Two men identified as Eze Okonkwo and Okechukwu Ariguzo, have been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday for allegedly swindling an Indian national, Mr. Yaser De Zhkam, out of his $13,275.
According to Punch Metro, the anti-graft agency claimed that the accused fraudulently obtained the money from the foreigner on the false claim that they would help him to facilitate the registration of some Indian regulated products with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.
According to the EFCC, the defendants committed the offence between October and November 2016 in Lagos.
They allegedly forged a NAFDAC letter dated June 9, 2016 and captioned, “Notification of Product Approval,” to facilitate the alleged fraud.
The defendants were also said to have allegedly forged a NAFDAC’s certificate of registration numbered 01-8097, falsely representing that it emanated from the office of the Director General of NAFDAC.
They were also accused of forging another letter dated October 18, 2016, and captioned, “Re: Confirmation of File Number NAFDAC/ENU/DRH, APS/092276/016 for Immediate Issuance of NAFDAC Certificate.”
According to the EFCC, they made a false representation that the letter was purportedly signed by one Mrs. Yetunde Oni, as the Executive Director, NAFDAC.
The EFCC said the defendants acted contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006 and are liable to be punished under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
They were also said to have violated the provisions of Section 465 of the Criminal Code Act Cap 938 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and are liable to be punished under Section 467 of the same Act.
However, Okonkwo and Ariguzo, who were arraigned on five counts before Justice Rilwan Aikawa, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
They were subsequently admitted to a bail of N1m each with one surety each in like sum.
Justice Aikawa said the surety must either be a Lagos resident who owns a landed property or a civil servant in either the employment the federal or state government.
The judge said the defendants must sign an undertaking that they would not delay the trial of the case.
He adjourned till November 28 for commencement of trial.