Court convicts businessman in absentia for $149,950 fraud

Equity Olusola Williams of the Extraordinary Offenses Court, sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Friday sentenced an agent, Barnabas Johnson Akojie in absentia for offenses verging on falsification, taking, getting by affectation and deceitful transformation as much as $149,950.

Akojie was sentenced close by his organizations, Hanson Oil and Gas Restricted and Hanston Oil and Gas Constrained, having been summoned on an eight-check charge by the Monetary and Money related Violations Commission, EFCC, on October 9, 2018.

One of the charges peruses: “That you, Barnabas Johnson Akojie and Hanston Oil and Gas Constrained, approximately the 29th day of November, 2017 in Lagos, inside the ward of this respectable court, with purpose to swindle, acquired the aggregate of $69, 975. 00 from Etienne Irazoqui by dishonestly speaking to him that the cash was for coordinations expense for an agreement of supply of unrefined petroleum under ‘off-OPEC’ premise from the Nigerian National Oil Partnership (NNPC), a portrayal you knew to be false and subsequently dedicated an offense in opposition to Area 1(1) and 1(3) of the Development Charge Misrepresentation and Other Extortion Related Offenses Act, No. 14 of 2006.”

The respondents argued not liable to the charges favored against them, offering route to their preliminary.

Over the span of the preliminary, the indictment exhibited six observers, while the safeguard introduced three.

Despite the fact that the two gatherings along these lines shut their cases, yet Equity Williams couldn’t convey judgment on the issue at the keep going deferred on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, inferable from the nonappearance of the litigants in court. Akojie, who is the primary respondent, as indicated by his guidance, was debilitated and conceded in emergency clinic, inciting Equity Williams to issue a seat warrant on him, requesting that he be delivered that equivalent day at 3.00pm for the judgment to be perused to him.

Be that as it may, endeavors by EFCC agents to bring him were ineffective, as he couldn’t be found at his known personal residence or at the medical clinic he professed to have been conceded in.

Equity Williams, accordingly, dismissed the case to Friday, July 26, 2019 (being today) for both the indictment and resistance to address the court, with respect to whether the judgment ought to be conveyed by another judge or be conveyed by him without the litigants.

The arraignment counsel, E.S. Okongwu, while cautioning the court that Akojie may have been on the run, expressed that it was inside the forces of courts to convey decisions without respondents. He, in this manner, encouraged the court to convey judgment and convict the litigants as charged.

“It is an unmistakable determined plot by Akojie to defer equity, and it is commensurate to the case beginning all over again,” Okongwu included.

In his response, the safeguard counsel, Lenient Aba, educated the court that he transferred all that occurred at the last deferred date to his customer on the telephone, adding that he guaranteed to be in court today.

“My Ruler, my customer does not expect to defer the course of equity. He doesn’t need the make a difference to begin all over again either. He was, in fact, wiped out. My customer can’t flee from this judgment in light of the fact that the EFCC will clearly search for him and carry him to book; in this way, he will come to court when he is in a good place again,” Aba expressed.

Equity Williams, in the wake of tuning in to the two gatherings, decided that the judgment will be perused while condemning will be conveyed by another judge.

She decided that “the indictment has demonstrated its case past sensible questions and the respondents are blameworthy of the charges favored against them by the EFCC.”

She additionally disavowed the bail allowed to Akojie and requested that his sureties be captured and brought under the watchful eye of the court to clarify why he was missing in court..

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