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EFCC Arraigns Former Nigerian Breweries Distributor, Martha Over Alleged N39.8m Fraud

A former Principal Manager at Fidelity Structures Limited, Nwodo Martha, is facing court charges over alleged fraud involving the sum of N39.8m belonging to the company.

Fidelity Structures is one of the major distributors of Nigerian Breweries, where she served as principal manager.

Martha was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), when Fidelity Structures filed a petition against her, alleging that, as one of its Principal Managers, she turned herself into a Sole Administrator to enable her carry out her alleged fraud undetected.

The company alleged that she blocked all the company directors from having information about the operations of the company.

Meanwhile, having successfully blocked all directors from prying her activities, she began releasing products to faceless sub distributors while fraudulently collecting all payments made for the products.

The petitioner also alleged that Marth constantly approved for herself salary in advance, and had also sold off two of the company’s delivery vans.

The company named the vehicles as: Ford and Mercedes 813 truck, which she claimed were missing but was later discovered to have been sold by her.

The accused was therefore arraigned by the Enugu Zonal Command of the EFCC, before Justice H. U. Ezugwu of the Enugu State High Court sitting in Independence Layout, Enugu State.

Martha was arraigned on nine-count charges bordering on stealing by fraudulent conversion to the tune of N39.8.

Count Three reads: “That you Nwodo Martha from February to December 2017, in Nsukka Enugu State of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit a felony to wit: stealing by fraudulently converting to your personal use the aggregate sum of five million, eight hundred and forty thousand naira (N5, 840, 000. 00) property of Fidelity Structures, the sum being payment for purchase of Brewery products”.

Count Seven reads: “That you, Nwodo Martha, from February to December 2021, in Nsukka Enugu State of Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit a felony to wit: stealing by fraudulently converting to your personal use the aggregate sum of nineteen million, five hundred and twenty thousand, five hundred naira (N19, 520, 500. 00) property of Fidelity Structures, the sum being payment for purchase of Brewery products”.

According to EFCC, the offence is contrary to Section 342 of the Criminal Code Law, Revised Edition, Cap 30, Laws of Enugu State of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under Section 353 (1) of the same Law.

However, Martha pleaded not guilty to the charges and the EFCC counsel, Ahmad Y. Abdullahi prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded at Enugu State Correctional facility.

The defence counsel, Chukwuemeka O Onah on the other hand informed the judge about the pending bail application before the court and thereafter moved the said application.

He prayed the court to grant bail to his client on liberal terms, but Abdullahi opposed the said bail application.

He gave his reasons on the ground that “the defendant is not likely to attend her trial my Lord because of the gravity of the alleged offence.”

The judge however granted the prayers of the defendant and granted her bail in the sum of N10m with a surety in like sum.

The judge ordered that the surety must be a level 13 civil servant, and the court registrar should verify the address of the said surety.

The sitting was to 24th July 2024 for trial while the defendant was remanded at Enugu State Correctional facility pending the perfection of the bail conditions.

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