By Innocent Anaba
Men of Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit, Abuja, yesterday, charged eight men and two companies before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, over alleged N313,200,000 fraud.
Those charged before Justice Hadiza Rabiu-Shagari are Akala Anthony, 49; Umar Ali, 61; Saidi O. K., 43; Bashir Mohammed, 44; Dr. Chukwuemeka Anyanwu, 50; Agboola Gbade, 67; Nkechi Nwafor, 43, and Larry Balogun Otunba, 51.
The two firms are Grantland Investment Nigeria Limited and Abroad Development Foundation.
In the charge, the Police alleged that all the defendants and others now at large, had, on June 15, at Lekki, Lagos, conspired among themselves and fraudulently obtained N313,200,000 from one Austin Albert, under the pretence of assisting him to buy $1 million.
The offences, according to the prosecutors, Mr. Maroof Animashaun and Babatunde Oloyade, are contrary to Sections 8(b) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.
The arraignment of the defendants, which was scheduled for yesterday, could not go on due to the absence of some of the defendants.
Those that were not in court yesterday include Dr. Chukwuemeka Anyanwu, Agboola Rasheed Gbade, Nkechi Nwafor and Larry Balogun Otunba, as well as the representatives of the two firms.
Due to the absence of some of the defendants, the prosecutors pleaded with the court for a short adjournment to enable the Police present all the defendants before the court for their pleas to be taken together.
However, lawyers to the four defendants that were in court yesterday, Bala Usman and Akeem Balogun, objected to the adjournment sought by the prosecutors.
The trial judge, Justice Rabiu-Shagari, ordered the Police to ensure that all the defendants are present in court on the next adjourned date for their pleas to be taken and adjourned till Thursday.