By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Lagos zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned one Mr Okey Justin Eze and his company, Ashford Industries Nigeria Limited for allegedly defrauding Bank of Industry (BoI) to the tune of N85 million.
Mr Eze was taken to Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court, sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on Thursday, May 2, 2019, on a six- count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence from the bank established by the Nigerian government to provide financial assistance to businesses in the country.
The accused person, who is the first defendant in the matter, allegedly obtained the sum as a loan from the bank for the purchase of items for the production of hair brushes, which he allegedly failed to account for or provided evidence of the production of the goods.
Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Okey Justine Eze and Ashford Industries Nigeria Limited, sometime in November 2007, in Ikeja, within the judicial division of this court, with intent to defraud, induced the Bank of Industry Plc to issue you an asset finance facility of N524,000 only on the understanding that the said sum was for the purchase of a fabricated injection moulding and cooling tower, and that the supply was to be made by Maxim Data Limited, which pretence you knew to be false.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to all the charges. In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Yerima Ahmed, asked for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the defendant in prison custody.
The defence counsel, Daniel Onwe, however, told the court about a pending application for bail on behalf of his client.
Justice Taiwo adjourned the matter to May 8, 2019 and ordered the defendant to be remanded in Ikoyi Prisons, pending the determination of his bail application.
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