On Tuesday, January 24, 2023, Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State, granted N25m bail to one Onoja Peter, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Lagos Zonal Command on a six-count charge bordering on an alleged fraud to the tune of N72,449,000.
Onoja, who was first arraigned on December 1, 2022, is accused of stealing the said money belonging to the National Union of Food Beverages and Tobacco Employee, NUBTE, an offence contrary to Section 278 (1) (a) and (b) and Section 285 (1) of the Criminal of Lagos State of Nigeria 2021.
One of the counts reads: “Mr Onoja Peter, sometime between February 2016 and December 2016 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, stole by fraudulently converting to your use the sum of N15, 900,000, property of National Union of Food Beverages and Tobacco Employees, NUBTE.”
Another count reads: “Mr Onoja Peter, sometime between January 2019 and August 2019 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, stole by fraudulently converting to your use the sum of N16,830,000, property of National Union of Food Beverages and Tobacco Employees, NUBTE.”
He is further alleged to have, at different times, defrauded the Union of the sums of N8,499,000, N9,900,000, N11,030,000 and N10,290,000.
He pleaded “not guilty” to all the counts when they were read to him.
At today’s proceedings, the defence counsel, M.O. Onasanya, moved the bail application of the defendant.
“We pray the court to grant bail on liberal terms,” he said.
In response, the prosecution counsel, M.S. Owede, moved the prosecution’s counter-affidavit and urged the court to refuse the bail application. “In the instance that the court is inclined to grant bail, and finds merit in the application, we urge the court to impose stringent conditions that will make it practically impossible for the defendant to abscond,” he said.
After listening to both parties, Justice Dada granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N25 million, with two sureties in like sum.
The sureties must be within the jurisdiction of the court.
The case has been adjourned till March 21 and 23, 2023 for trial.
Credit: EFCC Nigeria
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate