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EFCC Arraigns Ex-Bayelsa MILAD For Fraud, Forgery

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned a former Military Administrator of Bayelsa State, Lt. Colonel Paul Edor Obi (Rtd.) before a Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja over alleged fraud.

Lt. Colonel Obi, who was in charge of the state between July 1998 and May 1999 during the transitional regime of General Abdulsalami Abubakar, was docked by the EFCC before Justice Mojisola Dada on an 11-count charge of conspiracy, forgery, and possession and use of the false document.

The former Military Administrator was arraigned alongside a former staff of Oceanic Bank, Felix Onyakhamoh and one Adewale Mesioye.

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The anti-graft agency through its lawyer, Franklin Ofoma informed the judge that the alleged offences were committed sometime in 2021 in Lagos.

Ofoma also claimed that the defendants, with intent to defraud, knowingly forged a form CAC 2A Return of Allotment of Dreamworld Leisures Limited.

Some of the counts read, “Paul Obi, Onyakhamoh and Mesioye sometime in 2021 in Lagos, with intent to defraud knowingly forged a document title ‘The Federal Republic of Nigeria companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990 Company Limited By Shares, Special Resolution of DreamWorld Leisure Limited Dated 10th day of September 2020.

“Paul Obi, Onyakhamoh and Mesioye, sometimes in 2022 in Lagos, with intent to defraud knowingly used a false document titled: ‘The Federal Republic of Nigeria companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990 Company Limited By Shares, Special Resolution of Dream World Leisure Limited dated 10th day of September 2020 at the Corporate Affairs Commission.

“Paul Obi, Onyakhamoh and Mesioye, with intent to defraud knowingly forged a document titled ‘Deed of Surrender dated 11th day of November 2020’ purporting the said document to have emanated from Oceanic bank International PLC”.

The EFCC also stated that the charge was filed after an investigation based on a petition signed on behalf of UFC International Limited and Wemtab Limited, both of whom are Shareholders of Dreamworld Leisure Limited, dated March 26, 2021, titled: “a petition against some directors and company secretary of Dreamworld Leisure Limited.”

The petition stated, ”It recently came to our clients notice that sometime in November 2020, conspirators caused to be filed at the CAC on 17 November 2020 a return can allotment form (Form CAC 2A) dated 14 September 2020, purportedly evidencing the allotment to various persons of (a)77, 500,000 ordinary shares previously held by Oceanic Bank International Plc (Oceanic Bank”) in the company (the Oceanic Shares).”

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecutor, therefore, urged the court to remand the defendants in prison custody and also fixed the trial date.

But the defence lawyer, Lawrence Imolode asked the court to take custody of the defendants instead of remanding them at the correctional service centre.

Imolode submitted that the offences are bailable and that the defendants were not flighted risk.

He also told the court that one of the defendants was a former administrator in Nigeria and another is a Regional bank manager, and therefore would not evade trial.

The lawyer further tendered his call to bar certificate in a bid to reassure the court that he would produce the defendants for trial on the next adjourned date.

Justice Dada granted Imolode request by releasing all three defendants to him pending the hearing and determination of their bail applications.

She then adjourned the matter to May 24 for the commencement of the trial.

17th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph