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N5.99b, $975,102 Fraud: Court Dismisses Female Accountant’s Bail Application

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Omafume And Her Mother, Erhievuyere, After Their Re-arraignment Before Justice Ogundare

Justice Kehinde Olayiwola Ogundare of Lagos Federal High Court, has dismissed the bail application filed by a lady chartered Accountant, Omafume Augustina Ayinuola, who is standing trial before the court, alongside her mother, Lydia Abosede Erhievuyere, on alleged N5, 993, 303, 278.95 billion, $975,102 USD fraud.

Justice Ogundare’s ruling on the accountant’s application, was the second, as Justice Akintayo Aluko of the same jurisdiction of the court, had on September 15, 2023, dismissed same application earlier filed by the accountant, when she was newly arraigned on August 15, 2023, on 15 count-charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence, forgery and fraud of the sum of N1, 072, 254, 411 billion and $975, 102. 58 USD, during court’s long vacation.

In dismissing the Chartered Accountant’s bail application filed by her lawyer, J. O. Oladeji, Justice Aluko, held that she was a flight risk, as canvassed by the prosecutor, Morufu A. Animashaun, a Legal officer at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID) Annex, Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos.

However, upon resuming from the long vacation, while the defendants’ case file was reassigned to Justice Ogundare, the prosecutor, Animashaun, equally amended the charge to 18 counts of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence, forgery and fraud of the sum of N5, 993, 303, 278.95 billion and $975,102.58 USD.

Animashaun had told the court that the Chartered Accountant and her mother, who is a teacher in lagos state, committed the offences between 2017 to 2021 at Trailer Park, Agbara, Lagos.

He further told the court that the defendants committed the alleged fraud against several firms, which includes; Oritsetimeyin Logistics Limited, PUO Assets Limited, Resolution Capital Limited, Pine Petosan Limited, Grace Capital Limited, RsL International Limited, RsL Ventures Capital Limited, Grace & Mercy Capital Limited and Grace Assets Limited.

He told the court the the funds, were meant for the purchase and supply of consumables for the office of the firms listed above.

He alleged that the Accountant’s mother and her firm, Patridia Resources Limited, which is also a defendant in the charge, concealed the origin of the funds that they received from Omafume.

He informed the court further that the Accountant’s mother used part of the alleged illicit funds to purchase and develop her family house located at 14, Irawodidia Street, Obadore, Off LASU Road, Igando, Lagos.

He told the court further that the actions of the defendants, contravened Sections 8(a); 7 (1) (b)(i); 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006and were punishable under Sections 1 (3) and 7 (2)(b) of the same Act.

Both the Chartered Accountant and her mother pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following the defendants’ not guilty plea, their new lawyer, O. Ashiru, refiled the Chartered Accountant’s bail application, and urged the court to admit her to bail in the most liberal terms.

Ashiru also pleaded with the court to allow the Accountant’s mother to continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted her by Justice Aluko.

However, the prosecutor, Animashaun, while not opposed the lawyer’s pleadings on the Accountant’s mother application, vehemently opposed his pleadings on the accountant’s application.

Animashaun said what the defendant lawyer ought to have done was to appeal the earlier ruling at the appellate court.

He therefore urged the court to dismiss the bail application.

Justice Ogundare in his ruling, upheld the prosecutor’s submission, and held that he cannot sit on the decision of a court of coordinate jurisdiction.

The judge consequently dismissed the accountant’s bail application.

Further hearing of the charges against Omafume and her mother has been adjourned till May 7.

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