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Court voids application challenging jurisdiction over alleged $5m fraud 

Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has dismissed the application filed by Capt. Everest Nnaji , a second defendant in a $5 million fraud trial, challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the court to hear the case filed against him and one Victor Uadiale.

A statement issued Monday by Dele Oyewale, head Media and Publicity, said the defendants are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on an amended five-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of $5 million.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Victor  Uadiale (aka Victor Emeka/Amaka Emeka), Captain Everest Nnaji and Ismail Lawal (now at large), between 22nd April and 12th day of October 1998, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the aggregate sum of $1,292,000.00 (One Million, Two Hundred and Ninety-two Thousand United States Dollar) from  Tawfeeq A. Al-Omar, a Kuwaiti national, by falsely representing to him that the said sum represented payment for Urea Phosphate fertilizer, which you claimed was procured from National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria (NAFCON), Port Harcourt and Bonny Light crude oil, which pretext you knew to be false and committed an offence contrary to  Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 13 of 1995 as amended by Act No. 62 of 1999.”

They pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them when they were first arraigned on December 14, 2018, and maintained the same plea to the amended charges.

The victim, Tawfeeq A. Al-Omar, a Kuwaiti national, had testified as the first prosecution witness, narrating how he unwittingly fell into the trap of parting with his money.

The prosecution led by Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, had, on September 28, 2022, closed its case after calling six witnesses and tendering several documentary evidences against them.

The defence, however, filed a no-case submission.

Justice Dada had on March 23, 2023 dismissed the no-case submission filed by the defendants as lacking merit and also ordered them to open their defence.

The case was adjourned till Thursday, October 3, 2024 for continuation of trial.

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