Zenith Bank Official Testifies Against Promoter Of Oceanview Oil And Gas In N43.5m Fraud
A prosecution witness, Mr. Kenneth Ikeagwu, who is a compliance officer with Zenith Bank has narrated to Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, how the bank provided the account statement of embattled Chairman of Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, NOGASA, Philips Fatuyi to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in respect of a N43.5million fraud charge against him.
Mr. Kenneth Ikeagwu while being led in evidence on Thursday by EFCC counsel, Mr. Spife Owede, said he received a request from EFCC sometimes in November 2016 to provide them with the account statement of the defendant’s company, Oceanview Oil and Gas Limited.
Fatuyi is being tried alongside his company, Oceanview Oil and Gas Limited on a two-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence.
The defendant is facing two counts bordering on obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N43,502,000 and was first arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC, on April 7, 2022 in Suit No ID/17098C/2021.
According to the charge against him, “Fatuyi Yemi 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 from Elochukwu Okoye and Elebana Unique Ventures Nigeria Limited on behalf of WAPCIL Nigeria Limited under the false representation that you would sell to WAPCIL Nigeria Limited $98,870.00, a representation you knew to be false.
“Count two reads: “Fatuyi Yemi 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 of N43, 502,000.00, property of WAPCIL Nigeria Limited.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges at his arraignment.
Giving evidence, Ikeagwu said, “We made the statement of account available to the commission and the certificate of identification was signed by my colleague, Mr. Daniel Udom.”
Thereafter, the court admitted the response letter from Zenith bank to EFCC dated November 2016 as evidence.
The compliance officer also explained to the court that the defendant was the sole signatory to the account and there was an inflow and outflow of fund between September 28, 2016.
He said, “There was an inflow of N18 million, N25 million and N550,000 which which was paid in tranches.”
Under cross-examination by the Defence Counsel, Mr. Olarenwaju Ajanaku, the prosecution witness said he was not the account officer of the defendant.
He also confirmed to the court that he did not know what the inflows were meant for and that he did not know the two people who made the payment to the defendant’s company account.
Meanwhile, the trial judge, Justice Dada has adjourned the case till March 30, 2023 for continuation of trial.