The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Enugu Zonal Office on Monday, July 13,2020, arraigned one Kingsley Chukwudi Nkwoka before Justice L. J. Abai of Abia State High Court, Aba, on nine-count charges, bordering on obtaining by false pretence and issuance of dud cheque to the tune of Nine Million, Eighty-Five Thousand (N9,085,000.00).
Count One of the charges read: “That you, Chukwudi Kingsley Nkwoka, trading under the name and style of Chudis N. Kingster Enterprises on or about the 30th day of November, 2016 in Aba within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Abia State, did issue to Mr. Chukwuka Opara and Jackson Integrated Services, a UBA Plc cheque No. 63163867, dated 30/11/2016 for the sum of Four Million, One Hundred and Twenty-Five Thousand (N4,125,000.00), which when presented for payment within three months of issuance was dishonoured on the ground that there was insufficient funds in the account on which the cheque was drawn and you thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Dishonoured Cheque (Offences) Act Cap D11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under Section 1 (1) (b) (1) of the same Act.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges, upon which prosecution counsel, Michael Ani, asked the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded in prison custody. However, following an application by the defence counsel, I.C. Ike, Justice Abai, granted the defendant bail in the sum of One Million Naira, with one surety in like sum, who must live within the jurisdiction of the court.
The Judge further ordered that the surety should swear an affidavit of means and produce evidence of tax clearance for the period covering 2018 to 2020.
He ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody, pending the perfection of his bail conditions and adjourned the matter till August 4, 2020 for trial.
Nkwoka’s troubles began sometime in January, 2016, when he took an interest-free soft loan from the petitioner to the tune of N9,085,000.00, which was to be paid back by May, the same year.
Upon the loan’s maturity time, the defendant issued several UBA and Diamond Bank post-dated cheques, covering the loan sum to the petitioner, which when presented to the banks, were dishonoured on the ground of lack of sufficient funds in the accounts.
All other efforts by the petitioner to get his money back from the defendant proved abortive, prompting him to approach the Commission.