Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ex-NBA Vice President remanded in prison for N35million fraud

Justice U. N. Agomoh of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday remanded Barrister Emonena Blessing Ukiri, a former Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, in prison custody. 
Barrister Ukiri is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; EFCC, on charges of fraud, stealing and money laundering to the tune of over N35million.
He is alleged to have converted a N35million judgement sum paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to his client, one Samuel Onowighose, by concealing the origin of the fund and using part of it to acquire 150,000 units of First Bank of Nigeria PLC shares and thereby commits an offence punishable under Section 14 (1) (A) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to all the charges, yet counsel to the anti-graft agency, Mrs. Olatunji Ademiju asked the court to fix a date for trial while the defence Counsel, Barrister A. O. Ojekudos moved a motion for bail.
He appealed to the court to allow the accused person to continue to enjoy the administrative bail granted him by the EFCC in 2007.
But the prosecuting counsel objected to the bail application on the grounds that she was only served in court and needed time to study the application.
Before adjourning proceedings, Justice Agomoh maintained that an administrative bail granted in 2007 cannot be used as a basis for seeking bail in a matter filed in 2012.
He then ordered that the accused person be remanded in prison custody, while the case was adjourned to October 18, 2012.

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