He hinted that the petitioner is a friend to a director at the Petroleum Products and Marketing Company, PPMC, Abuja.
“His modus operandi is to clone the telephone number of the director, using same to instruct the petitioner to make payment,” Uwujaren stated.
According to him, on the receipt of the money, Adeyanju transferred N7.4 million to a bureau de change operator, which was later converted to its dollar equivalent and N1.5 million was kept in his personal account.
Uwujaren noted that Adeyanju also has cases pending before the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC), the Department of State Services, (DSS), and the Nigeria Police Force.
“The suspect would be arraigned as soon as investigations are concluded,” he added.