By Nkasi Kolie
Three workers of AIICO Capital Limited: Harriet Onome, Olajumoke Akano and Olabode Ogunlere, on Thursday appeared before an Ikeja Special Offences Court over alleged fraud of N1.4 billion. They were charged with four counts bordering on conspiracy and stealing by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which they denied.
According to the EFCC prosecutor, Miss Chinenye Okezie, the defendants had sometime in 2020 in Lagos committed the offences alongside Olanrewaju Fabunmi who is now at large.
“Onome between November and December 2020 converted to her own use the aggregate sum of N419.9 million,” she alleged. “Akano, within the same period, dishonestly converted to her own use the aggregate sum of N167 million. Between October and November 2020, Ogunlere fraudulently converted the aggregate sum of N65 million to his personal use. The said sums are property of AIICO Capital Ltd.”
The offences contravene Sections 287(8) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. Mr Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), Onome’s defence counsel, and Mr Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), counsel for Akano and Ogunlere, applied for the defendants’ bail to be granted in liberal terms.
Okezie, however, opposed the bail applications saying that Onome was a flight risk who has a two-year valid visa to the United Kingdom.
“If the court should consider granting the defendants bail it should be on stiff conditions that will ensure the defendants attendance in court,” she said.
Responding, Oyetibo told the court that Onome was not a flight risk because her international passport was with the EFCC and had applied that her international passport be deposited with the registrar of the court.
Olumide-Fusika in his submission said that Akano is a nursing mother and had never jumped the bail which was granted to her by the EFCC when she was being investigated.
He also noted that although Ogunlere was initially detained by the EFCC for five days over the alleged fraud, he always honoured the anti-graft agency’s invitation after he was granted bail.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo granted each of the defendants N50 Million bail with two sureties in like sum. “One of the sureties must be a land owner and the Registrar of Titles shall verify the location of the land. The other surety shall be a close relative who must be resident in Lagos. The identities of the sureties must be verified by the court,” the judge said and adjourned the case until October 12, for trial.

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