The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal Office, today charged Patrick Ighalo with four counts of obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of N1,750,000.00, about $5,000.
The case is being heard by Justice J.K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on
One of the counts reads: “That you Patrick Ighalo and Raymond Otamere Ibie between 10th and 15th of April, 2015 at Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court with intent to defraud did obtained the sum of One Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand (N1.750, 000) Naira only from Evelyn Obene under the false pretence that the sum was an investment in an oil business and which pretence you knew to be false and thereby commited 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”.
When the charge was read to Ighalo, he pleaded not guilty.
In view of the plea of the defendant, the prosecution counsel, R.E. Alao prayed the court for a new date for trial while the defendant is remanded in Port Harcourt Correctional Centre.
However, the defence counsel, T.J. Kurukurugbor asked the court to grant his client bail.
Justice Omotosho granted the defendant bail in the sum of N3 million and two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be a grade level 10 Officer and must deposit his passport photograph with the court.
The case was adjourned till March 12, 2020 for trial.
Patrick Ighalo ran into trouble following a petition by Mrs Evelyn Obene, who alleged that she met him and Raymond Otamere Ibie sometime in January 2015 in Calabar and that they convinced her to invest N1.750.000 in an Automotive Gas Oil business.
The money was transferred to Ighalo’s Ecobank account number 2221007816. She also alleged that she gave Ighalo N950,000 cash for barge repairs and logistics; while another N270,000 was transferred to Mr Raymond Otamere Ibie’s Account.
She claimed that after paying the monies, the suspects became evasive and all efforts to recover the funds proved futile.