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EFCC re-arraigns Nulec boss, others for alleged fraudulent conversion

By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo   |   05 October 2016   |   4:11 am

For the alleged fraudulent conversion of N2.4 billion belonging to Dozzy Oil and Gas, a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja, yesterday re-arraigned the Managing Director, Nulec Industries Limited, Mr. Ashok Israni.

Others arraigned with him were an official of the defunct Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank) and four suspected accomplices.

The re-arraignment was sequel to the amended information filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The amended information was filed against Anayo Nwosu, Ashok Israni, Olajide Oshodi, Sunny Obazee, Nulec Industries Limited and Bank PHB/Keystone Bank Ltd, as first to sixth defendants.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the 11-count charge read to them before Justice Kudirat Jose.

Part of the charge read: “That Anayo Nwosu, Ashok Israni, Olajide Oshodi, Sunny Obazee, Bank PHB Plc/Keystone Bank Ltd and Nulec Industries Limited, between July 14 and 31, 2008 in Lagos, within the court’s jurisdiction, did fraudulently convert to your use, the sum of N285m being the property of Dozzy Oil and Gas Ltd

“That you credited the account of NULEC with the said sum to defray its debt owed to Bank PHB Plc, as against paying the sum into the private placement account of NULEC which sum was to be used as payment for the purchase of shares of Nulec Industries Limited under a private placement.

Other sums belonging to Dozy Oil allegedly transferred by the accused included N145million. The amount was allegedly transferred into the account of Nulec Industries Ltd with Guarantee Trust Bank, as against paying the said sum into the private placement account of Nulec.

The amended charges included: “That Anayo Nwosu and Olajide Oshodi, between June and September 2008 in Lagos, did fraudulently convert N110m when you received the said sum through the account of Drillcom Investment W/A Limited as premium charge of N1.10 per share as payment for the purchase of shares of Nulec Industries Limited under a private placement account.

“NULEC Industries Limited and Ashok Israni being a director of Nulec Industries Limited, between June and September 2008, with intent to induce Dozzy Oil and Gas Ltd to buy the shares of Nulec Industries Limited published a written statement, to wit: a Private Placement Memorandum wherein you stated that in a material particular at Page 8 thereof, that the company would take necessary steps to list its shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange immediately after the private placement has been concluded, but which statement is to your knowledge false.”

The alleged offence bordering on stealing by conversion, false statement is contrary to Section 390,436(b) of the Criminal Code, Cap. C17, Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.

Also, they were accused of conspiracy to obtain and obtaining by false pretence, contrary to Section 2 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud-related offences Act, 2006.

The case has been ongoing since 2012 and the prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, had closed his case after their plea was taken.

The lead defence counsel, Joseph Nwobike told the court that they were ready to file a no-case submission.

Justice Jose subsequently adjourned to December 13, 2016 for hearing of the defendants’ application.

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