The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on June 21, 2012, arraigned Engr. James Adeojo before Justice Bilkisu Aliyu of Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja on a 24 count charge for fraud and obtaining money under false pretences to the tune of over fourty-five million naira.
Three other suspects, including Apostle James Emmanuel David are at large.
One of the charge reads “That you James Adeojo and others now at large on or about the 26th day of October 2011 at Abuja within the Jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria did with the intent to defraud obtain the sum of N10,200,000 (ten Million, Two hundred Thousand Naira only) from one Christiana Momah under the false pretence that the money was required to deliver a consignment of goods to her, which you know is false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006”.
Trouble for Adeojo started when Christy Ifeoma Momah alleged in a petition to the Commission that sometimes in July 2011, she was approached by one of her friends, Mrs. Regina Atanu who earlier lived with her in Benue State and introduced Pastor James Emmanuel David to pray for her sick daughter.
According to the petitioner, the said pastor called her to confirm if she was around and later arrived with one Biodun whom he introduced to her as one of his UK based client who wanted to invest in hospitality business in Abuja and needed her advice. After a week, Momah said she was called and told that she had a consignment to pick up. And they agreed, with Biodun, to meet at Women’s Development Centre where the consignment was handed over to her.
Momah said she was later lured into making payments over ten times into their account to the tune of about N45 million and did not get any consignment. When she realized that she had been duped, she asked for a refund of her money to no avail.
When the charges were read to the accused, he pleaded not guilty to all the 24 count charge and prosecution counsel, C. C Ndubueze urged the court to remand the accused in prison pending the determination of his bail application. She also said that three of the suspects involved in the alleged crime are still at large.
But defence counsel, Ajayi Olowo told the court that the offence for which his client is charged is bailable and therefore urged the court to exercise its discretion in favour of his client.
Justice Aliyu, after listening to both prayers, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N20 million and two sureties in like sum. She said the sureties must be resident in the Federal Capital Territory. She however said that if the accused failed to meet up with the bail conditions, he should be remanded in prison custody. The judge adjourned proceedings till July 13, 2012 for commencement of trial.