13th November, 2012
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, 12 November, 2012, arraigned Pastor Henry Uhunmwagho, 33, before Justice P.I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court 2 sitting in Benin City, Edo State, southsouth Nigeria, on a nine-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretence.
Henry, a pastor with Church of God Mission, Suleja, Niger State, was arrested by the EFCC on 11 May, following a petition by Godwin Ochai, a legal practitioner, on behalf of Mr. Odom Princewill.
He was alleged to have collected the sum of N1.4 million under false pretence to process a United States of American Visa for the petitioner but failed to do so.
Though he pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him in court, the accused had admitted in his statement to the EFCC that he collected the alleged money from the petitioner and gave it to Eze Chucks ( now at large), to process the visa but failed to do so. Princewill, in his petition against Henry, alleged that sometime in 2010, he was introduced to the accused by Rev. Uzor Onyekwere of the Church of God Mission, Benin.
The petitioner alleged that the suspect claimed to know an in-law to the then Nigerian Ambassador to Canada and promised to help him secure a two-year visa to United States of America .
“I paid a total sum of N1,4million into Mr Henry’s Diamond Bank account, but the visa was not processed.
“At a point, he asked me to go to the Abuja International Airport and wait for the personal assistant to the Nigerian Ambassador to anada whom I will be travelling with, but I did not see anybody when I got there. I tried to call Henry, but his phone was switched off,” Princewill said
The defence counsel, Pius Ezeh, moved the oral application for bail but was opposed by the prosecution counsel, Chioma Okongwu.
Justice Ajoku in her ruling said the defence counsel did not present anything before the court to show why the accused should be granted bail.
She adjourned the matter to 29 November, 2012 for hearing on the bail application and ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody.