The Police Special Fraud Unit, PSFU, Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, has arraigned a medical drugs supplier, Makinde Olufemi Abiodun, before a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, over alleged N35 million Local Purchase Order (LPO) fraud.
Besides, Makinde was also charged by the Police for the issuance of dud cheques.
Makinde was arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on two counts instituted by the PSFU.
According to the prosecutor, Chukwu Agwu, the defendant whose company name bears MedHub Pharmaceutical Stores, had sometimes in February 2021, with an intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N35 million, through his Sterling Bank’s account number 0080512999, from the duo of AYODELE Adeoye Adetola and Adeniran Adesoji Olawale, with the pretence that he wanted to use the money to finance LPO to supply drugs to Ogun State University Teaching Hospital, OSUTH.
The prosecutor also revealed that the defendant had promised the fraud victims of Return on Investment, RoI, which he refused and failed to fulfil.
Agwu further argued that when the defendant was unable to pay back the money as promised, he issued several bank cheques to the fraud victims, in a bid to reimburse them, but were rejected and returned due to insufficient funds in his account.
The prosecutor insisted that the alleged offences contravene Sections 1(1)(a), (b) and (c) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 No.14 of 2006, but punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act. Nigeria 2004, and Section 1(1)(a) of Dishonoured Cheques Offences Act, Cap. D11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
But the defendant pleaded not guilty to the alleged offence, following which his lawyer told the court that there is a bail application and the same has been served on the prosecutor.
The lawyer pleaded with the court to admit his client to bail in the most liberal terms, as the charge against him is a bailable one.
Opposing the application, the prosecutor told the court that he had filed a counter to the application and urged the court to decline to grant the bail application.
The prosecutor specifically informed the judge that the defendant, since after his administrative bail in our office surreptitiously packed out of his known residence at 6, Adebanke Ajayi Street, Soluyi-Gbagada, Lagos, to an unknown location.
He also told the court that the defendant had exhibited questionable character since the beginning of the case and that there is a likelihood of jumping bail and interfering with witnesses to truncate the case.
Agwu equally hinted the court that the defendant is a flight risk, adding that his disappearance from “our office since he was granted administrative bail to avoid being arraigned shows that he will jump bail if granted to him.”
After entertaining arguments from lawyers, Justice Oweibo admitted bail to the defendant in the sum of N30m with two sureties.
Justice Oweibo ordered that the sureties must be landed property owners within the court’s jurisdiction, adding that the defendant must surrender his travel passport to the court.
The judge also directed that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services, NCoS, until the perfection of bail terms.
Justice Oweibo adjourned the matter until October 27, 2022.