Businessmen arraigned for stealing N1bn

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned two businessmen, David Nwachukwu, Frank Okeke and their companies, Haulage Oil and Gas and Franviok Limited before a Lagos State High court sitting in Ikeja for allegedly stealing N1,042,810, 463.54.

They were arraigned by the commission before Justice Raliat Adebiyi on 14 count charges bordering on conspiracy, stealing contrary to section 409 and punishable under 281(1) of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State 2011.

The anti-graft agency also accused them of retaining proceeds of criminal conduct contrary to Section 17 (b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (establishment) Act, 2004.

The defendants were alleged to have sometime between November 2011 and September 2014 with dishonest intent converted to their own use the total sum N1,042,810, 463.54 which form part of rentals accrued to leasing company of Nigeria Limited (now LECON financial Service Ltd).

The money was for the use of their truck to provide haulage services for Eternal Oil Plc, Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria Plc and also for the use of mack trucks in the fleets to provide haulage services for Total Nigeria Plc and Forte Oil Plc.

An EFCC witness, Orji Chukwuma who was led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that a petition was written by LECON over alleged diversion of funds and it was assigned to his team for investigate.

He said, “upon receiving the petition, investigation was carried out. We investigated staff of Total Plc, LECON and Bank of Industry.

“We recovered some documents such as internal memo. Some of the people we interrogated made statements. I came across one Bassy Effiong, we interviewed him on the product he sold.
“We also invited OANDO in the cause of investigation, there was exchange of correspondents. Forte Oil, Eternal Plc also gave us their statement and the agreement between the Eternal Plc with the third defendant.”

The court therefore admitted the letter dated March 27, 2015 written by Eternal Plc to the head of operation EFCC, letter written by Forte Oil to EFCC among other documents as exhibit p1 to p36. Justice Adebiyi subsequently adjourned further hearing till October 2, 2018.

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