The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday arraigned one Bolarinwa Abiodun, a fake Army General, before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on a 13-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, forgery of documents and possession of documents containing false pretence to the tune of N266,500,000.
The offences are contrary to Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006; Section 363 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 and Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act No 14 of 2006, respectively.
The defendant, who posed as a General in the Nigerian Army allegedly, made false representations to the complainant, Kodef Clearing Resources, that President Muhammadu Buhari had short-listed him and one other to be appointed as the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, and that he needed a short grant to “press and process the appointment.”
Mr Abiodun, who was arrested at his house in the Alagbado area of Lagos State on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, also allegedly forged a letter of appointment as COAS purportedly signed by the President and showed the same to the victim to further prove his claim.
In the said letter, he claimed that he needed to pay a certain amount of money into the coffers of the Federal Government of Nigeria, as part of the requirements for the appointment as COAS.
Mr Abiodun is also alleged to have, in May 2020, forged a Nigeria Army Identity Card with serial number 387140, claiming the same to have been issued to him from the Nigerian Army, and another forged Letter of Recommendation purportedly signed by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo recommending one Adebayo Rasaq Adebola, with recruitment No 77RRI/OG/556/0032555 and Adeogun Emmanuel Adesola with recruitment No 77RRI/OG/352/0123751 for employment into the Nigeria Army.
He is also accused of being in possession of a forged Certificate of Confirmation dated November 7, 2018, purporting the same to have emanated from the Nigerian Army Headquarters.
He is also accused of being in possession of a forged document titled: Letter of Authorization, purportedly signed by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo permitting one Bamidele Olusegun Safiriyu of De-Rock Maritime Resource L.T.D. to enter Apapa Port freely and load their truck.
Upon his arrest, six pump action guns, three cartridge bullets, a swagger stick and several forged documents were recovered from him.
One of the counts reads: “Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun, between 15th June, 2020 and 31st December 2020 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud and whilst holding yourself out as a General in the Nigerian Army, obtained the sum of N111,400,000 from Kodef Clearing Resources Limited, under the pretence that the sum represented part of the amount expended to “press and process” your incoming appointment by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, as the CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF of the Nigerian Army, which pretence you knew to be false.”
Another count reads: “Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun, sometime in May 2020 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly forged LETTER OF APPOINTMENT AS CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF dated 20th May 2020 and purported the said document to have emanated from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which document you know to be false.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Following his plea, the prosecuting counsel, A.O. Muhammed, prayed the Court for a trial date and for the remand of the defendant at the facility of the Nigerian Correctional Service.
The defence counsel, Kayode Lawal, informed the Court of a summons for bail filed on behalf of the defendant.
The prosecution acknowledged receipt on April 8, 2022, noting that “we are still within time to respond and we intend to respond”.
Acknowledging the position of the prosecution, Mr Lawal prayed the court for “the shortest date to move our bail application.”
Thereafter, Justice Taiwo adjourned till Thursday, April 14, 2022 and ordered that the defendant be remanded at Ikoyi Correctional facility, Lagos.