The Abuja Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, July 18, 2019 arraigned one Charles Ufuoma Onodavberoh before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja on a 10-count charge, bordering on obtaining by false pretence.
The defendant was arrested by the Bank Fraud Unit of the EFCC following a petition by two complainants, namely: Mrs. Nsikat Edem Udoh and Alhaji Muhammed Idris, (first and second complainants respectively), who alleged that he collected huge sums of money from them and presented them with a purported Irrevocable Bank Commitment for a Standby Letter of Credit with a face value of $150,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Million United States Dollars), issued by PT Bank Negara, Indonesia (Persero) TBK for the building of a $500,000,000.00 modula refinery in Cross River State.
Onodavberoh was also alleged to have further collected $15,000 (Fifteen Thousand Dollars) and the sum of N1,600,000 (One Million Six Hundred Thousand Naira) from the first complainant, Mrs. Nsikat Edem Udoh as well as the sum of N3,800,000 (Three Million Eight Hundred Thousand Naira) from the second complainant, Alhaji Muhammed Idris.
One of the count reads: “That you Charles Ufuoma Onodaveroh on or about 13th July, 2017 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, did by false pretence, and with intent to defraud obtained from one Mrs. Nsikat Edem Udoh the sum of $15,000.00 (Fifteen Thounsand United States Dollars) by presenting a purported Irrevocable Bank Commitment for a Standby Letter of Credit with a face value of 150,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Million United States Dollars) issued by PT. Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) TBK for the building of a $500,000,000.00 (Five Hundred Million USD) Modula Refinery in Cross River State, Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
He pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him, prompting the prosecution counsel, Offem I. Uket to ask the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded in prison custody, pending trial.
The defence counsel, however, made a bail application, which the prosecution didn’t object to.
Justice Ojukwu granted him bail in the sum of N50,000,000 (Fifty Million naira) and one surety in like sum, who must present evidence of tax payment from 2016 to 2018, two passport photographs and international passport.
He remanded him in Kuje Prisons, Abuja and adjourned the matter to September 25 and 26, 2019 for commencement of trial.