EFCC Narrates How Suspected Fraudster Uses Investment Scheme To Defraud Businesswoman

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has told a Special Offences Court in Ikeja, how alleged fraudster, Onarike Onagoruwa, duped a businesswoman, Abiodun Adebowale in a business agreement that was apparently a scam.

An EFCC Investigator, Agbetuyi Ademola, who was led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, N.K. Ukoha, narrated how the witness ignored several letters of invitation sent to him, necessitating his arrest.

Identifying the defendant in the dock, he told the court that the EFCC received a petition on January 27, 2020 alleging that the defendant defrauded his victim using a purported coconut oil-based investment scheme.

He said that the agreement was that for every investment, she will get 30 per cent returns on the five million naira invested.

“Upon giving him the N5million on 7th December 2018, he issued a post-dated cheque of N6.5 million dated 7th December 2019 for a year.

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“On the date when the cheque was presented at the bank, it was dishonoured on account of insufficient balance.”

He further told the court that the petition was assigned to his team for discrete investigation and report.

According to him several letters of investigation activities were written to Zenith Bank, UBA and Access Bank, and responses were received, which were further analysed.

He testified further that the defendant ignored several invitations extended to him and “finally on 2nd of March 2022 he was arrested by a team of operatives two years later in Odogbolu ares of Ogun State”.

Upon his arrest, he was confronted with the petition and interrogated, during which he volunteered his statement.

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According to him, the defendant claimed that he was experiencing “financial crisis” and that was why he was unable to meet up with payment.

“However, our investigations revealed that after receiving the N5 million in his Zenith Bank account, he converted it to his personal use,” he said.

The witness thereafter identified the statements of the defendant, the correspondences between the EFCC and the banks, as well as the cheque slip, as the prosecution sought to tender them in evidence.

Justice Mojisola Dada, subsequently admitted them as Exhibit P4 to P14, while adjoining till May 9, 2023 for cross-examination.

Onarike Onagoruwa, was arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and issuance of dud cheque.

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One of the counts reads: “Onarike Obafemi Onagoruwa on or about the 7th day of December 2018 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court and with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of N5,000,000 (Five Million Naira only) from one Abiodun Adebowale under the pretence that you will invest the said sum in a coconut oil based investment scheme with you on behalf of the said Abiodun Adebowale from where she would get a 30% interest on the capital investment after 12 months, a pretence you knew to be false.”

Another count reads: “Onarike Obafemi Onagoruwa on or about the 7th day of December 2018 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did obtain credit by issuing a Zenith Bank Plc cheque dated 7/12/2019 in the sum of N6,500,000 only to Abiodun Adebowale which cheque when presented for payment within three months of issuance was dishonoured due to insufficient funds in the account to cover the face value of the said cheque.”

He had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when he was arraigned on January 19, 2023 prompting the commencement of his trial.

Wahab Akinlade

Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

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