The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal Office, on January 15, 2019 arraigned Iheanacho Chikendu before Justice D.E. Osiagor of the Federal High Court, sitting in Umuahia, Abia State on a 10-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N18,782,000 (Eighteen Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty-Two Thousand Naira) only.
Chikendu got into trouble when a petitioner alleged that sometimes in September 2016, he collected N18,782,000 from her to procure Canadian visas for her daughters and upon the payment of the money, the visas were neither procured, nor Was her money returned to her.
Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Iheanacho Chikendu, on or about the 15th September, 2016, at Umuahia, Abia State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N4,000,000 (Four Million Naira) by false pretence, when you presented yourself as a travel agent to Mary Nwankwo and capable of procuring a Canadian Visa for her daughters, a pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Fraud Offences Act No.14 of 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act”.
The defendant pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to him.
In view of his plea, prosecuting counsel, K.W. Chukwuma, asked the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial and that the defendant be remanded in prison custody.
However, counsel to the defendant, C.O. Ezenwaka, told the court that he had filed a bail application for his client and had served same on the prosecution. He urged the court to grant his prayers.
Justice Osiagor granted the defendant bail in the sum of N1million with one surety in like sum. The surety must be a senior civil servant and must deposit the sum of N300, 000 to the Court Registry. Also, the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and the prosecution should verify the residence of the surety.
The judge, thereafter, ordered the defendant to be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of his bail and adjourned to February 12, 2019.