How businesswoman defrauded job seekers of N32m for fictitious NNPC jobs – EFCC

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An EFCC Investigation Officer, Ms Sekinat Badamasi, on Tuesday told an FCT High Court in Kubwa that a businesswoman, Uju Okoye, defrauded applicants of N32 million for fictitious NNPC jobs.

Being led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Steve Odiase, the witness said a petition was assigned to her team against the defendant in 2015.

The EFCC charged Okoye with nine counts, bordering on obtaining under false pretence.

” In the course of investigations, several letters were written from the EFCC to NNPC, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC)  Immigration, Eco, Fidelity, Zenith, FCMB, Diamond and First bank.

” Records were received and analysed and further investigation revealed that  N32 million was fraudulently obtained by the defendant through her Zenith, Diamond and Fidelity bank accounts between 2012 to 2015.

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” The defendant also received money through her landlord’s account, her cousin, Mary Jade’s Zenith bank account, one Micheal Awolowu, a technician and one Elizabeth Dede’s account.

” Investigation also revealed that N2 million was paid by the defendant’s neighbour, Prince Maxwell into her Fidelity and Diamond bank accounts between 2012 to 2015.

” Another victim, Mrs Uche Onyema paid N1.8 million, the nominal complainant, Chinonso Amauche paid 3 million.

“Investigations also showed that one Odua Miller paid N4.9 million to the defendant and 46 other victims paid different amounts of money to the defendant for the fake NNPC job.

” Letters of investigation were written to NNPC and documents the defendant issued to her victims were attached and NNPC confirmed the documents to be fake, ” the witness said.

Sekinat said a letter was also written to the FRSC to confirm the genuineness of the driver’s license the defendant used to open the said bank accounts and it was confirmed to be fake.

” We could not reach the defendant in 2015 when the petition was written because she disabled all her Facebook accounts and her phone number was not reachable.

” We used our trackers to track her and she was arrested in 2016 and given the opportunity to respond to the petition which she did in her statement, ” the witness alleged.

She identified the letters from the EFCC and responses from NNPC, FRSC, Fidelity and Zenith bank and the statement of the defendant which were tendered and admitted as exhibits.

During cross-examination, the Defence Counsel, Obinna Ekezie objected to the tendering of the defendant’s statement saying it was not voluntary.

Justice Kezziah Ogbonnaya,  then stoped the testimony and adjourned the matter until Jan. 20 for trial-within-trial.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a trial-within-trial is a mini-trial within the context of the main trial.

It is a procedure in criminal law wherein the confessional statement of an accused person is subjected to trial scrutiny so as to determine whether or not the statement was freely and voluntarily made by the accused person to the police.(NAN)

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