N2.7bn fraud: EFCC arraigns couple, Oriyomi and Ruth Idowu, in Lagos

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A couple, Oriyomi Idowu and Ruth Idowu, were on Tuesday arraigned before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on  20 count charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, money laundering, stealing, retention of stolen property, and forgery to the tune of N2,757,188,000 only.

The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the couple.

They were arraigned alongside Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Limited, Samee Idowu Company Limited and Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, which all belong to Ruth Idowu.

One of the counts reads: “Ruth Sameeha Idowu, aka Loiry Ventures, Oriyomi Kabeer Idowu, aka Yocli Ventures, Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Ltd, Samee Idowu Company Limited, Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, sometime in 2023 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, converted the sum of N10,000,000 to purchase a GLK Benz, purchase sum derived from converting the sum of N500,000,000 belonging to Creditpro Business Support Services with the aim of disguising the illegal origin of the funds.”

Another count reads: “Ruth Sameeha Idowu, aka Loiry Ventures, Oriyomi Kabeer Idowu, aka Yocli Ventures, Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Ltd., Samee Idowu Company Limited, Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, sometime in 2023 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, dishonestly retained the sum of N936,619,876 (Nine Hundred and Thirty-Six Million, Six Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Seventy-Six Naira) only in your UBA bank account, property of Creditpro Business Support services knowing same to be funds fraudulently obtained from Creditpro Business Support Services.”

The defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to them.

In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, Bilikisu Buhari, prayed the court for a trial date and the remand of the defendants in a correctional facility.

Counsel to the first defendant, G. Onwubuya informed the court of the bail application of his client, which had yet to be served on the prosecution.

He prayed the court to remand the defendants in the EFCC custody and also sought a short adjournment for the hearing and determination of the bail application.

In her objection, Buhari informed the court that the holding facility of the EFCC was already overstretched.

She also told the court that the appropriate place, following arraignment, was a correctional centre.

The judge held that there was no bail application before the court for the second defendant, whose counsel, J.J. Ogunyemi, had yet to file.

Consequently, Justice Dada adjourned the matter till December 15, 2023, and ordered that the defendants be remanded at the correctional centre “pending hearing and determination of their bail applications”.

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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