EFCC Docks Four for N38.5m Contract Scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, arraigned four suspected fraudsters before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja on a nine-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N38, 570, 000.00(Thirty-eight Million Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand Naira)

One of the counts reads: that “Joseph Nworhabiko, aka Joseph Azunda, Jackson Precious Kamalu, George Iwuagwu, Richie Edward Ojeba, John Ovie Asara( still at large), Beauty Wugate Adele( still at large) and Hajia Jemila Yunusa( still at large), sometime in March 2019 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain money from Dr. Joseph Friday Mekiliuwa, the managing director of Wealth Builders Technical Services Limited, by false pretence that the money is for mobilization and logistics for the execution of a project called Community Social Responsibility of Total Nigeria Oil Company for the host community.”

Another charge reads: that “ Joseph Nworhabiko, aka Joseph Azunda, Jackson Precious Kamalu, George Iwuagwu, Richie Edward Ojeba, John Ovie Asara( still at large), Beauty Wugate Adele( still at large) and Hajia Jemila Yunusa( still at large), on or about the 21st June , 2019 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N10,000,000( Ten Million Naira) from Dr. Joseph Mekiliuwa,, the managing director of Wealth Builders Technical Services Limited, by falsely representing to him that the money is for mobilization and logistics for the execution of a project called Community Social Responsibility of Total Nigeria Oil Company for the host community, which representation you knew to be false.”

The suspects pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them.

In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, S.O. Daji, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed that the defendants be remanded in the Nigerian Custodial Centre.

However, the defence told the court of pending bail applications for the defendants.

Consequently, the Judge adjourned to October 26, 2020 for the hearing of the bail applications and ordered the defendants to be remanded in the Nigerian Custodisl Centre.

The journey to the dock began for the suspects following a petition from Dr. Joseph Friday Mekiliuwa, Managing Director, Wealth Builders Technical Services Limited, alleging that the defendants- Joseph Nworhabiko Adele, Jackson Precious Kamalu, George Iwuagwu and Richie Edward Ojeba, had approached him about a contract being awarded and funded by Total Exploration &Production Nigeria Limited for the installation of Solar Panels at Egi Community in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The complainant further alleged that the suspects requested for the money at different times as payment for “lobbying process” to get the contract awarded to him, which he later found out to be non-existent.

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