Alleged $5m Fraud: Court Adjourns Trial of Pilot, Businessman Till May 31
Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court Sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday, adjourned further hearing in the trial of a businessman, Victor Uadiale, and a pilot, Capt. Everest Nnaji, over an alleged $5m fraud.
The defendants are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for an amended five-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretense to the tune of five million dollars.
When they were first arraigned on December 14, 2018, they pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintained the same plea to the amended charges.
According to EFCC, the victim, Tawfeeq A. Al-Omar, a Kuwaiti national, had testified as the first prosecution witness and narrated how he unwittingly fell into the trap of parting with his money.
In his testimony at Wednesday’s proceeding, the first defendant, Uadiale, led in evidence by his counsel, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, denied knowing the victim and the second defendant, Nnaji.
He said: “I don’t know the second defendant and I only met him at the EFCC facility. I don’t also know Tawfeeq Al-Omar and all the allegations are like a drama, a story from the pit of hell.
“The very first day that I was confronted with the allegations, I told the EFCC operatives that I do not know this man, and I have no idea whether he existed.
“All the allegations during the course of this trial are fabricated lies and I re-affirm that I do not know this man.”
Earlier in the course of the proceedings, Ojo had moved an application seeking the leave of the Court to appeal the ruling of the trial judge dismissing the no-case submission of his client.
Counsel for the second defendant, Olanrewaju Fagbohun, SAN, also moved the same application on behalf of his client.
The prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, did not object.
The applications were granted by the trial judge, who noted that, for a criminal matter, they needed not to seek leave of the Court about appealing the ruling.
The case was adjourned till May 31, 2023, for continuation of trial.
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