The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arraigned two businessmen alongside two companies before a Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly obtaining over N7.7 billion from a bank under false pretense.
According to the anti-graft agency, Ogbor Eliot and Godwin Okoronkwo had approached the bank for N7,742,649,000 under the pretext that their companies, Danium Energy Services Limited and Petrosol Energy Limited had a contract in the stated sum to supply 55,000 metric tonnes of Automotive Gas Oil to Total Nigeria Plc.
The two men were accused of conspiring to present four letters dated between October 2016 and February this year purportedly from Total Plc for the supply of the petroleum products.
The letters indicated that the products were to be delivered by the companies in one consignment of 10,000 metric tonnes and three consignments of 15,000 metric tonnes each.
However, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the ten counts when the charge was read to their hearing.
The counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, stated that in view of the plea by the accused persons, they had opened themselves up for trial and prayed the court to accelerate the trial.
In response, counsel to the first and third defendants, I.O Ayoade, explained that he had filed an application for bail on behalf of his client.
He prayed the court to remand them in EFCC custody pending the hearing and determination of the said bail application.
On his part, lawyer to the second and fourth defendants, Ilechukwu Emmanuel, who argued in a similar vein added that the court can grant leave for the bail application to be argued orally.
He also called the court’s attention to the fact the two men had been in the custody of the EFCC.
But Mr. Oyedepo opposed the request for oral application for bail and said he needed time to respond to the bail applications.
He also asked the court to remand the defendants in prison custody.
In her ruling, the presiding judge, Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, ordered that the two men be remanded in the custody of the EFCC until Wednesday when their bail application will be heard.