The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibadan zonal office, on Wednesday, re-arraigned one Alice John and her boyfriend, Fadi Alloush, before Justice Bayo Taiwo of the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan, for fraud involving the sale of charcoal.
The lovers were re-arraigned on three counts of conspiracy, stealing and obtaining the sum of N17.5m under false pretences.
The offences were said to be contrary to Section 390 of the Criminal Code Laws, Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges, following which the prosecution counsel, Dr Ben Ubi, applied for a trial date, while the defence counsel, Olukunle Kamisi, prayed the court to allow the bail earlier granted the defendants to subsist.
Justice Taiwo granted the defendants’ prayers.
“The bail shall subsist and, in the event, where there is delay on the defendants’ part, their bail will be revoked,” the judge said.
Justice Taiwo adjourned the matter till October 8, 2020, for trial.
The defendants were initially arraigned before Justice Iyabo Yerima of the Oyo State High Court on March 17, 2020, but were re-arraigned on Wednesday following the reassignment of the case to Justice Taiwo.
Between January and December 2019, the victim, Houssam Nasreddine, allegedly transferred the sum of N17.5m to John’s account for the purchase of charcoal from Iwere lle, Oyo State, for exportation, which the defendant bought and loaded in containers at the Hapag Lloyd Shipping Company, Apapa, Lagos.
Rather than sell the goods in the name of the rightful owner, she allegedly connived with her boyfriend, Alloush, to change the ownership of the goods and sold them off.
The petitioner added that all efforts to retrieve either the charcoal or his money were frustrated by the defendants.