For allegedly defrauding an Ambassador and others of N364 million and $7million, Blessing Ogwatta, former Head of Logistics at Jezco Oil Nigeria Ltd, has been remanded in Lagos.
A Federal High Court in Lagos ordered her remand at the Force Criminal Investigation Department Annex, Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos, pending the fulfilment of her bail conditions.
Charged with a five-count offence bordering on conspiracy, obtaining under false pretence and stealing, Ogwatta pleaded not guilty before Justice Nicholas Oweibo.
The woman with others still on the run committed the offences sometime between November 2012 and August 2019 at SPOG Petrochemical Limited, Wharf, Apapa, Lagos, according to Prosecutor Boniface Asogwa, a Deputy Commissioner of Police.
Asogwa told the court that the defendant with an intent to defraud, fraudulently obtained the sum of $7 million, from her former employer, Jezco Oil Nigeria Limited, under the pretext of using it for the importation of Base Oil and purchase plots of land for the construction of Blending Plant at Ibeju-Lekki, for the company.
Instead of using the money for the purpose she collected it for, fraudulently converted the sum of N7.5 million, part of $7 million to her use by buying land and building a house at Forthright Garden Estate, Magboro near Mountain of Fire and Miracle Minitries, off Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in Ogun State.
The defendant was alleged to have fraudulently received the sum of N40 million from one Ambassador Ndubuisi Amaku, for oil and gas business but converted N27 million out of the money to personal use.
She fraudulently obtained the sum of N44, 072 million from Emeka Okafor under the pretext of doing Additive Importation Business with him, but fraudulently converted N13 million to her own.
In addition, Ogwatta stole N18 million out of the N262 million loan obtained by her employer, Jezco Oil Nigeria Limited from First City Monument Bank.
The offences are contrary to Sections 8(3); 1(a); 1(c) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act. And 390 (9) of the Criminal Act, Laws of the Federation 2004.
Counsel to the defendant, Mr O. Fatoki, told the court that he had filed a bail application and served on the prosecutor.
In his ruling, Justice Oweibo, granted the woman bail of N10 million with two sureties, who must have landed property within the court’s jurisdiction, and also show evidence of tax payment and means of livelihood.
October 22, 2020, has been fixed for trial of the case.