An America-based Nigerian, Lanre Smith, has been remanded at the Ikoyi Center of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) till Monday, February 5, when his bail application will be heard.
Justice Ibrahim Kala of a Lagos Federal High Court, Tuesday, ordered his remand on Tuesday after the defendant, pleaded not guilty ti the charges bordering on conspiracy and fraud of N10, 040, 000, made against him by the operatives of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID) Annex, Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos.
The prosecutor, Mike E. Enejere, while arraigning the defendant, told the court that the defendant and other now are large, had sometimes in August 2016, conspired among themselves and conducted a financial transaction which involved proceeds of unlawful activity.
The prosecutor also told the court that the defendant and others deceived one Lindy Drake into depositing the sum of $26, 000, 00 USD, which was paid into Well Fargo Account No. 1788790317 with Account name: Wilok Limited, operated by one Okwudili Okeke.
Mr. Enejere also told the court that the defendant with intend to defraud, obtained the sum N10,040,000 million, from Okwudili Okeke, with the pretence that he had deposited a genuine sum of $26,000,00 United States dollars, into into his United State of America’s Wilok Limited, a pretence he known to be false, as such funds was a proceeds of unlawful activity.
The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by the defendant contravened sections 8(a); 7(1)(a) and 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 7(2)(b) and 1(3) of the same Act.
The defendant, who is the founder of Grocedy Limited, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following the defendant’s plea, the prosecutor urged the court to remand him in prison, saying that the defendant has been evasive since when the charge was filed and being called upon to cime for it. The prosecutor thereafter asked for a trial date.
However, lawyer to the defendant, Akin Apara, while moving his bail application orally, told the court that the defendant has been out of the country for sometimes, pleaded with the court to admit him to bail.
He also pleaded with the court to allow him take the custody of the defendant pending when his bail application will be filed and served on the prosecution.
Responding, the prosecutor urged the court to discountenance the orally application made by the defendant’s lawyer, saying the the court is a court of record.
Justice Kala after listening to both the prosecutor and defendant’s lawyer, order the defendant’s lawyer to file necessary application and serve same on the prosecutor.
The judge, while adjourned the matter to February 5, for commencement of trial and hearing of the bail application, ordered that the defendant be remanded at the Ikoyi Center of the NCoS.