The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has brought one Prof. Uche Chigozie Edwin before the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos for an alleged N1.4billion fraud.

Edwin and three of his firms – Visionary Integrated Consulting Limited, NEMAD Associates Limited and Revamp Global Enterprise – were arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on an 11-count charge of conspiracy, retention and conversion of funds to the tune of N1, 473,367,046.04.

The EFCC’s Lagos Zonal Command alleged that the money belonged to maize growers and marketers, adding that the defendants committed the offences “sometime in 2021 in Lagos”

One of the counts on the charge claimed they “conspired to use the sum of N1, 473,367,046.04 property of the Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN), which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity to wit: fraud; and you thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”

Edwin pleaded “not guilty” to the 11 counts.

Prosecution counsel, C.C.Okezie, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed that the defendant be remanded.

But defence counsel Mobolaji Akintunde made an application for the defendant’s bail and for his remand in the EFCC’s custody pending the perfection of the bail terms.

In a bench ruling, Justice Oweibo granted Edwin N1million bail with two sureties in the like sum.

The sureties must possess landed property within the court’s jurisdiction, and show a tax clearance certificate of three months as well as their passport photographs.

The defendant was also ordered to deposit his passport with the court.

The case was adjourned till June 27, for commencement of trial.

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