The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on January 21, 2019, arraigned one Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun along with his company, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja on a two-count charge bordering on issuance of dud cheques to the tune of $1.6 million.
The offence is contrary to Section 1(1) (b) of the Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act, Cap D 11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The defendant was alleged to have approached the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of GOSL Nigeria Limited, Emmanuel Ekpeyong, for a loan of $1 million and $666,666 respectively to enable him carry out operation activities in his company’s oil field in Bayelsa State.
He was said to have assured the complainant that he would repay the money within a year.
The defendant allegedly issued two post-dated Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited cheques dated June 26, 2014 for the sum of $1 million and $666,666 respectively.
However, when the cheques were presented for payment, they were returned due to insufficient funds.
One of the charges read: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun and Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about 26th June, 2014, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division issued a Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited Cheque dated 26th June, 2014 for the sum of $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) only payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited, which when presented for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”
The second count reads: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun and Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about 26th June, 2014, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division issued a Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited Cheque dated 26th June, 2014 for the sum $666,666 (Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Dollars only) payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited which when presented for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”
When the charges were read to the defendant, he pleaded “not guilty”.
In view of the defendant’s plea, the prosecuting counsel, Ocholi Atta, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed the court to remand the defendant in prison custody pending the determination of the case before the court.
However, counsel for the defendant, E.O. Yoroh, informed the court that he filed an application for bail on behalf of his client “this morning” because he was briefed about the matter “yesterday”.
He, therefore, prayed the court to hear the application and admit his client to bail.
Ocholi, however, objected to the prayer of the defence on the grounds that he had yet to be served with the application.
He urged the court to give the prosecution some time to go through the application when served and also prayed the court to remand the defendant in prison custody.
After listening to both parties, Justice Taiwo adjourned the matter to January 28, 2019 for “determination of the defendant’s bail application” and ordered the defendant to be remanded in the EFCC custody.
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