An Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos, has admitted in evidence the statements of an Oil marketer, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun, who was charged before the court on alleged issuance of dud cheques valued $1.6 million.
At the resumption of hearing, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Counsel, Samuel Daaji, led in evidence, Asp Abdulkareem, the investigator who interrogated the defendant at the point of arrest gave testimony relating to the investigation.
Oluokun, who is said to be an Assistant Pastor of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), City of David Parish, Victoria Island, Lagos, was charged before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo led-court alongside his oil firm, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited.
Abdulkareem told the court that the defendant was invited and interrogated base on petition received from the management of GOSL Nigeria Limited on the grounds that the defendant issues a dud cheques for the repayment of a loan of $1,666,666.
The Investigator noted that the defendant volunteer a statement as to what he knows about the petition and his team went ahead to verify claims in the petition.
Subsequently, EFCC Counsel, Daaji shows the witness three statements obtained from the defendant for affirmation and he confirmed it as the statements extract from the defendant.
And Daaji urged the court to admit in evidence in the trial.
Under cross examination, the defendant counsel, E.D. Onyeke asked the witness to identify in the petition where the defendant is been alleged of stealing by fraudulently converting to personal use as he was been charged before the court
In his response, ASP Abdulkareem noted that the petition is for issuance of dud cheques but his team carried out holistic investigation to arrive at obtaining money by false pretenses.
The defendant and his company were first arraigned before the court on January 21, 2019, on two counts charge of the offence.
The charge was later review to five count charges on July 30, last year upon additional facts which emerge as a result of Investigation.
EFCC has so far called seven witnesses, the complainant, the company secretary and a staff of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited, Investigating team members to proof the allegations against the defendant.
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EFCC in a charge marked ID/8509c/19, alleged hat the defendant and his company, sometimes in 2014, approached the management of GOSL Nigeria Limited, for a loan of $1 million and $666,666 respectively to enable him carry out operation activities in his company’s oil field in Bayelsa State.
He was said to have assured the company which is the complainant in the charge against him, that he would repay the money within a year.
Following the defendant’s failure to repay the loan as promised, he was alleged to have issued two post-dated Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited cheques dated June 26, 2014 for the sum of $1 million and $666,666 respectively.
The EFCC stated that upon presentation of the cheques to the bank for withdrawal by the complainant for withdrawal on several occasions, they were returned due to insufficient funds.
The offence according to the prosecution, is contrary to and punishable Section 1(1) (b) of the Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act, Cap D 11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Ayodeji had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and accordingly admitted to bail in some terms and conditions.
The charges read: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun and Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about 26th June, 2014, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division issued a Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited Cheque dated 26th June, 2014 for the sum of $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) only payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited, which when presented for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”
The second count reads: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun and Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about 26th June, 2014, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division issued a Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited Cheque dated 26th June, 2014 for the sum $666,666 (Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Dollars only) payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited which when presented for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”
The matter has been adjourned till July 30 for continuation of trial