The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Port Harcourt Zonal Command, has charged Godfrey Oscar Opara, an estate agent, with defrauding one Mr. Ibim Simeon Dakubo of N25.4 million in proceeds from the sale of real estate.
The charges were brought against him on Wednesday in a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Naija News reports that the defendant was charged with four charges related to collecting money by false pretense, which is against Section 1(1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offenses Act, 2006 and is penalized under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The court was chaired by Justice P.I. Ajoku.
The defendant was also charged by the court with trying to defraud Mr. Ibim Simeon Dakubo of N16,200,000 by pretending to be the owner of two plots of land that were actually owned by someone else and trying to sell them. This is against Section 1(1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and is punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
In a statement released on Friday and signed by EFCC Head of Media and Publicity Dele Oyewale, it was revealed that the defendant sold a landed property that he was hired to sell as an agent, but he neither returned the property nor paid the owner the earnings.
After the matter was heard on Wednesday, Justice Ajoku granted the defendant N1 million in bail, along with two sureties in the same amount. The defendant had entered a not guilty plea to the accusations that were brought against him.
The judgment further mandated that the sureties be at least grade level 12 graduates and work as public employees of either the Federal Government of Nigeria or the River State Government.
In addition, he stated that the sureties had to reside in Port Harcourt, have a landed property with a Certificate of Occupancy, and submit two recent passport photos to the court registry. The sureties also had to furnish a letter of verification from their offices, which could come from the Federal or State Government.
Earlier, the defense attorney, Okey Ehogwo, requested his client’s bail earlier, while the prosecution’s attorney, M. Abubakar, asked the court to set a new date for the trial to begin.
The defendant was remanded to the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service by Justice Ajoku after she stated the criteria necessary for bail. The case was then postponed until May 6, 2024, when the trial would begin, pending the completion of all bail requirements.
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