The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has re-arraigned Andrew Warri, before Justice Olubusola Okunnuga of the Special Offences Court, sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, over allegedly defrauding GT bank sum of N125m.
He was arraigned on a five-count charge bordering on stealing, obtaining by false pretence, and issuance of dud cheques.
Warri was arraigned alongside two companies: A.M. Projects Consultancy Limited and Ranez Medical Consultancy Limited.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Thereafter, the prosecuting counsel, Abubakar Usman, prayed to the Court for a trial date while asking the court to remand the defendant to a Correctional Facility as the prosecution was ready to prove its case against the defendants.
Defendant Counsel, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, A. M. Makinde, however, prayed the court to allow him to continue enjoying the earlier bail granted him by the previous trial judge, as he has not violated the earlier condition.
In a counter-response, the prosecutor argued that the matter is starting afresh as such he should re-applied for bail noting that the defendant is a flight risk.
Ruling on the bail application, Justice Olubusola Okunuga agreed that the defendant should continue to enjoy the earlier bail granted to him had not violated the conditions.
Earlier before his re-arraignment, the prosecutor had informed the court that the Commission had an amended charge against the defendant following the ruling of “No Case Submission” which discharge the defendant of counts one and two.
Justice Sherifa Solebo of the same court delivered the ruling before she retired from the bench, and the case was subsequently transferred to Justice Okunnuga for trial.
According to the ruling, Warri was discharged and acquitted of counts one and two of the charge, as the court ordered the defendant to come out and defend himself on counts three to six.
One of the counts reads: “Andrew Warri, A.M. Projects Consultancy Limited, sometime in May 2012 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, fraudulently obtained the sum of N125,000,000 from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc under the guise that the proceeds of the Rural Health Care and Referral contract with Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) will be domiciled in your account with Guaranty Trust Bank, the said pretense you knew, or ought to have known is false.”
Another count reads: “Andrew Warri, Ranez Medical Consultancy Limited, on or about 28th October 2018 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, issued a Zenith Bank cheque for the sum of N10,000,000 payable to A.M. Projects Consultancy Limited, in favor of Guaranty Trust Bank, which upon presentation for payment was dishonored on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to your credit.”