The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday, February 11, arraigned one Robert Daniel Onyeani before Justice E. N. Anyadike of the Federal High Court of Umuahia, Abia State on a four-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence and issuance of dud cheque to the tune of N57, 704,000.00 (Fifty-Seven Million, Seven Hundred and Four Thousand Naira).
Onyeani, Chief Executive of Imagine Roco Limited, sometime in November, 2013, allegedly presented himself to the complainant as a member of a seven-man Presidential Committee on Import Duties Concession and Waiver of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and investment, Abuja.
The 53-year-old accused person also allegedly demanded the sum of N178, 000,000 (one hundred and seventy-eight million naira) from the complainant, promising that he could procure import duties waiver/concession certificate for importation of stock fish.
However, the accused person, after collecting the sum of N57,704,000.000 (fifty-seven million, seven hundred and four thousand naira) from the complainant, became elusive.
When the petitioner requested for refund, the accused person was said to have issued some cheques, which were not honoured due to insufficient fund in his account.
One of the counts reads:
‘‘That you, Robert Daniel Onyeani, CEO of Imagine Roco Ltd, on or about the 26th day of November, 2013 at Aba within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria obtained the sum of N20,000,000.00 (twenty million naira) from one Chinemeya Iheaku of G.N. Iheaku & Co. Ltd under the false pretence that you can procure a certificate of concession/waiver on the importation of stockfish/fish head, a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.’’
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to him. In view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Joshua Saidu, asked for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the accused person in prison custody. The defence counsel, O. Emole, however, moved an application for bail on behalf of his client.
Consequently, Justice Anyadike adjourned the matter to February 16 for hearing on the bail application and ordered the accused person to be remanded in prison custody.