Ifeoma Uzoezie, 42 arraigned for N11.5m fraud, stealing

Forty-two years old Ifeoma Uzoezie, has been arraigned before a Yaba Magistrate Court, Lagos, on a three count charge of N11.5million fraud.

The defendant, Uzoezie Ifeoma and one Qazeem Mikail ‘m’ now at large on or about September 21, 2021, at No. 6, Efebeh Street, Okoko, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, were alleged to have conspiréd amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; Obtaining money by false pretence and stealing, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 314 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.

The charges against the defendant read: “That you Uzoezie Ifeoma and one Qazeem Mikail ‘m’ now at large on or about September 21, 2021, at No. 6, Efebeh Street, Okoko, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspiré amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; Obtaining money by false pretence and stealing, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 314 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.

“That you Uzoezie Ifeoma and one Qazeem Mikail ‘m’ now at large, September 21, 2021, at No. 6, Efebeh Street, Okoko, Lagos, In Lagos Magisterial District, did intentionally presents yourselves as agents in exchange of foreign currencies, fraudulently collected the sum $15,850 equivalent to the sum of N11.8milion from Western Base Nigeria Limited, for the transaction, but fraudulently converted same to your use, and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 1 and 7 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2016.

“That you Uzoezie Ifeoma ‘f’ and one Qazeem Mikail ‘m’ now at large, September 21, 2021, at No. 6, Efebeh Street, Okoko, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did intentionally steal the sum of $15,850, equivalent to N11.8million, property of Western Base Nigeria Limited, which you coverted through a card No. 63602025107053, and thereby committed an offence punishable under on 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.”

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The defendant was arraigned before Magistrate Patrick Nwaka on three counts of fraud, and stealing.

The prosecution alleged that the 42-year-old woman, collected money from the complainant, Messrs Western Base Nigeria Limited on the pretext of trading foreign exchange and transferring money to their client abroad, but she ended up using money from a fraudulent and criminal proceeding to carry out the transaction.

The prosecutor, Thomas Nurudeen told the court that the defendant was paid the sum of $15,850 in dollars, a total of N11.8mimmiln, to help convert to Chinese Yen and remit to their customer, Card Holder Ming Lingfei with card number – 6212263602025107053, oversee, but rather converted same to her use, but paid the client with money gotten from scamming someone to transact the business.

Nurudeen stated that owing to this, the Chinese police contacted the firm in Nigeria and that the money paid to the Chinese firm, Ming Linei was an illicit fund gotten from illegal means, fraud.

He added that the police thereafter, blocked the account of Ming Lingfei upon the aforementioned criminal investigation leading to severe losses for the company, while the goods of Messrs Western Base Nigeria Limitwere was frozen to date.

Nurudeen said the defendant fled after the complainant called her to explain the development and that she also frustrated all the efforts of the police to arrest her accomplice, Qazeem Mikail, revealed by a police investigation.

The prosecutor presented two witnesses before the court, Gerald Abonyi, for the complainant and the complainant.
According to Nurudeen, the defendant committed the offence on September 21, 2021, at No. 6, Efebeh Street, in the Okoko area of the state.

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He further stated that the offences contravened and is punishable under Section 314 and 287 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2015 and section 1 and 7 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2016.

He further stated that the offences contravened and is punishable under Section 314 and 287 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2015 and section 1 and 7 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2016.

The defendant, Uzoezie Ifeoma and one Qazeem Mikail ‘m’ now at large on or about September 21, 2021, at No. 6, Efebeh Street, Okoko, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, were alleged to have conspiréd amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; Obtaining money by false pretence and stealing, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 314 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.

However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following her not-guilty plea, the prosecutor requested the court to remand the defendant, stating that it was difficult to apprehend her, and if granted bailed, it might pervert the course of justice.

The defendant’s counsel, Patrick Onochie, however, prayed the court to admit his client on bail, arguing that the offence was bailable.

In his ruling, Magistrate Nwaka admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N7million with two responsible sureties.

The court said: “I have considered the argument of the counsel and that of the prosecution and I have considered the side of the defence which stated that the offence committed by the defendant is bailable.

“I, hereby, admit the defendant to bail in the sum of N7million with two responsible sureties in like sum.
“The sureties must be gainfully employed, with three years of tax payment receipts verifiable by the court.

“Each surety must also pay in N3m into a local account that will be verified by the court, ” he added.
The court adjourned the case till August 16, 2023.

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