Court dismisses bail application for businessman charged by EFCC for theft of N434.1 million
A Lagos High Court has dismissed a bail application filed by a businessman charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for an alleged theft of N434.1 million.
The businessman, Chukwuemeka Ekwunife, was ordered to be remanded in prison custody by Justice Abdulfattah Lawal after he had dismissed the bail application filed by his counsel J. H Bashir.
According to the EFCC, Ekwunife alongside his company, Structured Energy Ltd, were alleged to have on November 19 2013, dishonestly converted the sum of N99.6million to personal use, the property of Napal Oil and Gas Services ltd.
And between June 4, 2015 and October 28 2013 Ekwenife converted the sum of N85million and N3million to his personal use property of Nepal Oil and Gas ltd.
The defendant between November 4, and 7 2014, converted the sum of N3.5million, to his personal use property of Nepal Oil and Gas.
The commission further stated that the defendant alongside his company on November 28 2013, allegedly converted the sum of N130million to his personal use.
The commission also alleged that the defendant and his company stole the sum of N25million and in June 24, 2015, the sum of N88million was also stolen by the defendant.
According to the EFCC, the offence is punishable under sections 285 (1), 278 (b), of the criminal laws of Nigeria.
However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
His counsel, prayed the Court to grant the defendant conditions that was already granted to him by the EFCC. Which states: “provision of level 14 and above Civil servant (state or Federal) residing in Lagos, provision of letter of first appointment, provision of introduction from his employer”.
Others conditions included: a Letter of last promotion to is present grade level, last pay slip and two passport photograph each of the suspect and surety.
A property owner located in any part of Lagos state or where appropriate, the original certificate of occupancy of the property which may be verified by the commission before granting bail with two passport Photographs each of the suspect and surety.
Counsel to the EFCC, G. C Okaob objected to the bail, stating that if the court grants bail to the defendant he might abscond.
Upon the argument of counsel to the parties, Justice Lawal dismissed the bail application and ordered that the defendant should be remanded in prison custody.
And the case was adjourned till September 14, for trial.