November 18, 2016 – Yahoo Plus Nigerian Couple Arrested For Duping Americans Remanded In EFCC Custody
A man and his wife have been arraigned before Justice O. H. Oshodi of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, for allegedly defrauding an American company.
The accused, Austine Ezeama and Juliet Ezeama, were arraigned on Wednesday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence. Also arraigned along with the couple was a company, Mabrubeni Nigeria Limited.
The couple pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them. In view of their plea, prosecution counsel, V. O. Agboje, asked for a trial date and also requested the accused to be remanded in prison custody.
Defence counsel, D. C. Nkemdirum, made an application for bail as he prayed the court to move their application, which he said had been served the prosecution since October 10. Oshodi remanded the defendants in EFCC custody and subsequently adjourned the matter till November 21 for hearing of the bail application.
CIFERCOM LLC lodged a complaint against Ezeama and his company, Mabrubeni Nigeria Limited after it was tricked into paying $102,550 as processing fees for non-existent contract.
The Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said from available evidence, the suspects in January 2015 convinced CIFERCOM LLC to come to Nigeria, with promise for a huge contract awarded to be facilitated by ranking officials in the country.
He said: “Ezeama was said to have introduced a business proposal of $8,000,000. He later introduced his wife, Juliet Ezeama, as a Federal Government agent, who served as intermediary between them.
“After a series of communication through emails, several fees were required from the complainant to facilitate the business. Eventually the sum of $102,550 was paid to Mabrubeni Nigeria Limited owned by the Ezeamas.”
Sometime in May 2015, Ezeama further informed the complainant that the new President wanted the project extended to cover the whole country with a new cost of $120,000,000 and the victim was expected to pay additional $650,000 before June 10, 2015.