Court remands 4 Petro Union Oil directors for falsely demanding £2.56bn from UBN, CBN

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A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday remanded four directors of Petrol Union Oil and Gas Company Ltd, over alleged £2.56billion pounds fraud.

Westafricabusiness gathered that the defendants had attempted to obtain money by false pretences, by demanding 2.556 billion pounds from the Union Bank of Nigeria and the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a bill of exchange purportedly issued by  Barclays Bank.

It would be recalled that the companies on or about 29th December, 1994 within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court fraudulently procured a Barclays Bank cheque dated 29th December 1994 made payable to Gladstone Kukoyi & Associates.

The said cheque, according to the court, was purportedly meant for foreign investment in the construction of 3 refineries and petrochemical complex in Nigeria.

However, the cheque is found to be false and thereby committing an offence contract to sanction1 (2) (a) of the miscellaneous offences Act, laws of the federation of Nigeria, 1990 and punishable under the same section

The defendants are: Abayomi Kukoyi; Prince Kingsley Okpala, Prince Chidi Okpalaeze and Prince Emmanuel Okpalaeze.

Justice Mohammed Liman ordered the remand of the defendants at a custodial center after their arraignment on a seven-count charge of fraud preferred by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).The charge is marked FHC/L/46c/2020.

The defendants are charged alongside one Prince Isaac Okpala described as deceased.

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They were alleged to have committed the offences from 1994 to 2007.

The anti-graft agency alleged that they fraudulently procured a Barclays Bank cheque for 2.556 billion pounds made payable to Gladstone Kukoyi and Associates on the pretext that it was meant for the construction of three refineries and petrochemical complex in Nigeria.

They were also alleged to have, sometime in April 2007, uttered a statement of account in the name of Goldmatic Ltd., purportedly issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), falsely claiming that the CBN had in its custody 2,159, 221, 313.54 pounds in favour of Goldmatics Ltd.

The EFCC also accused the defendants of forging a Barclays Bank cheque dated Dec. 29, 1994, for 2.556 billion pounds made payable to Gladstone Kukoyi and Associates, purporting the said cheque to be meant for foreign investment in the construction of three refineries and petrochemical complex in Nigeria.

According to the EFCC, the alleged offences contravene the provisions of Sections 1(2), 1(2)(a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act of 1990.

The commission also noted that the alleged offences contravene the provisions of Sections 467(2)(I), 468 and 501of the Criminal Code Act of 2004.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

After their pleas, EFCC prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), asked the court for a trial date.

The judge adjourned the case until Feb.19, for hearing of the bail applications.

He ordered that the defendants should be remanded pending the outcome of the bail applications.

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