Court Adjourns Ruling On Ponzi Scheme Operator’s Bail Application Till Sept. 30
Justice Ambrose Lewis-Alagoa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, today, deferred ruling in the bail application filed by Mr Michael Ukiye, who operates Ponzi Scheme, through which prominent investors were duped to the tune of N1.286, 580, 656 billion, till September 30.
Justice Lewis-Alagoa while deferring ruling on the bail application, ordered the remand of the Ukiye in the facility of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).
Ukiye alongside his two companies, UK-Don Group and UK-Dion Investment Limited, were arraigned before the judge Monday, by men of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID), Alagbon, Ikoyi-Lagos, on an eight count-charge of Conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence, fraud, and …., while the hearing of his bail application was fixed for today when the police Prosecutor told the court that she was yet to receive copy of the defendant’s bail summons.
At the resumed hearing of the bail application today, counsel to the defendant, Mr. B. C. Nwadiagwu told the court that the business of the day is for the hearing of the defendant’s bail application and pleaded with the court to be allowed to move it.
Moving the bail application, Nwadiagwu said his application is pursuant to sections 158,161 and 162 of ACJA. Adding that the bail application is supported by a 15 paragraphs affidavit, and another 10 paragraphs affidavit with five exhibits attached and a written address.
He pleaded with the court to grant bail to his client in liberal terms, adding that the offence alleged to have been committed is a bailable offence.
However, the prosecutor Mrs. Ezema Susan in her opposition to the bail application told the court that the Prosecution has filed a counter affidavit raising grounds upon which the application for the defendant’s bail should be refused.
Susan said the defendant is a flight risk as he is a wanted person. Adding that apart from the police fraud unit, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is also looking for him as as well as the United Kingdom Police for different fraud allegations.
She said on the claim that the defendant has properties all over the world, Susan said such claims are spurious as owners of the said properties have come forward to prove thier ownership of the properties.
The prosecutor said the defendant on arrest said he had deposited his international passport to an embassy but refused to tell the police the particular embassy.
The prosecutor while asked the court to refused the bail application, told court that if the defendant is granted bail he will definitely not come for his trial.
Upon listening to both counsel, Justice Lewis-Allagoa, ordered that the defendant be remanded in the NCoS’ custody, while adjourning the matter till September and 30, for ruling on the bail application.
Ukiye using his two companies UK-Don Group and UK-Dion Investment Limited to operate a Ponzi scheme is alleged to have duped a retired Army Colonel, a Professor and some others to the tune of N1. 286, 580, 656 billion.
Ukiye Diongoli and the two companies were arraigned by operatives of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID), Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos, on an eight-count charge of Conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence, and fraud.
He was accused of defrauding his victims, under false pretence of multiple Returns On Investiment (ROI) within the period of six months to one year of thier investment.
Some of the alleged fraud victims includes: Dr. Basil Onugu, Professor Onyekachi Green Nwankwo, his wife, Elizabeth U. Onyekachi Green, Nnenna Ikubogh, Securities Limited, Uchenna Nwankwo, Chinyere Oguejiofor, Sekoni A. Adetokunmo, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Professor Iloeje Casmir, Lillian Ofondu, MTN Employer Cooperative, Gabriel Andrew, Obieme Adaku K., Col. Chukwu Terngu (Rtd) and others.
The prosecutor, Mrs. Ezema Susan, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) while arraigning the defendant today, told the court that the defendants allegedly committed the offences within December 2021 and April 2022.
The prosecutor told the court that the offences contravened Sections 8 (a), 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related OffencesAct, 2006 and Punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.