The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned businessman, Erichona Elom Ushle before the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on charge bordering on stealing fraud, forgery and other.
Ushle was docked on 13-count charge but pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The defendant was alleged to have obtaining under false pretense contrary to section 1 (1) (a) and 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.
He was also alleged of stealing contrary to Sections 280 (1) (b) and punishable under Section 287 of Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Count two of the charge read: “Ericbona Eliom Ushie, sometime in 2023, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the aggregate sum of N35,397,000.00 (Thirty Five Million, Three Hundred and Ninety Seven Thousand Naira), property of Calibration and Non- destructive Services Limited under the pretense that the said sum is for the purpose of securing award of contract from Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC)”
Following his plea of not guilty, the prosecution counsel, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari told court that the prosecution intend to call about 13 witnesses to testify.
While the defendant counsel, Ms C.C Orji told court that she has filed an application for bail and served on the prosecution which the prosecution counsel confirmed, told court that they oppose bail of the defendant .
Buhari said they have file their counter affidavit and attached with exhibits.
Orji therefore prayed the court to admitt him bail as he presume innocent until proven guilty. She also submitted that defendant is not a flight risk and will attend to trial till the end of the case.
Defendant counsel also told court that her bail application is supported by an affidavit of 13 paragraph of urgency and supported with written address as well as exhibits.
She said he has been in EFCC custody since December 2, 2023 till date but Buhari told court that he was remand in EFCC custody base d on court order. She added that he has pending cases with various court.
Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe however refused the defendant counsel application to release the defendant to her on self recognition. She ordered that the defendant be remand in Correctional Center and adjourned the case to June 20, 2023 for trial.