The last may not have been heard of the intrigues surrounding the high
profile criminal case of Advance Fee fraud before the Federal High Court
Port Harcourt against one Larry Obasi who claimed to be working for Globiz
Int’l SRO, Czech Republic and uses same to defraud unsuspecting members of
the public.
When the case came up Thursday, March 22, 2012 before Justice M. A.
Onyenetu of Court 3, the suspect, Larry Obasi expected to be produced by
the prosecuting anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) was not in court against the earlier order of the court.
When the case was called up for mention by Justice Onyenetu, the Counsel
for EFCC got up as usual with a new fairy tale of why Larry Obasi could
not be produced contrary to her earlier promise that the international
rogue had been re-arrested and would be produced in court the next
adjourned date. It’s has been one story or the other by the EFCC why Larry
Obasi could not be dragged to court since his first arrest.
But unknown to the Port Harcourt branch of EFCC, suspected to be aiding
the accused person to evade Justice, four counsel from the office of the
Attorney-General of the Federation were physically present to take over
the case alerted by the notoriety of Larry Obasi who has a countless
number of criminal cases within and outside Nigeria, a situation the
federal government has found embarrassing and feels should be treated with
dispatch.
But rather than stand down and give in to the new development from a
higher and more relevant authority to handle the case, the EFCC Counsel
objected to the AGF taking over the matter and demanded to see proof of
such directive from Abuja.
This stimulated shock and laughter among other learned gentlemen in court
who expressed surprise at the glaring ignorance of the law by their
colleague and as to why the EFCC, supposedly prosecuting on behalf of the
Federal Government could object to the office of the AGF, also prosecuting
the accused for same federal government taking over the case. While the
AGF elected to take over and continue the prosecution of the matter, the
EFCC submitted to withdraw the case.
In law, the office of AGF is the highest litigating authority in the land
and has the sole right to take over any court case at any stage in the
interest of government which the EFCC is opposing as though it has a
pecuniary interest.
The presiding judge not less embarrassed could not help laughing and asked
“what is happening, you all represent the Federal Republic of Nigeria in
this matter why the disagreement. I think I should allow you to sort out
the matter yourselves and come back at the next adjourned date for
mention”.
Justice M. A. Onyenetu therefore adjourned the case to May 3, 2012 after
court recess.
It could be recalled that Larry Obasi was arraigned in Court for duping
and obtaining under pretext a lump sum from a renowned clergyman, Apostle
Eugene Ogu of the Abundant Life Evangel Mission, Port Harcourt.
Arrested and later bailed under stiff bail condition pending appearance in
court, Larry Obasi jumped bail and disappeared from the country for months
before he was tracked down and re-arrested after his surety was
apprehended.
Before the date of appearing in court, the re-arrested Larry Obasi was
also released from detention less than 12 hours before the case came up in
court.
The EFCC later claimed the orders to free the fugitive came from above.
This may have informed the interest and suspicion of the AGF as same Larry
Obasi is wanted by a Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt for another case of
defamation of character of the man of God, Apostle Eugene Ogu. The bench
warrant on the run-away Obasi is still in force.
Same Larry Obasi is also allegedly wanted by the EFCC, Lagos office in
another case of Advance Fee Fraud involving a Lagos business woman, Mrs
Lolo J. Ahinor.
The crime was committed in 2003 to which the accused, Larry Obasi admitted
before the anti-graft agency in Lagos to refund the victim the stolen
amount but reneged on this promise.
This is perhaps, the reason why he diverted his antics to East of the
Niger but may have unfortunately ended his unholy career with this
particular case of defrauding a servant of God and particularly a hard nut
and uncompromising National Security Adviser of the Pentecostal Federation
of Nigeria (PFN), Apostle Eugene Ogu.
With the office of the AGF taking over from the EFCC, it is hoped there is
no more hiding place for the unrepentant Larry Obasi.
All EFCC has to pray for is that he (Larry Obasi) does not turn around to
say it was his anti-graft friends that instigated him into the crime and
subsequent malicious publications against his victims for that is his
stock in trade.