Thursday, February 2, 2017 12:13 am
A businessman, Chris Ifeorah, who allegedly defrauded a South African firm of 936, 000 dollars, was on Wednesday in Lagos got a reprieve as he was released on a N2 million bail.
A Lagos State High Court sitting at Igbosere on the island which gave the ruling, also granted Ifeorah two sureties in like sum as part of the bail condition.
Justice A. M. Nicol-Clay said the sureties should produce evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
Ifeorah was on arraigned on Jan. 18 alongside his company — Wigmore Trading Ltd — by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a two-count charge of stealing and fraud to which he pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution counsel, Mr Muritala Usman, told the court that the accused committed the offences sometime in 2015 at Kellogg’s Company in South Africa.
He alleged that the accused obtained some goods on credit from Kellogg’s and promised to pay back within three months.
“He became elusive after receiving the items until he was tracked down by the EFCC.’’
Usman had urged the court to remand the accused in custody pending the determination of the case.
But counsel to the accused, Mr B. Osakwe, urged the court to grant the accused bail on liberal terms.
He said the accused’s mother was willing to stand as surety and would also produce the accused in court throughout the trial.
“The applicant has no criminal record and will be available to stand trial.
“We are from the same village. I offer to produce my call-to-bar certificate or the Certificate of Occupancy of my own house in Okota, Lagos.
“His mother, Amaka Ifeorah; is a Grade 15 officer in the civil service and has offered to stand as one of his guarantors.
“This is a purely civil matter but the defendant has been in custody in Ikoyi Prison since Dec. 22, 2016,” he said.
The case has been adjourned to April 26 for trial.