The Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned a medical practitioner: Dr. Eze Ekwealor before Justice A. T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for suspected employment scam to the tune of Two Million, One Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira only.
He was arraigned on Monday, July 5, 2021 on eight-count charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and forgery 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.
One of the charges read: “That you Dr. Eze Ekwealor on or about the 30th day of August, 2019 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud commit a felony to wit: obtained the sum of N500,000.00 from one Okoye Chinyere Evelyn through your bank account no: 2083960420 domiciled with Zenith bank Plc under the pretext that you have some job slots with Nigeria Custom Service for job seekers, a pretext you knew, ought to have known, is 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”.
He pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges preferred against him.
In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, F. O. Amama prayed the court to fix a date for commencement of trial. However, counsel to the defendant, R. E. Wonogho informed the court of his application for the bail of the defendant. He was opposed by the prosecution on the ground that the defendant may jump bail if granted. Amama told the court that it took EFCC time before arresting the defendant.
Justice Mohammed granted the defendant bail in the sum of One Million Naira only and two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must present a Certificate of Occupancy (C/O), while the other surety must be a Federal Civil Servant of Grade Level 14. Both sureties must also be resident within Port Harcout. Besides, both sureties and the defendant must deposit two recent passport- sized photographs with the court and addresses of the sureties must be verified by the court and the prosecution.
Justice Mohammed adjourned the matter till September 29 and 30, 2021 for trial