Alleged N3.7bn Fraud: Court Fixes July 21 for UK Dion’s Trial
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Friday, July 21, 2023, has been fixed for the commencement of the trial of Mr Michael Ukiye Diongoli and his two companies, UK Dion Group and UK Dion Investment Limited.
The date was fixed by Justice Ambrose Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Court 3, Ikoyi Lagos after they were arraigned on a 61-count charge of defrauding unsuspecting investors to the tune of over N3.7 billion.
The defendants were accused of conspiring to obtain money from several individuals and organisations, including Dr Basil Onugu, Prof. Oyekachi Green Nwankwo, FSL Securities Ltd, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, MTN Employer Cooperative, Mr Chukwu Tengu, and the Nigerian Army Welfare Insurance Scheme, among others.
They were said to have committed this alleged crime between 2021 and 2022 after pretending to be a registered financial institution involved in wealth management.
They allegedly invited customers to pay money into their accounts and fix it for a period ranging from six months to one year with interest.
“That you, Micheal Ukiye Diongoli, Dion Investment Limited and others at large between March 2021 and May 2022 in Lagos, Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria with intent to defraud fraudulently obtained several sums of money to UK Dion under the pretence that you are a registered financial institution, and you are into wealth management wherein customers were invited to pay money into your account, fix it for a period ranging from 6 months to one year and the customer will get the money invested with interest, a statement the victims believed, which you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related to Offenses Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act,” one of the charges read.
When the charges were read to them, one of the defendants, Mr Diongoli, pleaded not guilty to all.
The suspects are also facing a criminal summons by Justice Zainab Abubakar of the Federal High Court in Abuja on charges of operating without the licence of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In the two-count charge brought against Mr Diongoli, UK Dion Group And UK Dion Investment Limited, all of No. 21 Buhari Street, Peace Court Estate, Lokogoma, Abuja, they are alleged to have on or between the year 2021 and 2022 within the jurisdiction of the court did commit a felony to wit: conspired among themselves together with their staff to make an illegal act – diversion of investment funds to the tune of over N3.6billion belonging to the investing public which includes Basil Onugu, Elizabeth Umenwa Nwankwo, Adetoun Sokoni, Ezeogu Victoria Ndozi and others you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 516 of Criminal Code Act, laws of the Federation, 2004.