The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted bail to a Canada-based man, Joseph Ifeanyichukwu, following his arraignment by the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) for an alleged N360million fraud.
Justice Daniel Osiagor admitted Ifeanyichukwu to bail on Friday in the sum of N50million, among other terms, after he pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and conversion of N360m.
Prosecution counsel Emmanuel Jackson alleged in a charge marked FHC/L/484c/22, that the defendant had been on the run since 2016, when he and his alleged accomplices committed the crimes.
Jackson, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), claimed that Ifeanyichukwu turned down all police invitations but was apprehended at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos when he returned for a friend’s wedding.
It was further claimed that the defendant, his firms Paradox-Akachi Company Ltd and Paradox Group Inc and the duo of Samuel Edu-El and Samuel Kanu – said to be at large – sometime in 2016, conspired and fraudulenty obtained the N360m from one Ese Avanoma of Brade Consulting Limited under a false $1.7 million exchange deal.
According to the police, the offences contravened Sections 8(a), 1(1)(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, as well as Section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as Amended in 2012.
The charge reads; “That you, Joseph Ifeanyichukwu ‘m’, Paradox-Akachi Company Ltd, Mr. Samuel Edu El ‘m’ and Samuel Kanu ‘m now at large, sometime in August, 2016 in Lagos, while operating under the name and style of Paradox-Akachi Company Ltd/Paradox Group Inc., did conspire amongst yourselves and others now at large to commit felony to wit: obtaining the sum of N360m property of Brade Consulting Limited, by false pretenses
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“That you… by false pretence and with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N360 million from Ese Avanoma m’ property of Brade Consulting Limited, by representing to him that your company was into Bureau-De-Change business with capacity to exchange $1.7million for the Naira equivalent which you said was available in your custody for sale to him as soon as he credited your account with the sum of N360million, representations you knew to be false or did not believe to be true or which you made recklessly…
“That you… did convert to your own use and benefit the sum of N360m property of Brade Consulting Limited, which sum you knew or reasonably ought to have known, was the proceed of an unlawful act, to wit: obtaining money by false pretences from Ese Avanoma of Brade Consulting Limited…”