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AGF charges ex-Zamfara guber aspirant with ‘N299.8m fraud’

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By Robert Egbe

The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) Tuesday arraigned a former Peoples’ Party of Nigeria (PPN) governorship aspirant in Zamfara State Bashir Adamu Gusau and six others for alleged N299.8 million fraud.

Gusau’s co-defendants at the Federal High Court in Lagos are his firm, IMAD Oil and Gas; OBD Petroleum; Obinna Michael Umeanor; Isaac Okorodudu; Ilolo Ogho Gift and Samson Egbuwoku.

They are facing a five-count amended charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence, forgery and unlawful conversion before Justice Saliu Saidu.

According to the charge filed by prosecution Mrs. Kehinde Bode-Ayeni, the defendants on or about October 2014, obtained loans of N160million and N139.8m in two tranches from a bank by false pretence and with intent to defraud.

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The defendants allegedly pretended that the money would be used to supply 2.2million Iiters of AGO to LastaI energy, Limited.

One of the defendants, Umeanor, was alleged to have on or about October 2014, forged a Zenith Bank statement of account No. 1013015544 belonging to OBD Petroleum Ltd with intent to defraud.

For Okorodudu, Gift, Egbuwoku and others at large, they were alleged to have on or about October, 2014, forged a Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy No. 21/21/1991 AR; Registered in the names Rotimi Olawoye for a property at Lekki, Peninsular, Plot 6 Block 82 Eti-Osa, measuring 973.7018sq metres “knowing same to be false with intent that it may be acted upon as genuine and to the prejudice of defrauded bank.”

The offences, the prosecution said, contravened sections 1(1)(a), 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences, and were punishable under section 1(3) of the same act; sections 18(a) of the Money Laundering Act, 2015, and section 2(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, 2004.

Each defendant pleaded not guilty.

Their counsel – Hope Eremosele; Joseph Okobieme and C. B. Ejike – informed the court that the defendants were granted bail in a similar, but discontinued trial, and prayed the court to grant them bail on the same terms as before.

Justice Saidu granted his prayer and adjourned till January 11, 2021, for the commencement of trial.

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