AIICO Capital Losses N1.4bn To 3 Suspected Fraudsters
This is not the best time for AIICO Capital Limited, as the company has lost a whopping sum of N1.4 billion, to it’s three employees.
The alleged fraud was said to have been perpetrated by the trio of Onome Odometa Harriet, Olajumoke Okelanja Akano and Olabode David Ogunlere.
Meanwhile, the three fraud suspects were on Thursday, brought before a Lagos Special Offences Court, Ikeja, on charges bordering for conspiracy and stealing a total sum of N1.4 billion from the company.
They were brought before the court presided over by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, on a four count-charge of the offence, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Arraigning the defendants, EFCC lawyer, Chineye C. Okozie, told the court that they committed the offences sometime in October till December 2020 in Lagos.
She told the court that the offences committed by the defendants, are contrary to and punishable under Sections 411, 280 (2) and punishable under Section 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
But all th defendants denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all counts charge.
Charges against the defendants as contained in the charge sheet reads, “That you, Harriet, between between October to November 2020 in Lagos, whilst in the employment of AIICO Capital Limited, dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of N419, 967, 351. 00 belonging to the said company.
“That you, Akano, between November to December in Lagos, whilst in the employment of AIICO Capital Limited, dishonestly converted to your own use the sum 167, 000, 000. 00 belonging to the said company.
“That you, Ogunlere, between October to November in Lagos, whilst in the employment of AIICO Capital Limited, dishonestly converted to your own use the sum in Lagos, whilst in the employment of AIICO Capital Ltd, dishonestly converted to your own use the sum N65, 000, 000. 00 belonging to the said company”.
Following the defendant not guilty plea, Mr Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), Onome’s defence counsel, and Mr Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), counsel for Akano and Ogunlere, applied for the defendants’ bail to be granted in liberal terms.
The application which were vehemently opposed Okezie, however, on the ground that Onome is a flight risk who has a two-year valid visa to the United Kingdom.
“If the court should consider granting the defendants bail it should be on stiff conditions that will ensure the defendants’ attendance in court,” she said.
Responding, Oyetibo told the court that Onome was not a flight risk because her international passport was with the EFCC and had applied that her international passport be deposited with the registrar of the court.
Olumide-Fusika in his submission said that Akano is a nursing mother and had never jumped the bail which was granted to her by the EFCC when she was being investigated.
He also noted that although Ogunlere was initially detained by the EFCC for five-days over the alleged fraud, he always honoured the anti-graft agency’s invitation after he was granted bail.Following the bail application of the defence, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo granted the three defendants bail in the sum of N50m with two sureties in like sum.
Justice Taiwo ordered that one of the sureties must be a blood relative but that both sureties must be resident in Lagos State.
“One of the sureties must be a relative who must show Sureties must show evidence of tax clearance certificate,” judge ruled.
Justice Taiwo, while ordered that the defendants be remanded in the facility of Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) pending the fulfilment of the bail terms, adjourned the matter till October 12, 2021 for trial.