The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Benin Zonal Office, on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 arraigned Omoparewa Femi before Justice A. A. Demi-Ajayi of the Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State on a four-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence.
Femi is alleged to have received over N1 million under the pretence of procuring a visa for Ikporo Ufuoma.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Omoparewa Femi and one Prince Chikita (still at large ), on or about the 14th day of June 2017, at Benin within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did with intent to defraud, obtain the sum N500,000 from Ikporo Ufuoma through your bank account domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank, under a false pretence that you are a registered visa procurement agent and the money was meant for Canadian Visa to Mr Ikporo Ufuoma, a pretext which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the advance fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act , 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.”
The defendant pleaded “not guilty” to the charge when it was read to him.
In view of his plea, counsel for the EFCC, Austin Ozigbo, prayed the court to fix a date for trial and to remand the defendant in prison.
Counsel for the defendant, Solomon Akpobosa, told the court that he has filed an application for bail for his client.
Ozigbo, however, told the court that he was just served with the application, and so needed time to study it and respond.
Justice Demi-Ajayi, thereafter, adjourned to September 25, 2019 for hearing and ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison.
In a similar development, the Commission arraigned Bashir Munikalia on a one-count charge of obtaining by false pretence.