The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Enugu Zonal Office on Wednesday, arraigned Amobi Livinus Onwuholonye and Ogechukwu Anakwe (at large) before Justice I. M Bubba of the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu on a five-count charge, bordering on obtaining N4,000.000.00 by false pretence.
One of the counts read, “That you Amobi Livinus Onwuholonye and Ogechukwu Anakwe (now at large) sometime in 2018 in Enugu within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with the intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N2,000,000 (Two million Naira only) from one Hyacinth Akuna Edoziobi under the pretence that you will secure a job for his daughter with the Nigeria Customs Service, a pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) of the same Act”.
The defendant pleaded “not guilty” when the charges were read to him, thus prompting the prosecution counsel M. A Shehu to inform the court that he was ready to commence the trial. The trial judge consequently asked the prosecution to invite his first witness.
The first prosecution witness, PW1, Hyacinth Akuna Edoziobi, a trader who deals on building materials at the popular Kenyatta Market, while being led in evidence, narrated how he met one Ogechukwu Anakwe who used to be a sales girl to his neighbour at the market and who told him that she now works with the Nigeria Customs Services and had links that could help him secure a job slot in the organization for his daughter.
According to the witness, “Ogechukwu told me that it would cost me only N850, 000 to secure a job for my daughter. She said I will need to pay N170, 000 to begin the process while I will be required to pay the balance when she gets the job. I sent the money to her Diamond Bank account on November 21, 2018 because I trusted her and happily told my daughter, who was nursing a baby at that time, that I had a huge surprise for her because her husband had lost his job and I wanted to assist them.”
He further narrated how he was later asked to pay the sum of N400, 000 and other fees until Mr Amobi Livinus Onwuholonye using the pseudonym, Kingsley Okoye Maduabuchi, a purported Deputy Comptroller of Customs, took over the case and continued with the extortion.
Continuing, Akuna Edoziobi disclosed that, “After I paid the sum of N875, 000 to Mr Kingsley through Ogechukwu, I became sceptical but both of them assured me that my daughter would get the job, that the whole money spent will be refunded if at the end my daughter didn’t get the job but I wasn’t convinced, Something pushed me to call my brother, Innocent, who works at Mile 2, Lagos to try and visit Mr Kingsley at his office in Tincan Island.
I was surprised when my brother called to tell me that, Kingsley told him to wait for him at the road leading to Tincan where he stood for hours but Kingsley never showed up nor picked his subsequent calls.”
The case was adjourned till October 15, 2020 for further hearing, while the defendant was offered bail in the sum of N5 million and a surety in like sum who must be resident in Enugu.