EFCC Arrests Professor for Defrauding Farmers N1.4 Billion Amidst Food Scarcity

EFCC Arrests Professor for Defrauding Farmers N1.4 Billion Amidst Food Scarcity
Prof. Uche Chigozie Edwin
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Lagos State Command, has re-arraigned Prof. Uche Chigozie Edwin before Justice Dehinde Dipeolu of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos for allegedly defrauding maize farmers to the tune of N1.4 billion.

The news was contained in a statement released by the commission. The statement, however, revealed that Prof. Uche Chigozie Edwin had been previously arraigned in March 2023 alongside his companies, Visionary Integrated Consulting Limited, NEMAD Associates Limited and Revamp Global Enterprise, on 11-count charges bordering on conspiracy, retention and conversion of funds to the tune of N1,473,367,046.04 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Seventy-three Million, Three Hundred and Sixty-seven Thousand, Forty-six Naira, Four Kobo).

Revealing some of the reasons Professor Uche Chigozie Edwin was arraigned, the statement released by the anti-graft agency, EFCC, stated “That Professor Uche Chigozie Edwin, Visionary Integrated Consulting Limited, Nemad Associates Limited and Revamp Global Enterprise, sometime in 2021, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Court conspired amongst yourselves to use the sum of N1,473,367,046.04 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Seventy Three Million, Three Hundred and Sixty Seven Thousand, forty six Naira, Four Kobo), property of the Maize Growers, Processors, and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN), which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity to wit: fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”

Also, another count charge against the Professor read, “That you, Professor Uche Chigozie Edwin, on the 15th of June 2020, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Court retained in your account Visionary Integrated Consulting Limited with account number- 1022228719 domiciled with United Bank for Africa Pic the sum of N197,170,041.04 (One Hundred and Ninety-Seven Million, One hundred and Seventy Thousand, Forty-one Naira Four Kobo), which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity to wit: gratification and you thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 15(2) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”

In view of his plea, the defense counsel, Emefo Etudo, urged the court to allow the defendant to continue on the earlier bail granted by Justice Oweibo on August 7, 2023.

However, counsel to the EFCC, C.C. Okezie, urged the court to only allow the defendant to continue on the previous bail if his counsel would undertake to ensure his attendance in court.

"The defendant had been absent on certain occasions, which had caused some issues," she said.

In his response, Emefo told the court that when the defendant was first granted bail, his sureties included his biological father as well as a legal practitioner. He told the court that he was willing to add to the number, and thus undertook to ensure attendance of the defendant in court.

Justice Dipeolu, thereafter, adjourned the case till March 13, 2024, for trial and ordered the defendant to continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted him by Justice Oweibo.

Justice Oweibo had previously admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N1m (One Million Naira) and two sureties in like sum before the justice was transferred out of Lagos jurisdiction and the reason for the re-arraignment of the Professor before Justice Dipeolu.

The sureties were to possess landed property within the jurisdiction of the court, and show a tax clearance certificate of three months as well as their passport photographs. The defendant was also ordered to deposit his international passport with the court.

Category: World-News
Tag: EFCC Arrests Professor for Defrauding Farmers N14 Billion Amidst Food Scarcity
Written by Author (author)
Published 2/17/2024 10:18:33 AM

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