EFCC re-arraigns businessman over alleged N84m car fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday re-arraigned a businessman, Edrian Ididia, before an Ikeja Special Offences Court for alleged N84 million car fraud.

According to the the News Agency of Nigeria, Ididia was re-arraigned before Justice Ismail Ijelu of Ikeja Special Offences Court on an amended two counts of obtaining by false pretence and stealing.

The defendant, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, was sometime in November 2021 arraigned before retired Justice Serifat Solebo but was granted bail.

When the case was called on Monday, the EFCC counsel, Mr Ebuka Okongwu, prayed the court for a trial date and also urged the court to remand the defendant.

The EFCC alleged that Ididia obtained the sum of N84 million with intent to defraud one Mark Umeh on the false representation that he had three Sports Utility Vehicles for sale in September 2019, knowing full well that his claim was false.

The anti-graft agency also submitted that the defendant allegedly stole the money and converted it to his personal use.

The defence counsel, Dada Awosika, told the court that he filed an application for bail dated May 2 and he prayed the court to allow his client to continue on the bail earlier granted by the retired judge.

He prayed the court to admit the defendant to bail as he had been granted bail by a Federal High Court in a similar matter.

EFCC, however, filed a counter affidavit to oppose the bail application.

Okongwu submitted that the defendant worked in a construction company in Canada and that he had a Canadian passport.

“He does not even live in the address he wrote in the statement. The address was traced on the Google and it was discovered that it was a short let apartment.

“He has no residential address for the commission to trace him,” he said.

Awosika, however, responded that the defendant resided in Benin and that his international passport was deposited at the Federal High Court due to the ongoing matter.

He undertook to bring the defendant at the next adjournment date.

“I urge your lordship to release him to me and I will get his family to prepare for his bail bond,” Awosika said.

According to the prosecution, the alleged offences contravene Sections 1(1) (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences 2006 and Section 285 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015.

Ijelu adjourned the case until May 22 for ruling on the bail application and commencement of trial.

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