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Wednesday, 16 November 2016
Wonder Bank owner, wife arraigned for alleged N4 billion fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday arraigned Patrick Nwokike and his wife, Rosemary, along with their company, “Lets Partner With You Limited”, before Justice Dugbo Oghoghorie of the Federal High court Enugu, on a 4-count charge bordering on advanced fee fraud.
They are also alleged to have operated a financial institution without a valid license, an offence in contravention of the banks and other financial institutions Act.
The EFCC had on October 6 arrested Patrick following several petitions alleging that he used his company to fleece them, to the tune of N4 billion.
One of the charges against them reads:
“That you, LETS PARTNER WITH YOU LTD, PATRICK SHANCHI NWOKIKE (Managing Director/CEO of LETS PARTNER WITH YOU LTD) and ROSEMARY IJEOMA NWOKIKE (Director of LETS PARTNER WITH YOU LTD) sometimes between 2015 and 2016 at Enugu within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria Knowingly consented to the carrying on of banking business without valid license by the company and thereby committed an offence contrary to SECTION 2 (1) and 49 (1) of the BANKS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ACT, CAP B3, LAWS OF THE FEDERATION, 2004 and punishable under SECTION 2(2) of the same Act.”
They pleaded “not guilty”, when the charges were read to them.
The defence counsel, Orji Nwafor-Orizu, applied for their bail. He prayed the court to grant them bail on liberal terms, arguing that the offence was a bailable.
The prosecuting counsel, S. M. Ibekwute, however, opposed the bail application, urging the court to remand them in prison custody, pending trial.
After listening to both arguments, Justice Oghoghorie granted Patrick and his company bail in the sum of N2 million each with two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be a civil servant with Enugu State Government not lower than grade level 12, while the second surety must own a landed property in the state. Both sureties and their properties must be verified by both the EFCC and the defence counsel.
He ordered that Rosemary continue to enjoy the administrative bail earlier granted her by the EFCC.
The case has been adjourned to March 6, 2017 for commencement of trial.