By Innocent Anaba
Four accused persons have been arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on two count charges of N313.2 million fraud, after several failed attempts by the Police.
The accused Anthony Alaka, alias General; Saidi Oke; Bashir Mohammed and Alhaji Umar Ali were arraigned before Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari.
On earlier occasions that the matter came up for arraignment of the accused, the Police had informed the court that other members of the fraud syndicate, who were earlier granted administrative bail, had failed to report back to the Police.
Those alleged to have been elusive after the administrative bails are Dr. Chukwuemeka Anyanwu, 50; Agboola Gbade, 67; Nkechi Nwafor, 43 and Larry Balogun Otunba, 51.
The Police in the amended charge, alleged that the four suspects and others now at large, had on June 15, at Lekki area of Lagos State, conspired among themselves to obtain the sum of N313.2 million, part of N359 million, from Austin Albert, under false pretence of selling to the complainant $1 million.
The Police also alleged that the four after fraudulently receiving the money from the victim, converted same to their personal use.
Following the failure of the Police to produce the members of the syndicate, the trial judge had ordered the Police to serve the charge for possible arraignment of the four members of the syndicate that have been in custody for over four months.
All the accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Following the pleas of the accused persons, their lawyer, Akeem Balogun, pleaded with the court to admit bail to his clients in the most liberal terms.
In opposing the bail applications, the prosecutor said that the police had not disobeyed any court order.
The trial judge, Justice Rabiu-Shagari, after listening to the submissions of both parties, adjourned till October 24 for ruling on the bail applications and commencement of trial of the accused persons.