N7.5bn Fraud: Court Remands ‘Fugitive’ Ponzi Scheme Operator, Bamise Ajetunmobi

Ajetunmobi After His Arraignment

A Lagos Federal High Court, today, ordered the remand of Bamise Ajetunmobi, a Ponzi Scheme Operator, who has been on the run since 2021, over alleged N7.5 billion fraud.

The court presided over by Justice Chukwuejekwu Aneke, remanded the Ponzi Scheme Operator, after he pleaded not guilty to 12 counts charge made against him by the officers of Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID) Annex, Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos.

Arraigning the defendant, Barrister Morufu Animashaun, a legal officer in the ForceCIID, annex, Alagbon-Ikoyi, told the defendant conspired with his wife, Elizabeth Ajetunmobi, who is now at large, and their company, Imaging Global Solutions Limited, committed the offences something in February 2021.

Animashaun told the court that the defendant and his wife lured the fraud victims with 10 percent returns on investment (ROI), to commit the offences.

Among those allegedly defrauded by the defendant and the sums received from them are: Mr. Olawale Lawal, N1.5 billion; Mrs. Kate Omu, N500 million, Mr. Erhi Catherine Ojoboh, N2 billion, and Mr. Abioye Idris, N3.5 billion.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by the defendant contravened sections 8 (a), 1(a)(c) and 1 (2) of the Advance Fee fraud and other Fraud related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section I (3) of the same Act.

He also told the court that the offences are contrary to section 383 of the Criminal Code Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 390 (a) of the same.

Prior to his arraignment, the prosecutor told the court that the charge against the defendant was filed in 2022, and that when the defendant became elusive, the police secured a warrant of arrest from the court.

He told the court that the defendant was however arrested by International Police (Interpol) at Ivory Coast, this year.

Animashaun, by oral application, also urged the court to strike out the name of the defendant’s wife from the charge, so that the defendant arraignment can go on.

Following the submission made by the prosecutor, Justice Aneke struck out the name of the defendant’s wife from the charge, and ordered that the charge be ready to the defendant.

The defendant however, pleaded not guilty to the 12 counts charge, when they were read to him. 

The defendant was not represented by any lawyer.

Following defendant’s not guilty plea, the the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date. He also urged the court to remand him in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) till the determination of the charges against him.

Consequently, Justice Aneke ordered that the defendant be remanded at the Ikoyi facility of the Nigerian Correctional Services, while adjourning the matter till November 29, for commencement of trial.