Nigeria: Man docked for contract scam

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Ayorinde Oluokun

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arraigned Williams Inalegwu Okpe before Justice Babatunde O. Quadri of the Federal High Court, sitting in Gombe on a seven count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and forgery.

Okpe, 32, a 2002 Mass Communication diploma holder, is also known by other aliases as Yakubu Jaji Onum and Inalegwu Odeh Onum.

He is alleged to belong to a syndicate of fraudsters that specializes in defrauding unsuspecting victims through contract scam.

Three other accomplices: James Agbo, Samuel Duke and Frank Eze, are still at large.

Investigations showed that Williams hit the end of the road in his nefarious deals when on 3 August 2011, he called David Yerima, the complainant, a Gombe resident and introduced himself as Engineer David, a staff of Warri Refinery seeking partnership with Yerima in a contract to supply ‘Oil Pipe Cork Type 10A’ to some Chinese expatriates.

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Williams told him how lucrative the business was and planned to meet him at Gombe International Airport where Yerima works, to seal up the deal.

Thereafter, Williams demanded from Yerima the sum of N410, 000 (four hundred and ten thousand naira) for the purchase of two packets of the product. Williams provided a bank account belonging to one Yakubu J. Onum.

After Yerima paid in the sum of N100, 000, he became apprehensive and petitioned the EFCC Gombe zonal office. Immediately EFCC operatives went to work, Williams Okpe was apprehended while trying to withdraw the money from a Makurdi branch of the bank.

When the seven count charge was read to the accused person, he pleaded not guilty.

The court thereafter adjourned the case till April 24, 2012 for further hearing and ordered that the accused person be remanded in prison custody