Briton ordered detained for fraud charge

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Justice Mohammed Yunusa of a Nigerian Federal High Court, Lagos, on Monday ordered the remand of a Briton, Gareth Wilcox and four others at the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) for alleged N15 billion fraud.

Wilcox, a former Managing Director of Ibom Power Company and LYK Engineering Company, is standing trial alongside Prince Johnson Adebami, and Uche Uwechia, on a 21-count fraud charge.

Adebami is a former Managing Director of the defunct Gulf Bank Plc, while Uwechia is a former legal adviser to the bank.

Also charged along with the accused are Ibom Power Company and LYK Engineering Company, owned by Wilcox.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Justice Yunusa ordered their remand following an oral application for remand made by the prosecutor, Mr Dania Abdullahi, who said he required adequate time to study the bail application sought by the accused.

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Yunusa, who adjourned the case to December 27 for hearing of the bail application, ordered that the accused be remanded at the SFU, pending the determination of their bail.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused were alleged to have converted over N15 billion, in the guise of granting loans and overdraft facilities to various companies, without appropriate accounting records.

They are also alleged to have converted and appropriated 55.3 million dollars and over N3.7 billion belonging to the bank.

Part of the money was said to have been used to finance a non-existing refinery, while the other part was converted to personal use.

The alleged offence contravened the provisions of section 390 of the Criminal Code, Cap A6, Laws of the Federation, 2006.