11th May, 2012
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday closed its case against a Lagos-based businessman, George Nwokonko, 52 standing trial for allegedly defrauding a German of 150,000 U.S. dollars.
Nwokonko of 27, Afolabi-Brown St., Akoka, Lagos, is standing trial before Justice Lateef Okunnu of Ikeja High Court on a six-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and altering.
EFCCsaid the defendant conspired with others still at large between April and December 1995 to defraud a German citizen, Ali Pabkin, in Lagos.
The commission said that the accused fraudulently obtained the sum from Pabkin under the pretence of supplying chemicals to his company, Aroma Products Trading Ltd.
During Thursday’s proceedings, EFCC counsel, Mr. Omeiza Adebola, called the last prosecution witness, Mr. Henry Ofomah, for evidence.
Ofomah, a staff of the Legal Services Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), submitted that Nwokonko forged some documents purportedly issued by CBN to perfect the fraud.
He said: ”My department got a letter from the EFCC dated September 18, 2008, to investigate the authenticity of some documents purportedly issued by the CBN relating to this case.
“There was a CBN letter entitled `International Remittance Office’ dated June 29, 1995 and purportedly issued to Mr. Ali Pabkin of Aroma Products Trading Ltd.
“There was also a CBN official receipt No: 896968 dated April 24, 1995 also issued in favour of the same company.
“After my investigations, it was discovered that the documents were spurious and did not emanate from the CBN.”
The court admitted the receipt and the letter as exhibits after they were tendered by the prosecution.
Adebola, therefore, informed the court that due to visa constraints, EFCC could no longer produce Ms. Frieda Springer-Beck, a German citizen, to testify on behalf of the complainant.
The matter was adjourned till June 28 for hearing of the no-case submission application filed by Nwokonko’s counsel, Mr. N.O. Nwukpe.