The 65-year-old man Samuel Oso, was on Wednesday arraigned before an Ikeja High Court in Lagos for allegedly defrauding an individual and three companies of $480,384.
Newsmen report that Oso, who resides at No. 6U Close, 5th Avenue, Festac Town Lagos , was arraigned on a seven-count charge of obtaining money under false pretences, stealing, forgery and use of false documents.
Oso, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Universal Services Nigeria Ltd, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
According to Mrs Zainab Ettu, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the accused committed the offence on July 22, 2011 in Lagos.
“Oso and his company illegally obtained dollars in various sums from an individual and various companies with an intent to defraud.
“He collected $200,000 from Mr Benjamin Wilcox by falsely representing to him that the money was a part of collateral fee, cost of facilitating and securing a $5 million loan from Swiss Concept Group.
“Oso illegally obtained $60,384 from Future Adventures Tourism, falsely stating that the money was meant to cover hotel and travel expenses to also secure a $5 million loan from Swiss Concept Group.
“He received $100,000 from Peak Petroleum Ltd as part of collateral fees, cost of facilitating and securing a $2 million loan from Swiss Concept Group.
“The CEO was handed over $110,000 from George Fluids Plc to also secure a loan to the tune of $10 million from Swiss Concept Group,” Ettu said.
The prosecutor said Oso stole $10,000 belonging to Wilcot and forged a Power of Attorney document in this regard.
“He forged a Power of Attorney dated May 6, 2013 which was purportedly signed by Olukemi Adeniji, a notary public.
“Oso, with intent to defraud, illegally used the forged documents,” she said.
According to Ettu, the offences were in violation of sections 1 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act 2006 as well as sections 278 and 364 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
Counsel to Oso, Mr Wale Adesokan (SAN) , requested for lenient bail conditions for his client, and for the accused to be held in EFCC custody pending the perfection of his bail.
Responding, Justice Hakeem Oshodi, granted Oso bail in the sum of N1 million with two sureties in like sum.
“At least one of the sureties should be a blood relative; all sureties should show evidence of a three-year income tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
“The sureties should be verified by an officer of the court.
“The defendant’s international passport should be deposited within seven days at the court without which bail will be revoked.
“He should be remanded in custody till bail conditions is met,” the judge said.
Adesokan’s request for his client to remain in EFCC custody was denied and Oso was remanded at the Ikoyi Prisons.
The case was adjourned until June 15 for trial.
~ Salvador Dali