Two alleged fraudsters, Allen Ruskin and Prince Amakiri Geoffrey, were on October 22, 2018 arraigned before Justice A. B. Mohammed of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Gudu, Abuja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Ruskin and Amakiri were arraigned on a two count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence to the sum of N16.4million.
Following a petition by one Festus Nnamdi Chukwu, The long arm of the law caught the defendants alleging that they approached him for financial assistance to fix their vessel which was seized by the EFCC and also to execute a contract they won from Symbol Regency Oil and Gas Limited. The contract according to them was for the shipment of crude oil allocation to Namibia, at the cost of $15.75 million.
The complainant allegedly gave the defendants the sum of N16, 450,000 (sixteen million, four hundred and fifty thousand naira). Investigations into the matter disclosed that there was no contract between the defendants and Symbol Regency Oil and Gas Limited and that the money was deceptively collected by the defendants for personal use.
The offence is contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No 14, 2006.
One of the counts reads:
“Allen Ruskin and Prince Amakiri Geoffrey sometime between July 2017 and November 2017 at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N16,450,000.00 (Sixteen Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) from Festus Nnamdi Chukwu under the pretence that you own a shipping company named Decok Marine Nigeria Limited and the money is for fixing of your shipping vessel to execute a contract with Symbol Regency Oil and Gas Limited for the shipping of crude oil allocation to Namibia at the cost of US$15.75 million, which representation you knew to be false”.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In view of their petitions, Elizabeth Alabi, counsel to EFCC, prayed the court for a trial date to enable the prosecution present its witnesses and prove its case. She also prayed the court to remand the defendants in prison custody.
In admitting the defendants to bail, Justice Mohammed said the first defendant (Ruskin), shall present two serving Directors with landed properties in Abuja Municipal Area. He shall also deposit his international passport with the court.
The second defendant (Amakiri), according to the judge shall be detained in Kuje prison, until the next adjourned date, November 5, 2018, which is the date for hearing of his bail application.