The Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, arraigned one Okoro Chukwudi Goodluck before Justice Charles Ikpe of the State High Court, sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on a seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and stealing to the tune of N33,560,000 (Thirty-three Million, Five Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira).
Trouble started for the defendant when Peter Udo Peter and John Udo Peter in a petition to the Commission alleged that he swindled them of the mentioned sum in 2019, by luring them to invest the sum in his foreign exchange trading firm with a promise that they were going to earn a 100 per cent interest on their investment, within two weeks.
While this never happened, the defendant disappeared without traces.
One of the charges read: “That you Okoro Chukwudi Goodluck ‘M’ and Collins Uche Success (standing trial in information No: HU/185C/2019), sometime between June and July 2019 in Uyo, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, did obtain the total sum of N16,780,000.00 (Sixteen Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira) from John Udo Peter, Iniobong Okon Eyo and Peter Udo Peter through Collins Uche Success which said sum was paid into Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Account No. 0129865411 with Account Name: Okoro Goodluck Chukwudi under the pretence that it would be invested into your Forex Trading/Bitcoin packages and 100 per cent of the principal sum shall be paid to the investors within two weeks as return/interest on their investment, the pretence which you knew to be false.”
The accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges, prompting prosecution counsel, Joshua Abolarin Esq, to pray the court to fix a trial date and for the suspect to be remanded in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Service.
The defence counsel, Barrister Obumneme Okezie, however, informed the court that the defence had filed a bail application, which he said has not been heard due to delay by the prosecution in serving its counter-application and prayed the court to rather remand the defendant in the custody of the EFCC, citing the need to safeguard him from Covid-19 infection.
Justice Ikpe adjourned the matter till June 2, 2020, for hearing of the bail application and ordered that the defendant be remanded in EFCC’s detention facility in Uyo.