A Lagos Special Offences Court, sitting in Ikeja, has been told how an alleged fraudster, Onarike Onagoruwa duped a businessman, Abiodun Adebowale through a business agreement that was apparently a scam.
An Investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Agbetuyi Ademola, who was led in evidence by Counsel to the anti-graft agency, N.K. Ukoha, told the Court how the witness ignored several letters of invitation sent to him, necessitating his arrest.
Identifying the defendant in the dock, the EFCC Investigator said the anti-graft agency received a petition on January 27, 2020 that accused the defendant of defrauding his victim using a purported coconut oil-based investment scheme.
He said the agreement was that for every investment, she will get 30 per cent returns on the five million naira invested.
“Upon giving him the N5million on 7th December 2018, he issued a post-dated cheque of N6.5million dated 7th December 2019 for a year.
“On the date when the cheque was presented at the bank, it was dishonoured on account of insufficient balance.”
He further told the Court that the petition was assigned to his team for discrete investigation and report.
According to him, several letters of investigation activities were written to Zenith Bank, UBA and Access Bank, and responses were received, which were further analysed.
He testified that the defendant ignored several invitations extended to him and “finally, on 2nd of March 2022, precisely two years later, he was arrested by a team of operatives in Odogbolu area of Ogun State”.
Upon his arrest, he was confronted with the petition and interrogated, during which he volunteered his statement.
According to him, the defendant claimed that he was experiencing “financial crisis” and that was why he was unable to meet up with payment.
“However, our investigations revealed that after receiving the N5million in his Zenith Bank account, he converted it to his personal use,” he said.
The witness thereafter identified the statements of the defendant, the correspondences between the EFCC and the banks, as well as the cheque slip, as the prosecution sought to tender them in evidence.
Justice Mojisola Dada, subsequently admitted them as Exhibit P4 to P14, and adjoined till Tuesday, May 9, 2023 for cross-examination.
Onarike Onagoruwa, was arraigned on January 19, 2023, on a three-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and issuance of dud cheque.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
One of the counts reads: “Onarike Obafemi Onagoruwa on or about the 7th day of December 2018 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court and with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of N5,000,000 (Five Million Naira only) from one Abiodun Adebowale under the pretence that you will invest the said sum in a coconut oil based investment scheme with you on behalf of the said Abiodun Adebowale from where she would get a 30% interest on the capital investment after 12 months, a pretence you knew to be false.”
Another count reads: “Onarike Obafemi Onagoruwa on or about the 7th day of December 2018 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did obtain credit by issuing a Zenith Bank Plc cheque dated 7/12/2019 in the sum of N6,500,000 only to Abiodun Adebowale which cheque when presented for payment within three months of issuance was dishonoured due to insufficient funds in the account to cover the face value of the said cheque.”