The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos office, on Thursday, December 6, 2018, arraigned one Micheal Talabi alongside his company, Tom Consult Limited, before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and stealing to the tune of N35, 240.000.00 (Thirty Five Million, Two Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira).

The complainant, Isabella Etuk, alleged that she was approached by one Omotola Rafiat Laniyan of Tom Consult Limited (who is still at large), claiming that she could offer discounted tickets to travellers on the British Airways Business class.

Etuk also alleged that following her meeting with Laniyan, she contacted and moblised her friends, who made a total payment of N35, 240,000 to Tom Consult Limited’s account to obtain the British Airways Business class tickets.

However, Laniyan, a representative of Tom Consult Limited, was alleged to have failed to deliver the tickets to the victims.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Micheal Talabi, Tom Consult Limited, Mrs. Omotola Rafiat Laniyan (still at large), Balogun Oluwakemi (still at large) and Moris Coleman (still at large) sometime between February, 2018 and July, 2018 in Lagos within the Ikeja Division, dishonestly converted for your own use the sum of N35, 240,000.00 (Thirty Five Million, Two Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira), property of Mrs. Isabella Etuk.”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, M.S. Usman, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed that the defendant be remanded in prison custody.

Counsel to the defendants, Adekunle Akinpelu, moved an application for bail dated November 28, 2018 on behalf of his client.

Justice Taiwo, after listening to both counsels, granted the defendant bail in sum of N5 million, with two sureties in like sum.

One of the sureties, according to the court, must have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court, while the other must be a relation of the defendant. The Judge also ruled that the addresses of the sureties must be verified by the EFCC.

Justice Taiwo ordered the defendant to be remanded in the EFCC custody pending the perfection of his bail conditions and adjourned to February 2, 2019 for commencement of trial.

In a related development, the EFCC, on Wednesday December 5, 2018 arraigned one Oghenevwogaga Emmanuel before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State on a three count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence.

The defendant is alleged to have fraudulently obtained the sum of N363, 000 (Three Hundred and Sixty Three Thousand Naira) from one Sandra Rodriguez, an Indian citizen.

One of the count reads: " that you Oghenevwogaga Emmanuel and others now at large on or about the 26th of September,  2017 in Oghara within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N116,000.00 (One Hundred And Sixteen Thousand Naira) only from one Sandra Rodrigues, an Indian nationale under the false pretence of borrowing the money for the treatment of your sick father which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(2)of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him. In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Immaculate Elodi, prayed the court to fix a date for hearing and to remand the defendant in prison custody. Attempt by Osama Idehen, counsel to the defendant to move for bail was rejected by the court as he was told to file a formal application.

Justice Abang adjourned the case to February 19, 2019 for hearing.



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