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N10 Million Fraud: EFCC Docks Church Elder for Defrauding Pastor

From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu 

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arraigned an Onitsha based business man Chris Onyebuchi Ijeoma alongside his company, Tellers International Limited before Justice I.B.Gafai of the Federal High Court, Awka, Anambra state South East Nigeria  on a two-count charge of obtaining money under false pretences and stealing the sum of N10,000,000  (Ten Million Naira Only).

According to the anti graft agency, the money  belonged to the head pastor and general overseer of an unnamed Pentecostal church in the commercial city  in which he ( Ijeoma) is also a member of the elders  council.

The agency said Ijeoma’s  ordeal started after a petition was written to the commission alleging that sometime in 2014, he approached the complainant (General Overseer) with a business proposal to help raise finance for the importation of insecticide/ pest sprayer from the USA, to the tune of N10m, which he pledged to pay back after the sale of the products within two to three months.

EFCC Spokesman for South East, Chris Oluka , who disclosed this to newsmen said the suspect was arraigned on Wednesday.

He added that the  complainant  told the commission that having advanced the sum to the suspect  on 18th March, 2014, and after over three months  of inaction, he approached Ijeoma and demanded to know  why the products were not yet imported, to which he said he had invested the money in a USA based cream company and that NAFDAC approval was needed before the goods would be exported to Nigeria; a development different from what was agreed upon.

When the case was called upon, the suspect  pleaded not guilty to the charge which were earlier amended by the prosecution counsel, F.A. I Asemebo who substituted  ‘Federal High Court, Enugu’ with Federal High Court, Awka in the count one of the charge.

Defence counsel, C.M. Obijagwam thereafter applied orally for his client’s bail which was denied by Justice Gafai stating he had to apply formally.

He further   ordered that the suspect be remanded in prison custody pending the hearing of the bail application.

 

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