N1.07bn, $975, 102.58 Fraud: Court Refuses Chartered Accountant’s Bail

Justice Akintayo Aluko of a Lagos Federal High Court, today, turned down a bail application filed by a Chartered Accountant, Omafume Augustina Ayinuola, who is standing trial before the court on alleged fraud of N1.07 billion and $975, 102.58 USD.

The judge refuses the accountant’s bail, on the ground of being ‘flight risk’.

Omafume is being charged before the court alongside her mother, Lydia Abosede Ehrievuyere and their company, Patridia Resources Limited, on a 15 count-charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence, forgery and fraud, by the operatives of the Force Criminal Investigation Department ForceCID Annex Alagbon-Ikoyi Lagos.

Both the mother and daughter, were first arraigned before the court on August 16, on the charges.

During their arraignment, the prosecutor, Barrister Morufu Animashaun, told the court that they perfected the alleged offences between years 2017 and 2021, at Trailer Park, Agbara, Lagos.

Animashaun told the court that the defendants, committed the alleged fraud against some companies, which includes: Oritsetimeyin Logistics Limited, PUO Assets Limited, Resolution Capital Limited, Pine Petosan Limited, Grace Capital Limited, RsL International Limited, RsL Ventures Capital Limited, Grace & Mercy Capital Limited, Grace Assets Limited.

He further told the court that the funds allegedly stolen by the defendants, were meant for the purchase and supplies of consumables for the office of the companies listed above.

The prosecutor told the court that the first defendant, Omafume Augustina Ayinuola, while working with the companies listed above, used her position to illegally converted various sum of money amounting to the total sum of N1, 072, 254 411 billion and $975, 102.58 USD, to her personal purse.

He also told the court that the second defendant and her company, Abosede Ehrievuyere and Patridia Resources Limited, concealed the origin of the funds, which they received from the first defendant, Augustine Omafure Ayinuola.

The prosecutor further informed the court that the second defendant, Lydia Abosede Ehrievuyere, used parts of the alleged illicit funds, to purchase and developed her family House located at 14, Irawodidia Street, Obadore, Off LASU Road, Igando, Lagos.

He told the court that the defendants’ alleged illegal acts, contravened Sections 8(a); 7 (1) (b)(i); 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006. And punishable under Sections 1 (3) and 7 (2)(b) of the same Act.

Both the Chartered Accountant and her mother had denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Based on their not guilty plea, their lawyer, J. O. Oladeji, filed and moved their bail applications and urged the court to admit his clients to bail in the most liberal terms.

In urging the court to grant his application, Oladeji, told the court that his clients are first time offenders and that they have credible sureties to take them on bail.

However, the prosecutor, Mr. Animashaun, urged the court to refuse the bail application on the ground that it take the police extra work to get them arrested and arraigned before the court.

In particular, Animashaun in his counter-affidavit to the bail application, told the court how the Accountant perjured (to lie on oath), in securing another international passport, in other to escape prosecution.

He told the court, that the Accountant, had told the Nigeria Immigration Services, that she lost her traveling passport in an affidavit, whereas, the passport was with the police as part of her administrative bail conditions.

He therefore urged the court to refuse the defendants’ bail application, on the ground that they will never appear in court for prosecution.

Justice Aluko in his ruling of the defendants’ bail application, after citing plethoras of authorites, agreed with the prosecutor’s submission and held that there is high possibility that first defendant, if granted bail, will not 
Police Arraign Chartered Accountant, Mother Over 

The judge however, granted bail to the second defendant, in the sum of N500 million with two sureties in like sum.

The judge held that one of the sureties must be a landed owner within the court’s jurisdiction. And that the second sureties must ba a Grade Level 14 and above.

The judge further ordered that the second defendant and the sureties must must deposit two copies of their passport photography. Adding that the defendant must deposit her international passport with the court Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR), and that the verification of the bail terms should be done by the court’s register and the prosecutor.

Justice Aluko while ordered that the case file be returned to the Admi Judge for the reassignment and further date, also ordered that the Chartered Accountant be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), till the determination of the charges. And the her mother be remanded till the perfection of the bail terms.