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N77m Fraud: Ex-Oyo Commissioner, Others, Remanded In Prison

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday ordered the remand of Kazeem Adedeji, a former Oyo State Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Cooperatives, charged with N77 million fraud.

Adedeji, Yinka Fatoki and Kolawole Adewole would remain on remand at the Kirikiri Prisons till 8 October when the court is scheduled to hear their bail application.

Adedeji is standing trial alongside Fatoki and Adewole, on a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy and fraud.

They each pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.

The trial judge, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, however, ordered their remand, following an application by the prosecutor, Mr Effiong Asuquo.

Asuquo informed the court that counsel to the accused, Mr Bode Iranloye, had just served him a bail summons for his clients, adding that he would require time to file a counter affidavit in reply.

Justice Aneke adjourned the case  for hearing of the bail application, but ordered the accused to be remanded in prison, pending the determination of their bail.

The prosecutor had told the court that the accused committed the offence between July 2012 and June 2013.

He said that sometime in 2012, while Adedeji was still a commissioner, the Oyo State Government entered into a partnership agreement with the Bank of Industry.

The prosecutor explained that the fund, known as OYSG/B.O.I Fund, was to create a pool from which indigenous entrepreneurs from the state could access credit facilities.

He told the court that both parties had made a contribution of N500,000,000 each, which amounted to a joint contribution of N1 billion.

He said the joint venture was aimed at promoting Micro and Medium businesses in Oyo State.

According to the prosecutor, Adedeji lodged the said contributions into Enterprise Bank where his wife allegedly worked as an account officer, without the consent and approval of the Oyo State Government.

Asuquo told the court that the accused then conspired to obtain over N77 million, which they allocated to non-existing companies,

The prosecutor said that the accused granted the facilities to Josh-Tolani Ventures, Tembenatil Ventures, Ojoo, God’s Grace Cooperative Society, Agric Preserve Company Ltd, and Adis Steel Works Ltd.

He said that upon investigation at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), it was discovered that none of these companies existed.

The offence is said to contravene the provisions of Sections 1(1), 1(3) (a) and 8 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, Cap A6, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

NAN reports that the offence attracts a jail term of not less than 20 years imprisonment, if convicted.

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