Justice Mojisola Dada of an Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos has remanded in prison custody the Chairman of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, NOGASA, Lagos Zone, Fatuyi Yemi Philips on Thursday.
He was charged alongside his company; Oceanview Oil and Gas Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Suit No ID/17098C/2021.
The defendant was remanded in prison custody of his choice following his arraignment before Justice Dada on a two-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section of the Advance Fee Fraud and Fraud Related Offences, 2006 and on allegation of stealing contrary to Section 285(1) of Criminal Code Law Cap 17 Vol. 2 Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
Count one of the charge reads that, “Fatuyi Philips and Oceanview Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited on or about the 28th day of September, 2016 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud obtained the aggregate sum of N43,502,000.00 (Forty-Three Million Five Hundred and Two Thousand Naira) from Elochukwu Okoye and Elebana Unique Ventures Nigeria Limited on behalf of WAPCIL Nigeria Limited under the false representation you would sell to WAPCIL Nigeria Limited $98,870,00 (Ninety-Eight Thousand United States of American Dollars), a representation you knew to be false.
While Count two states that,”Philips and Oceanview Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited on or about the 28th day of September, 2016 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court stole the sum N43,502,000.00 (Forty-Three Million Five Hundred and Two Thousand Naira) property of WAPCIL Nigeria Limited.
Upon his not guilty plea to the charges, the EFCC counsel S.O Daji, asked for a trial date, but the Defence Counsel who held brief for Augustine I. Ogbodo, Mr. Charles Ugbonna informed the court that the first defendant had filed application for bail on 7th April, 2022.
Meanwhile, the Commision’s lawyer urged the court to exercise discretion in granting the defendant’s prayer.
The judge held Mr. Daji’s submission that the application was not really ripe for hearing.
However, Mr. Ogbonna asked the court to remand the defendant in EFCC custody but the judge, was opposed to that, she said, ”That is not the lawful custody.”
She however adjourned hearing of the bail application to 28th April, 2022.