Ikeja – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned Lagos-based businessman Elvis Ezeani for defrauding a Bureau de Change operator of N35 million.
The accused was charged before Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of the Ikeja High Court on three counts of conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence.
The accused, whose address was not made known, was alleged to have conspired to defraud Mr Anwalu Abdulrahman, a Bureau de Change operator, with one convicted Joseph Morah.
Ezeani, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him.
The EFCC prosecutor, Mr Aliu Yusuf, told the court that Morah had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the same offences by Justice Sadiq Umar of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
He told the court that the accused conspired with Morah to defraud their victim on May 25, 2006.
Yusuf said Ezeani allegedly obtained N13.5 million and 143,620 dollars from Abdulrahman on separate occasions to transfer on his behalf to his brother that was based in Ghana.
He told the court that Ezeani violated the administrative bail granted to him by the EFCC and was re-arrested in February 2014.
Yusuf said the alleged offences of the accused contravened Sections 1(2)(3) and 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud-Related Offences Act, No. 14 of 2004.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the offence of obtaining by false pretences attract seven years imprisonment term.
Ipaye granted the accused N5 million bail with two sureties in like sum.
The judge also ordered that the sureties must produce evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos State Government and that their addresses must be verified by the court’s registrar.
She also directed the accused to deposit his international passport with the Chief Registrar of the Lagos State High Court.
“His passport must only be released to him on this court’s permission,’’ she said.
The judge adjourned the matter till June 2 for trial. (NAN)