. To Remain In Custody Till May 24
The Independent Corrupt and other Related Offences Commission ICPC on Tuesday dragged two suspects, Aso Adasa Morrisson and Frank Biobarakuma before a Rivers State High Court over their complicity in an alleged N5.9 million fraud.
The two accused faced a 17 count criminal charge bordering on conspiracy on alleged fraud against a South Korean businessman Mr Jung Yongmin.
The Commission, represented by its lawyer Ayobami Adepoju alleged that the two accused persons had between March 2012 and February 2013 at Port Harcourt, Rivers state conspired among themselves to receive from Mr. Yongmin,(trading under the name and style of Kunyang Frontiers Holdings Inc) the sum of $ 260,000 vide GTB Bank Account No 0123149230 of River Nun Marine Shuttle domicile in Port Harcourt under the pretext of the sale of Two million Barrels of Nigerian Light Crude Oil to the said company.
The suspects were also accused of fraudulently receiving another sum of $120,000 vide UBA account No. 3001561734 of Charter Marine Ltd domicile in Port Harcourt under the pretext of the sale of two million barrels of Nigerian Light Crude oil to the said company.
The duo was also accused of forging a document titled ‘Notary Letter Of Guarantee” attesting to the authenticity of the said contract.
The crime under the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 is contrary to Section 26(1)(c) and punishable under Section 13 read in conjunction with Section 68 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and their lawyer pleaded that that they should be granted bail as what they were accused of was bail able.
In a counter motion the ICPC lawyer Adepoju said the accused should be refused bail on the ground that the offence was grievous. That application for bail should not be oral but formal.
He argued that the offence was serious and that there was tendency for them to repeat the offence.
He asked the judge to take judicial notice that advance fee fraud was prevalent in the society affecting social and economic activities and also discourage foreign investment.
In his ruling Justice George Will refused the accused persons bail as he asked the defence counsel to make a formal application for bail for the accused. He said the accused should remain in custody till 24 May 2013. He therefore set aside 24 May to 27 May for the hearing of the case.