Mr Daniel Danladi, an Investigating Officer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Friday narrated how two businessmen allegedly used forged Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) documents to defraud a Kuwaiti businessman of $4.8 million.
Daniel testified during the trial of a pilot, Victor Uadiale, and a businessman Everest Nnaji, who are standing trial before Ikeja Special Offences Court.
They are facing a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretenses.
Led in evidence by Lead EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, Danladi said that investigations revealed that apart from forging FIRS documents, the defendants also forged documents of Citibank to perpetrate the alleged fraud.
Oyedepo showed Danladi some documents which were exhibits already in the court’s custody and asked Danladi to reveal the outcome of his investigations from the exhibits.
The exhibits are: Citibank Statement of Account, FIRS documents, electronic evidence of a phone call conversation between the defendants, the complainant, Mr Tawfeeq Al-Omar, and others now at large.
Danladi testified that findings of the anti-graft agency also revealed that the defendants used an account with Barclays Bank to perpetrate the alleged fraud.
“When we approached the representative of Barclays Bank in Nigeria, he said that he would not give third party details of an account domiciled in the bank.
“He said it was one of the suspects who could authorise access to the account.
“Since we had agreement with the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI), we then wrote letters to the Nigeria Intelligence Financial Unit (NIFU) and the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
“The NIFU, in its reply to the EFCC, confirmed existence of the transaction which, it said, actually occurred a long time ago,” Danladi said.
The witness said that EFCC investigated some MTN phone lines discovered in a bundle of documents given to the anti-graft agency by counsel to the complainant, which were allegedly used by the defendants and their accomplices to perpetrate the fraud.
“We wrote to the MTN to provide us with the call log of the numbers. Finding from the call log revealed that the phone call was from the same location one of the defendants was residing,” the witness said.
Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned the case until to September 21 for the continuation of the prosecution’s case.
According to the EFCC, Uadiale who goes by the aliases – Victor Emeka and Amaka Emeka – committed the offence of conspiracy obtain money by false pretense alongside Nnaji and one Ismaila Lawal (at large) between 1997 and 1998 in Lagos.
“Uadiale and Lawal, between February 24 and March 19 1997, with intent to defraud, obtained an aggregate sum of $93,250 from Al-Omar, a Kuwaiti national.
“The funds were received under false pretenses that it represented payment for 50,000 metric tonnes of Urea (phosphate fertilizer) which they claimed was procured from National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria (NAFCON).
“On August 11, 1997 in Lagos, Uadiale and Lawal fraudulently obtained $282,500 from Al-Omar under the false pretenses that the money was payment for 75,000 metric tonnes of diesel procured from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.
“Between November 25, 1997 and May 18, 2006 Uadiale and Nnaji in Lagos, obtained an aggregate sum of $3.5 million from Al -Omar under the pretense that the fund was payment for bonny light crude diesel.
“Also, between January 17, 2007 and February 8, 2011, Uadiale solely obtained $945,000 from Al-Omar by falsely claiming that the money was payment for bonny light crude diesel,” the EFCC alleged.
According to the anti-graft commission, the offences contravene the provisions of Section 1(3) and 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 1995.