The trial of one Bolarinwa Abiodun, a self-professed Army General on a 13-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, forgery of documents, and possession of documents containing false pretence to the tune of N266, 500,000 continued on May 4, 2022 before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, presenting two more witnesses against him.
The defendant, whose bail was on April 25, 2022 refused by the court, is being prosecuted by the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC on offences contrary to Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006; Section 363 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 and Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act No 14 of 2006, respectively.
He was first arraigned on April 11, 2022 and he pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges.
One of the counts reads: “Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun, between 15th June, 2020 and 31st December 2020 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud and whilst holding yourself out as a General in the Nigerian Army, obtained the sum of N111,400,000 from Kodef Clearing Resources Limited, under the pretence that the sum represented part of the amount expended to “press and process” your incoming appointment by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, as the CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF of the Nigerian Army, which pretence you knew to be false.”
Another count reads: “Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun, sometime in May 2020 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly forged LETTER OF APPOINTMENT AS CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF dated 20th May 2020 and purported the said document to have emanated from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which document you know to be false.”
Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, Chris Ekpe, a compliance officer with First Bank Plc, who testified as the second prosecution witness, told the Court that the defendant effected a change of name on his bank account before he began using it to swindle his victim, Bamidele Olusegun Safiriyu.
According to Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said the witness also told the court that the bank on February 2, 2017 received a notary publication dated December 20, 2016 with a letter of change of account name from Hassan Kareem Ayinde to Olusegun Abiodun Bolarinwa.
“The account balance of the defendant as at the time of the change of account name was N1,319.04,” he added.
According to the witness, after the change of name, huge sums of money started coming into the defendant’s account.
Thereafter, the prosecution tendered in evidence the EFCC letter of request sent to the bank, Certificate of Compliance and Identification, the response from the bank, and the account records of the defendants.
They were all admitted as exhibits, as there was no objection from the defence counsel, Kayode Lawal.
Testifying as the third witness, Emmanuel Emaikwo, a Relationship Manager with UBA, further affirmed the various transactions carried out on the defendant’s account with the bank.
Afterwards, the prosecution sought a short adjournment to enable it bring to Court the Investigating Officer and a representative of the Nigeria Army to testify against the defendant.
The case was, thereafter, adjourned till May 6 and 10, 2022.