A banker with one of the new generation financial institutions, Ms Ugwumba Evangeline, has landed in a hot pot of soup over her involvement in a failed foreign exchange transaction.
Ms Ugwumba, who is no longer on the payroll of her employers, had assured one Mr Daniel Igwe Onumah, that she could help him get the Dollar equivalent of about N14.1 million.
It was said that Mr Onumah paid the said amount into an account belonging to Yo-yo Oku Trading Ventures to be transferred to his foreign partners.
However, after the deposit, the operators of Yo-yo Oku Trading Ventures, who the former banker introduced to Mr Onumah, failed to transfer the funds to the foreign partners as earlier agreed or return the money to the owner.
This action prompted Mr Onumah to petition the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which swung into action.
On Monday, February 24, 2021, the agency brought Ms Ugwumba and two other suspects; Onyekachi Christian Nwagbo and Chiwendu Okeke, before Justice E. N Anyadike of the Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State.
According to the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the EFCC, the accused persons conspired and obtained N14.1 million from the petitioner by false pretence, which the suspects denied by pleading “not guilty.”
One of the four-count charges against them read, “That you Ugwumba Evangeline, Onyekachi Christian Nwagbo, Chiwendu Okeke and Okparauwakwe Emmanuel Chigozie (now at large) on or about November 8, 2016, at Umuahia, Abia State within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”
In view of their pleas, prosecuting counsel, E. K Ebipade prayed the court to fix a date for commencement of trial.
However, counsel to first defendant, M. O Eze, and counsel to second and third defendants, B. C. Ogu, both made oral applications for the bail of their clients.
Justice Anyadike granted the defendants bail in the sum of N2 million each and two sureties in like sum, who must be resident in Umuahia and Aba metropolis respectively.
Also, the sureties and defendants were ordered to deposit two recent passport photographs with the court and must show evidence of tax payment and must swear to an affidavit of means.
The judge adjourned the matter till April 5, 2021, and ordered the defendants to be remanded in Umuahia Custodial Centre, pending the perfection of their bail conditions.