Court Orders Remand Of Suspect Over Alleged N84m Fraud
Two days after operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission kept a vigil at the Federal High Court Lagos, the EFCC has arraigned one Edrian Osagie Ididia before a Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja.
He was arraigned before Justice Serifat Solebo on a two-count charge bordering on stealing and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N84 million.
One of the counts reads: “Edrian Osagie Ididia between the 13th day of September 2019 and the 29th day of October 2019 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, fraudulently obtained the sum of N84,000,000 (Eighty-four Million Naira) from Mr. Mark David Umeh on the false representation that you had three Sports Utility Vehicles for sale to Mr. Mark David Umeh which representation you knew was false.”
The second count reads: “Edrian Osagie Ididia between the 13th day of September 2019 and the 29th day of October 2019 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dishonestly stole and converted to your own use the sum of N84,000,000 (Eighty-four Million Naira) property of Mr. Mark David Umeh.”
He pleaded “not guilty” when the charge was read to him in Court.
In view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Mohammed Hussain, asked the Court for a trial date and for the remand of the defendant.
Defence counsel, Victor Chinedu, however, informed the Court of the bail application of the defendant, which he said had also been filed on the prosecution.
“The defendant had earlier been granted bail by the Federal High Court and he has fulfilled the conditions,” he said, adding that Ididia was again arrested by operatives of the EFCC upon his release.
In opposing the bail application, Hussain told the Court that the defendant constituted a flight-risk.
He admitted that the defendant was granted bail by the Federal High Court but noted that the defendant is resident in Canada and does not have any known address in Nigeria.
“Even though the defendant spent the whole of last year in Nigeria, there is no residential address to which the defendant can be traced. He is living from one hotel to the other,” Hussain said.
After listening to the submissions, Justice Solebo adjourned till February 11, 2022 for ruling on the bail application. She ordered that defendant be remanded at the Correctional Centre pending his release on bail.
On January 24, EFCC operatives had stormed the Federal High Court in a bid to arrest a suspect who was reportedly holed up on the court premises,
The EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, later confirmed to journalists that the agency’s operatives were at the Federal High court to take the suspect into custody for his planned arraignment before another court on Wednesday, January 26, 2022.
A judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Daniel Osiagor had earlier ordered the release of the suspect from custody.