Justice I.O Ijelu of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja has fixed April 3 for the trial of one Mark Obisean and four others for alledgedly purchasing forged bank notes.
Other defendants include, Olumide Mcintouch, Bolaji Bakare, and Goodluck Bazunu.
The defendants were re-arraigned on Thursday on an amended 11-count charge.
They were charge to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal Command.
Part of the charge reads, “Mark Obisean, Olumide Mcintouch, Bolaji Bakare, Goodluck Bazunu, and Josiah Ntekume (at large) sometime in 2018 at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, received and have in your possession forged United States dollar Travellers Cheque number GA908-981-564.”
Another count reads: “Mark Obisean, Olumide Mcintouch, Bolaji Bakare, Goodluck Bazunu, and Josiah Ntekume (at large) sometime in 2018 at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division conspired to purchase, received, and have in your possession forged United States travellers cheques.”
But they denied the charges which border on purchasing forged bank notes contrary to Section 370 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011, and conspiracy to purchase forged bank notes contrary to Section 410 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
The first defendant was however granted bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum after his re-arraignment.
The prosecuting counsel N.K. Ukoha prayed the court for a trial date to enable the prosecution call its witnesses and tender relevant documents to prove the case against them.
Counsel for the first defendant, Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, however, informed the court of the bail application filed on behalf of his client, arguing that his client does not constitute a flight-risk.
Counsel for the other defendants, however, had no formal bail applications before the court for the court to hear and rule on.
The court further held that the other defendants had no formal applications before the court and so were returned to the correctional facility.
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned till April 3, 4 and 5, 2023 respectively for possible trial.
Earlier, the defendants had been arraigned before Justice Sherifat Solebo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, in February 2022 before her retirement from the Lagos State Judiciary in November 2022, but the trial could not be concluded.
Now, the case has been reassigned to Justice Ijelu for trial.