Home Courts Trial of Lagos couple arrested for N2.7bn fraud begins January 10

Trial of Lagos couple arrested for N2.7bn fraud begins January 10

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Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has fixed January 10, 2024 as commencement of trial of a couple, Oriyomi Idowu and Ruth Idowu, who were arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on November 28, 2023.

According to a statement on the official X handle of the EFCC on Tuesday, the couple were arraigned on 20 counts bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, money laundering, stealing, retention of stolen property, and forgery to the tune of N2.7bn.

They were arraigned alongside Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Limited, Samee Idowu Company Limited and Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, which all belong to Ruth Idowu.

One of the counts read: “Ruth Sameeha Idowu, aka Loiry Ventures, Oriyomi Kabeer Idowu, aka Yocli Ventures, Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Limited, Samee Idowu Company Limited, Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, sometime in 2023 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court, converted the sum of N10m to purchase a GLK Benz, purchase sum derived from converting the sum of N500m belonging to Creditpro Business Support Services with the aim of disguising the illegal origin of the funds.”

The statement further read: “The defendants pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges when they were read to them, thereby prompting the court to adjourn till Friday, December 15, 2023, for hearing of their bail applications.

“At Friday’s proceedings, James Alara, counsel for Ruth, who is the first defendant, informed the court that he was withdrawing an earlier motion for the bail of his client, and replacing it with a new one ‘due to the need to include the medical reports on the health status of the first defendant’.

“Counsel for the EFCC, Bilikisu Buhari, however, responded that the prosecution had earlier replied to the application being withdrawn and that it only received the new application on December 11, 2023.

“She explained further that the prosecution needed to authenticate the said medical reports attached to the new bail application.

Alara, thereafter, prayed the court for a short adjournment in order for the court to hear the new bail application of his client, ‘because of the health of the first defendant’.

“On his part, Babatunde Ogala, SAN, counsel for Oriyomi, the second defendant, moved the bail application for his client.”

Ruling on the bail application of the second defendant, Justice Dada granted bail in the sum of N250 million, with two sureties in like sum.

Justice Dada also adjourned the bail hearing of the first defendant till December 20, 2023, and adjourned trial till January 10 and February 2, 2024.

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