Justice P. I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has remanded a former chief accountant, Chinedu Akandu, his company, JCJ Global Services, and four former employees of Megastar Technical and Construction Company Limited, Andrew Odibenua, Calistus Madu, Abiola Allison and Okpeva Elija in custody for alleged conspiracy, money laundering and obtaining by false pretense.
The defendants were arraigned by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, on a 14-count charge bordering on conspiracy, money laundering and obtaining by false pretence.
The defendants pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges preferred against them.
In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel S. M. H. Ibekwute asked for a date for the commencement of trial and prayed that the defendants be remanded.
Counsels to the 1st and 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th defendants, E. C. Ozioko, N. A. Anyeuoh, Paula. O. Abudu, N. A. Ibiloye and D. L. Davis respectively informed the court of their applications for the bail of the defendants and urged the court to grant the defendants bail to enable them prepare for their trial.
Justice Ajoku ordered that the defendants be remanded in the custody of the prosecution and the matter was adjourned to April 26, 2023 for hearing of bail and June 19, 2023 for commencement of trial.
The defendants ran into trouble when the Commission received a petition against them.
The petitioner alleged that, sometime in November 2022, while reviewing the company’s financial ledger to check their financial expenses, it was observed that some illegal and unapproved transactions were carried out on the company’s account without any approval.
Investigation revealed that the defendants who were former employees of the company, conspired amongst themselves to defraud the company and laundered the proceeds of the fraud to various accounts belonging to them for their personal gain.