Friday, 18 March 2016

EFCC Docks 55-year-old Mohammed Gobir for $300m Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, March 17, 2016 arraigned one Mohammed Gobir before Justice R. I. B. Adebiyi of the Lagos State High Court on a 17-count charge of stealing, forgery and obtaining by false pretence.

The 55-year-old father of two, who claimed to be a non-executive director and Chairman of Business Development Committee of Afromedia Plc, was arrested by the operatives of EFCC at his Ikoyi residence September 12, 2015 sequel to a petition the commission received from Afro Media.

The petitioners alleged that Gobir was introduced to them by their Private Placements Consultants, Synergy Capital Advisory Limited sometime in 2008.

Upon his introduction, the defendant offered to invest N1,000,000,000 (One Billion Naira Only) into Afromedia, a pretext that earned him a position as a Chairman, Business Development Committee on the board of directors and use same position to defraud the company several sums of money in different currencies.

The defendant was said to have fraudulently obtained the sums of $3,500,000 (Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars), N514,457,151.87 (Five Hundred and Fourteen Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Seven Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty One Naira, Eighty Seven Kobo), $2,102,740 (Two Million, One Hundred and Two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Forty Dollars), and 51,000 Pounds Sterling at various times under the pretext that the monies were for business expenses which he intends to facilitate with international investors who were willing to invest into Afromedia.

He was also alleged to have obtained the sum of $2.102 million USD, and the sum of £51, 000 British Pound Sterling, under false pretence that the sums would be used to facilitate and secure the sum of $70 million USD, from his account with NATVEST Bank, London, United Kingdom, as your investment fund in Afromedia Plc out of the sum of $250 million USD.

The accused person was also alleged to have dishonesty converted the sum of $1 million USD, and the sum of N123 million belonging to the firm to his personal used.

He was also alleged to have forged an EU waiver certificate dated June 30, 2010, an used fraudulently claim that it was issued by Royal Dutch Exchange Bureau Plc, to him as the beneficiary and signed by the Registrar, and communicate same to Mr. Akinola Irewunmi Olopade, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Afromedia Plc.

The offences, according to EFCC prosecutor, Mr. A.B.C. Ozioko are contrary to and punishable under sections 1(1)(a), 1(3), 285(8), 9(b), 278(1)(b), 363(1), 2(b), 364(1) of the Criminal laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003, and sections 6, 8(b), 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud related offences Act No. 14 of 2006.

The accused person however pleaded not guilty to all the counts charge.

Defence lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, urged the court to grant the accused bail on liberal term.

But, Ozioko said he needed time to respond to the bail application and urged court to remand the accused in prisons custody pending when his bail application will be heard and determined.

Justice Adebiyi adjourned the matter till March 22, for the hearing and determination of the accused person’s bail application, ordered that he should be remanded in prisons custody.

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