The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday arraigned one Stanley Okoye and Larbrador Shipping Services Limited before Justice O.A. Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos for an alleged $111,500,000 fraud.
The defendants were arraigned on a 12-count charge bordering on possession of false documents, forgery, attempt to obtain by false pretence, and using as genuine a false document contrary to Section 364 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
One of the counts reads: “OKAFOR STANLEY and LARBRADOR SHIPPING SERVICES LTD, sometime between November 2019 and January 2020 in Lagos, within the Lagos Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, did attempt to obtain the cumulative sum of $111,500,000 (One Hundred and Eleven Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) from Zenith Bank Plc by falsely representing that CitiBank was already in receipt of the said sum on your behalf.”
Another count reads: “OKAFOR STANLEY and LARBRADOR SHIPPING SERVICES LTD., on or about the 21st day of November 2019 in Lagos, within the Lagos Judicial Division, with intent to defraud and in order to facilitate your obtaining by money by false pretence from Zenith Bank Plc forged a document to wit: Bank of America confirmation message with SWIFT TRANSACTION CODE BOA-20192111700088368, purporting it to represent the sum of $22,000,000 (Twenty-two Million Dollars) in favour of Labrador Shipping Services Ltd, which document you knew to be false.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges when they were read to him.
Prosecuting counsel, I.A. Mohammed, thereafter, prayed the Court for a trial date to enable the prosecution prove its case.
“We also urge the Court to order that the defendant be remanded at the Nigerian Correctional Centre,” he said.
Defence counsel, Onyeisi Ofulue, however, sought to make an oral application for the bail of his client, adding that the defence was already making a formal application to bring before the Court.
“We also urge the Court to remand the defendant in EFCC custody,” Mr Ofulue added.
In his response, Mr Mohammed argued that a proper bail application ought to be brought before the Court, which the prosecution will also respond to.
“With the arraignment of the defendant, the proper custody is the prison,” he added.
While overruling the application to make an oral application for the bail of the defendant, Justice Taiwo adjourned till December 2, 2021 for the hearing of a formal bail application and also ordered that the defendant remain in the EFCC custody till then.