•Being investigated for another N2.8bn fraud -EFCC
Mr. Kelechi Mbagwu, the Managing Director of CMB Building Maintenance and Investment Limited, builder of Pearl Estate, Sangotedo-Ajah, Lagos, has been remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), by the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos.
The court presided over by Justice Sherifat Solebo, ordered the remand of Mr. Kelechi, after he was arraigned before the court on four counts charge of conspiracy, stealing, obtaining by false pretence and fraud.
The EFCC through its prosecutor, Mr. Mohammed Idris, during the arraignment of the defendant on Friday, told the court that Kelechi and his company, had between February 12 and September 14, 2018, conspired among themselves and fraudulently obtained the sum of N25 million, from one Okafor Ameachi Sixtus, under false pretence of selling to him two Residential plots of land in Pearl Garden Estate, Sangotedo.
Idris told the court that upon receiving the mentioned money, Kelechi dishonesty and fraudulently converted it to his personal use, while also failed and refused to give out the plots of land to the fraud victim.
Idris told the court that the offences committed by Kelechi and his company, CMB Building Maintenance Limited, contravened section 411 and punishable under Section 287 (5)(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos state, 2015. And section 1(3) and 8(a) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No 14 of 2006.
Upon reading of the charge to the defendant, he denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all the counts of the charge.
Following the not guilty plea of the defendant, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date, while also urged the court to remand him in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), till the determination of the charges against him.
But the dfendant’s counsel, Mr. R. A. Aladesanmi, pleaded with the court not to remand his client in the custody of the NCoS, but to remand him in the custody of the EFCC, pending when his bail application will filed, argued and determined.
In a bench ruling, Justice Solebo, while adjourning the matter till February 2, 2021, for trial, ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the EFCC.
Speaking on Kelechi’s arraignment, the prosecutor, Mr. Idris, said the charge brought against him on Friday, is just one in many petitions against him, as the commission is still investigating him in another 13 other cases, in which he is alleged to have defrauded several people of about N2.8 Billion.
Part of the charge against the defendant reads”statement of Offence on Count 1:Conspiracy to steal contrary to section 411 and punishable under Section 287 (5)(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos state, 2015. Particular of offence: Kelechi Mbagwu and CMB Building Maintenance and Investment Ltd, Between 12th February and 14th September, 2018, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired to commit felony to wit: stealing of the cumulative sum of N25, 000, 000.00 (twenty Five million Naira) property of Okafor Ameachi Sixtus.
“Statement of offence on Count 2; stealing contrary to Section 287 (5) (a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.Particular of offence, “Kelechi Mbagwu and CMB Building Maintenance And Investment Ltd Between 12th February and 14th September, 20l8 in Logos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with a dishonest intent converted to your own use the cumulative sum of N25, 000, 000. 00 (Twenty Five Million Naira) property of Okafor Ameachi Sixtus.
“Statement of offence count of 4; obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006. Particular of offence; Kelechi Mbagwu and CMB Building Maintenance and Investment Limited, between 12th February and 14th September, 2018 In Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, obtain the sum of N25,000‚000.00 (Twenty Five Million Naira) by false pretence from Okafor Ameachi Sixtus by falsely representing to him that the two Residential plots of land in Pearl Garden Estate, Sangotedo, Lagos, you gave to him as genuine which representation you knew to be false.