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N24m Fraud: Police Arraign Oil Marketer, Morah, After State Pardon

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An oil marketer, Emmanuel Morah, has again been arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State over alleged N24 million fraud and issuance of dud cheques.

He was arraigned by the operatives of the Police Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi, Lagos before Justice Akintoye Aluko.

This is coming barely a few months after Morah was granted pardon by the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy.

The defendant, whose companies are Rocky Nigeria Limited; Rocky Oil Limited, and Rocky Energy Limited, was among the convicts recently granted amnesty by the Federal Government on health ground, but yet to be released from the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).

Justice Latifat Okunnu of the Ikeja High Court, Lagos State, on January 28, 2028, convicted and sentenced Morah to eight years imprisonment on a 26-count amended charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence, and forgery to the tune of N789.6 million.

Dissatisfied, he appealed against his conviction, but his appeal was dismissed on October 26, 2018, by the appellate court.

The defendant was however granted amnesty by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2022 on health ground.

However, the defendant was again arraigned on the charges of obtaining the sum of N24 million, from one Alhaji Kayode Kasumu, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Beauty & Fragrance International Limited, under a false representation that he will use the money to complete a property at No. 10 Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State, within two months, and rent part of it to him.

He was also alleged to have issued a Diamond Bank cheque number 86584589, dated October 2, 2016, with monetary value of N10 million with account name, Rocky Energy Limited, in favour of Beauty and Fragrance International Limited, which upon presentation for payment was rejected and dishonoured on grounds of insufficient funds in the account.

The offences according to the prosecutor, Justine Enang, are contrary to and punishable under section 1 (1)(a),(3) of the of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006. And Section 1 (1) (b), (2), and section 2 of the Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act, CAP D11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following his plea, the prosecutor, Enang, asked the court for a trial date, while also urged the court to remand him in the custody of NCoS.

Responding to the prosecutor’s request, counsel, E. M, Ojere, told the court that he has filed the defendant’s bail application and same has been served on the prosecution, the position which was confirmed by the prosecutor.

The prosecutor also told the court that the police did not intend to file any counter to the application and left same to court’s discretion.

Upon hearing counsel submissions, Justice Aluko, admitted bail to the defendant in the sum of N10 million with one surety in like sum.

The presiding judge also ordered that the surety must be a resident and a property owner within the court’s jurisdisction, who must sworn to affidavit of means.

He stated that both the defendant and the surety must deposit their two recent passport photographs with the court, adding that the prosecutor must be part of the verification, and that the surety must be recognised by a cleric.

Justice Aluko also ordered the remand of the defendant in the NCoS’ custody till the perfection of the bail terms.

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