JUSTICE Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on March 11, 2022, adjourned ruling on the no-case submission filed by one Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun, a self-acclaimed Lagos-based pastor, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for an alleged $1.6million fraud, till April 12, 2022.
Oluokun was arraigned alongside his company, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on charges bordering on issuance of dud cheques, stealing and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of $1.6 million.
He was first arraigned on January 21, 2019, on offences contrary to Section 1(1) (b) of the Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act, Cap D 11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokunand Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about 26th June, 2014, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, issued a Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited Cheque dated 26th June, 2014 for the sum of $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) only payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited, which when presented for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”
Another count reads: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun and Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about 26th June, 2014, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, issued a Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited Cheque dated 26th June, 2014 for the sum $666,666 (Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Dollars only) payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited which when presented for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, prompting commencement of full trial.
At Frday’s sitting, the prosecution and the defence adopted their written addresses on the no-case submission.
Adopting the written address for the defendants, the defence counsel, E.D. Onyeke, argued that the prosecution had not made a case against the defendant to warrant him to enter his defence.
“We urge your lordship to dismiss the charges,” he said.
Responding, the prosecuting counsel, S.O. Daji also adopted the written address for the prosecution, and argued that it had through the six prosecution witnesses called, shown evidence to the Court warranting the need for the defendant to open his case.
“From the evidence before this Honourable Court, there is a need for the defendant to come and explain his role as he never used the money for the thing he claimed he wanted to use it for,” he said.
He therefore urged the Court to dismiss the no-case submission.
The case was thereafter adjourned till April 12, 2022.
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