A female septuagenarian, Alhaja Mulikat Shonekan, aged 77 was on Wednesday, November 26, 2014, arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before a Lagos High Court in Ikeja for allegedly stealing and fraudulently converting N65 million entrusted in her care for the purchase of 90 acres of land in Ogun State.
Alhaja Shonekan was arraigned alongside Martins Ogiogwa and Mujekanm Petroleum Nig. Coy. Ltd, on a five-count charge of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretences, stealing and issuance of dishonoured cheque, said a Vanguard report.
The count three of the charges bought against the trio said, Alhaja Mulikat Shonekan, Martins Ogiowa and Mujekanm Petroleum Nigeria Coy Ltd sometime in September 2008 in Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division with intent to defraud, stole and fraudulently converted N65,000,000, property of Kuta Stones Ltd. entrusted to you, for the purchase of 90 acres of land located at Kemta Ososun Village, Odeda Local Government Area of Abeokuta in Ogun State of Nigeria.
The offence is against the dictates of Section 390 of the Criminal Code, Cap. C17, Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003, according to the commission.
Although the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges read out to them in English and Yoruba languages, the EFCC counsel, Anslem Ozioko, urged the presiding judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, to remand the defendants in prison custody as required by law,pending on when they perfect any bail granted by the court.
He disclosed to the court that that Alhaja Shonekan was granted bail by the commission but she escaped adding that there was no guarantee that she would appear for trial if they eventually grant her a bail again.
Counsel to the first defendant (Alhaja Shonekan) and third defendant (company), Bamidele Ogundele, urged the court to grant his client bail on liberal term, saying “the nature of the offence is a non-capital. There is a charge, but the charge is mere allegation until proven.”
Ogundele also revealed that Alhaja Shonekan had been admitted twice in the commission’s clinic, adding that she was brought to EFCC in 2013.
Meanwhile, counsel to Akpomreta, who urged the court to grant his client bail said: “In fact, it was the second defendant that went to EFCC on his own. He was not arrested.
“We pray my Lord to grant him bail and also that he should be remanded in EFCC custody, pending perfection of his bail,” Akpomreta maintained.
In reaction, the presiding judge said: “I noticed the inability of Alhaja Shonekan to walk properly. So I rule that she should still be in EFCC custody. I have noted that the offences charged are non-capital in nature.”
He further granted her bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties from her blood relations with evidence of tax payment for three years.
Akpomreta was granted bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties from his blood relations and give N5 million bond, including showing evidence of two years tax payment in Lagos while his international document must be submitted to the Chief Registrar of the court.
He was ordered to be remanded in prison custody till perfection of his bail and adjourned the trial of the case till January 23, 2015.