The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday arraigned an Onitsha, Anambra State-based businessman, Chris Onyebuchi Ijeoma, alongside his company, Tellers International Limited, before Justice I. B. Gafai of the Federal High Court, Awka, Anambra State on a two-count charge of obtaining money under false pretense and stealing N10 million belonging to the head pastor and general overseer of a Pentecostal church in the commercial city.
Ijeoma’s ordeal started after a petition was written to the commission alleging that sometime in 2014, he approached the complainant (General Overseer) with a business proposal to help raise funds to finance the importation of insecticide/pest sprayer from the USA, to the tune of N10 million, with a promise to pay back within three months, after the sale of the products.
The complainant further stated that having advanced the sum to the suspect, who was also an elder of the church council, on March 18 ,2014, he waited for more than after three months without receiving any payment as promised.
He then approached Ijeoma and demanded to know why the products were not yet imported, to which he said he had invested the money in a US-based cream company and that NAFDAC approval was needed before the goods would be exported to Nigeria, a development different from what was agreed upon.
When the case was called, the suspect pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The defence counsel, C.M. Obijagwam, thereafter applied orally for his client’s bail, which was denied by Justice Gafai, stating he had to apply formally.
Gafai further ordered that the suspect be remanded in prison custody pending the hearing of the bail application.
The case has been adjourned to June 6 and 8, 2017.