The Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday remanded a lawyer, Chief Chito Ezeani, following his arraignment for an alleged N12,530,000 fraud.
Justice Sule Hassan made the order following Ezeani’s plea of not guilty to a seven count-charge of conspiracy, obtaining under false presence and fraud.
The judge remanded the defendant in the custody of the Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Lagos, pending the hearing and determination of his bail application on September 26.
He overruled the contention of prosecution counsel Chukwu Agwu that the SFU’s facilities were overstretched.
The application for Ezeani’s remand at the SFU rather than prison custody was made by his counsel P. A. Irerime.
The SFU arraigned Ezeani alongside his company, Amazing Grace Properties and Agency, on a charge marked FHC/L/163c/2018.
It claimed that the lawyer, Amazing Grace Properties and Agency, and one Linus Uchenna Okoro (at large), fraudulently obtained N12,530,000 from their victims, through his United Bank of Africa Plc and Access Bank Plc account numbers 1005144939 and 0036618578, respectively.
It said they received the money from their victims by false pretence that they were capable of influencing and lobbying the Anambra State Government, in securing a contract for renovation, lease and management of a property known as Anambra House, situated at 27/27 Martins Street, Lagos Island.
Those allegedly defrauded by the lawyer, and the money received from each of them are: Theophine Enemuo, N6.5 million; Clement Chikalu, N3.5 million; Paul Mbanisi, N2 million; and Clement Onyemalu, N530,000.00.
Chukwu said the alleged offences contravened sections 8(a)(c), 1 (1)(a), and 1(1)(b) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud related offences Act, 2006.
He also rejected the defendant’s claim that settlement talks were ongoing.