By Dipo Olowookere
A fund/portfolio manager with Fragracons Limited, Mr Jonah Ekpone Chijor, has been arraigned by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for an alleged case of criminal breach of trust.
The suspect was brought before Justice E.A Obile of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on a two- count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The fund manager got into trouble when his victim wrote a petition to the EFCC, alleging that he invested N4 million with the defendant who promised to pay 15 percent interest on the amount after six months.
But at the maturity, the investor requested for both the capital and interest but the defendant failed to refund his money and all efforts to get the money back proved abortive.
At his arraignment, the anti-graft agency in one of the counts said, “That you Jonah Ekpone Chijor, Fragracons Limited sometimes between September 2014 and September 2015 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: obtaining by false pretence and thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
After the charges were read to him, the defendant pleaded not guilty and in view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, C. Okorie prayed the court to fix a date for commencement of trial. However, counsel to the defendant, C. Iyieke informed the court of a pending application for bail for the defendant.
Justice Obile granted the defendant bail in the sum of N2 million and one surety in like sum. The defendant and surety were asked to deposit two recent passport photographs with the court.
The judge said the surety should be a community member of the defendant and the residential address of the surety should be verified by the police. Justice Obile also ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of his bail term while the matter was adjourned to November 28, 2019 for commencement of trial.
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