The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Wednesday arraigned a Deputy Director with the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Mr. Vincent Usiahon, for alleged oil business fraud before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Usiahon was charged with a 29-count charge of intent to defraud and obtaining about N15.8 million under false pretences from the complainant, Mr. Sonny Atumah.
He allegedly collected the money at instalments about 16 months by deceiving Atumah, his friend of over 25 years that he would invest them in oil allocation business.
The alleged offence is contrary to Section 1(1)(a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006.
At the resumption of trial, the Prosecution Counsel, Austin Emumejakpor, called the first Prosecution Witness (PW1), Mrs. Lolade Longe, an Assistant Detective Superintendent with the EFCC, who said the agency on January 17, 2011, received a petition from one Chris Nwonu, a legal practitioner.
Longe said: "After receiving the petition, we wrote an invitation letter to the accused which he honoured. In honouring the interview, he volunteered a statement under caution. At a time he admitted that all he had been saying was a lie. He said he would like to discard it and tell the true story, and he did so."
The court later adjourned case till May 23 for continuation of trial.
Usiahon's trouble began when Nwonu petitioned the anti-graft agency, where the petition stated that: "Sometimes in or about May 2008, the suspect approached the petitioner with a proposal for international oil business in which he was involved with some foreign partners whose identity he did not disclose to the petitioner.
"He painted a glossy picture of the business, stressing the enormous profit to be made there from which will be denominated in U.S Dollars over a short period of time.
"For the period the petitioner was releasing these monies to the suspect, he was a constant guest in the petitioners' home, staying sometimes as late as 12 a.m. in the midnight, using the petitioner's laptop to browse the Internet under the pretext that he was following up on the business through his partners overseas.
"With the onset of reality and truth, the petitioner started making frantic efforts to recall his money from the suspect but to no avail."