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EFCC Arraigns 77-yr-old Woman Over N65m Fraud



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, arraigned a septuagenarian, Alhaja Mulikat Shonekan, before a Lagos High Court in Ikeja for allegedly stealing and fraudulently converting N65 million entrusted in her care for the purchase of 90 acres of land in Ogun State.
Alhaja Shonekan was arraigned alongside Martins Ogiogwa and Mujekanm Petroleum Nig. Coy. Ltd, on a five-count charge of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretences, stealing and issuance of dishonoured cheque.
Count three read: Alhaja Mulikat Shonekan, Martins Ogiowa and Mujekanm Petroleum Nigeria Coy Ltd sometime in September 2008 in Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division with intent to defraud, stole and fraudulently converted N65,000,000, property of Kuta Stones Ltd. entrusted to you, for the purchase of 90 acres of land located at Kemta Ososun Village, Odeda Local Government Area of Abeokuta in Ogun State of Nigeria.
According to EFCC, the offence is contrary to Section 390 of the Criminal Code, Cap. C17, Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.
However, when the charge was read to the defendants in English and Yoruba languages, they pleaded not guilty.
EFCC counsel, Anslem Ozioko, then urged the presiding judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, to remand the defendants in prison custody as required by law, till they perfect any bail granted by the court.
Ozioko told the court that Alhaja Shonekan (first defendant) was granted bail by the commission and she absconded, noting that if granted bail her presence for the trial cannot be guaranteed.
Counsel to the first defendant (Alhaja Shonekan) and third defendant (company), Bamidele Ogundele, urged the court to grant his client bail on liberal term, saying “the nature of the offence is a non-capital. There is a charge, but the charge is mere allegation until proven.”
Ogundele said Alhaja Shonekan is 77 years old and was admitted twice in EFCC clinic, adding that she was brought to EFCC in 2013.
Counsel to the second defendant, Austin Akpomreta, also urged the court to grant his client bail, noting that during the course of administration of bail granted to the defendant, he never absconded.
He said: “In fact, it was the second defendant that went to EFCC on his own. He was not arrested.
“We pray my Lord to grant him bail and also that he should be remanded in EFCC custody, pending perfection of his bail,” Akpomreta maintained.
After listening to the bail application of the defendants, the judge said: “I noticed the inability of Alhaja Shonekan to walk properly. So I rule that she should still be in EFCC custody. I have noted that the offences charged are non-capital in nature.”
Justice Ipaye granted the septuagenarian bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties, who would be blood relations and show evidence of three years tax payment.
The judge granted the second defendant bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties that would be blood relations and give N5 million bond, including showing evidence of tax payment in Lagos in the last two years, while his international document must be submitted to the Chief Registrar of the court.
Justice Ipaye ordered that the second defendant, Ogiogwa, be remanded in prison custody till perfection of his bail and adjourned to January 23, 2015, for trial.

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