The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned a diabetic patient, Abdulrahman Raji, before the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, for allegedly defrauding a man of N26m.
The defendant is facing two counts bordering on conspiracy and fraud preferred against him by the Anti-Graft Commission.
The EFCC’s prosecution counsel, E. Isah, told the court that the defendant and one other now at large conspired to commit the offences.
He said the incident took place between March 20 and 21, 2023.
Isah told the court that Raji fraudulently obtained the sum of N26m from one Olaide Adedapo under false pretences for the purchase of a Toyota Hilux.
According to the prosecutor, the offences committed contravened Sections 8 (a) 1, (b), and 1 (3), of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act 2006.
However, the defendant, who had been in the EFCC custody since March, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Following the defendant’s plea, Isah asked the court for a trial date as well as to also remand the defendant to the correctional service.
But the defendant’s counsel, N. A. Onah, told the court that the travails of the defendant were a very long one and that he had been in the EFCC custody since March 2023.
Onah informed the court that the defence had a bail application date November 7, 2023, and had served the EFCC.
The prosecutor confirmed service but left the bail at the discretion of the court.
The defence counsel, while urging the court to hear the bail application, stated that the defendant was an elderly man who was sick and had been in the EFCC custody since March.
“He is diabetic and physically feeble, I have practised for 25 years and I have known the defendant for 15 years, I can take to produce him,” Onah said.
After listening to the submission and bail application by the defence, the court granted the defendant’s bail.
Justice Olarenwaju Ijelu, while ruling on the bail application, held that the court observed that the defendant had been in the custody of EFCC since March.
He then granted the defendant bail in the sum of N5m, with two sureties in like sum.
Also, Justice Ijelu said one of the sureties must be a blood relation to the defendant and the two sureties must be residents of Lagos State.
The judge also ordered that the sureties must show evidence of three years of tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
He added that the addresses of the sureties would be verified by the court registrars and the chief registrar shall verify the sureties.
Justice Ijelu adjourned the case till December 11, 2023, for the commencement of trial.
Earlier, when the matter was called, the EFCC’s counsel, Isah, informed the court that the defendant was from the EFCC’s custody and he had been with them since March.
He said they had amended information dated November 6, 2023, and then urged the court that the charge be read to the defendant.