The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday, December 14, 2018 arraigned Victor Uadiale and Captain Everest Nnaji before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on a three-count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence to the tune of over $5million (Five Million United States Dollars).
One of the counts reads: “That you, Victor Uadiale (aka Victor Emeka/Amaka Emeka) Captain Everest Nnaji and Ismail Lawal (now at large) sometime in 1998 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, with intent to defraud, conspired to commit an offence to wit: obtaining money by false pretence from one Tawfeeq A. Al-Omar, a Kuwaiti National, and committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 13 of 1995 as amended by Act No. 62 of 1999.”
Another count reads: “That you, Victor Uadiale (aka Victor Emeka/Amaka Emeka) Captain Everest Nnaji and Ismail Lawal (now at large) between 22nd April and 12th day of October 1998, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the aggregate sum of $1, 292, 000. 00 (One Million, Two Hundred and Ninety Two Thousand United States Dollar) from Tawfeeq A. Al-Omar , a Kuwaiti national, by falsely representing to him that the said sum represented payment for Urea phosphate fertilizer, which you claimed was procured from National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria (NAFCON) Port Harcourt and Bonny Light Crude oil, which pretext you knew to be false and committed an offence contrary to Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 13 of 1995 as amended by ACT No. 62 0f 1999”.
They pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them.
In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Nnemeka Omewa, informed the court that the prosecution was ready to commence trial.
However, counsels to the defendants, Abimbola Akeredolu, SAN, and Akinpelu Adekunle, objected to the submission by the prosecution counsel.
The defence counsels argued that they were not prepared for trial and asked the court for a short date.
Justice Dada, however, overruled the objections of the defence team and ordered the prosecution to open its case.
Led in evidence by Omewa, the first prosecution witness, Tawfeeq Al-Omar, the victim of the fraud, narrated to the court how he was lured into Nigeria by one Mohammed Lawal Abdullahi, who claimed he was visiting his relative, a diplomat in the Kuwaiti Embassy.
Al-Omar said that he had several meetings with Lawal who told him that he was a business partner with Uadiale and Nnaji and that they could supply Urea Fertilizer to him.
Based on this representation, he came down to Nigeria and met with the defendants who further told him that they had a deal with NAFCON to lift Urea fertilizer. He thereafter made payments to them on several occasions.
The victim also told the court that while the transactions were going on, the suspects told him that they could also supply Bonny Light Crude Oil and he made more payments. He, however, did not get the product nor a refund of his money.
The matter was adjourned to December 20, 2018, for the argument of bail application and January 15 and 16, 2019 for a continuation of trial.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
17th December 2018