Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos, yesterday reserved ruling on the No-case submission filed by the duo of Victor Uadiale and Capt. Everest Nnaji, who are facing trial over an alleged $5 million fraud, till March 23, 2023.
The defendants are being prosecuted by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on an amended five-count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence to the tune of $5 million.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Victor Uadiale (aka Victor Emeka/Amaka Emeka), Captain Everest Nnaji and Ismail Lawal (now at large), between 22nd April and 12th day of October 1998, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the aggregate sum of $1,292,000.00 from Tawfeeq A. Al-Omar, a Kuwaiti national, by falsely representing to him that the said sum represented payment for Urea Phosphate fertilizer, which you claimed was procured from National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria (NAFCON), Port Harcourt and Bonny Light crude oil, which pretext you knew to be false and committed an offence contrary to Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 13 of 1995 as amended by Act No. 62 of 1999.”
They pleaded “not guilty” to the charge preferred against them, when they were first arraigned on December 14, 2018.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution had presented six witnesses, including the victim of the fraud, and also tendered several documentary evidence to prove the case against them before closing its case.
However, rather than open their defence, the defendants opted to file a no-case submission.
At the resumed sitting today, counsel for the first defendant, N. Amaechi, and counsel for the second defendant, Olanrewaju Obele, both adopted their final written addresses in a no-case submission separately filed by the two defendants.
They separately urged the court to hold that no case had been made against their clients that would warrant them opening a defence; and so, they should be discharged and acquitted.
The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, adopted the final written address of the prosecution, and also urged the court to call on the defendants to enter their defence.
He said: “The victim of the offence gave evidence before my lord and narrated his ordeal and everyone on this side was moved almost to tears for what the man went through.”
He also stated that the second defendant did not deny owning the bank account involved in the alleged fraud.
“I urge my lord that what is before your lordship is enough for the defendants to be called upon to tell their own side of the story,” he further told the court.
After listening to all the arguments of both parties, Justice Dada reserved ruling till March 23, 2023.