The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned a traditional ruler, Cornelius Nwoga, Nze Obi IV, before Justice V. Agishi of Federal High Court, Enugu, Enugu State on an 8-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretence.
The accused is alleged to have conspired with a syndicate to defraud one Okey Marcel of the sum of N12, 435,500 by falsely presenting himself as a staff of Agip Oil Company and awarding a contract to construct five boreholes to Okey Marcel with the pretense that Agip Oil Company was awarding contracts for Aggah town, Egbema, Rivers State.
Other members of the syndicate (now at large) include Njoku Odili Eze, Ikechukwu Obi, Chinasa Osadebe and one Donatus Azubike alias Engineer Casmir (already convicted).
Count three of the charge read: “that you, Nze Cornelius Nwoga (also known as HRH Nze Obi the 4th), Azubike Donatus(also known as Engineer Casmir now convicted), Chinasa Osadebe(now at large), Liu Ali (now at large), Ikechukwu Obi (now at large), Njoku Odili Eze (now at large), on or about the 20th day of August 2009 at Enugu, Enugu State within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N2,500,00.00(two million five hundred thousand naira) from one Mr. Okey Marcel Nwanekezie, when you falsely represented yourselves as staff of Agip Oil Company and elders of Aggah village with a contract to construct five (5) boreholes in Aggah village, which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (1) (b) of the Advance Fee and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No.14 of 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) of the same Act”.
The accused person pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Based on the plea of the accused person, prosecuting counsel, Innocent Mbachie, asked the court to fix a date for the trial and to remand the accused in prison custody.
Attempt by the defence counsel, Sunny Onyike to move the motion for bail for his client was opposed by prosecution counsel on the ground that he has just been served in the court and so would need time to respond to it.
Justice Agishi adjourned the matter to April 14th 2014, for hearing on the bail application while the accused person was remanded in prison custody.