By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Mr Chiedu Ijiomah and his brokerage firm, Adonai Stockbrokers Limited, were hauled before Judge CC Ani of the Enugu State High Court on allegations bordering on fraud.
The suspects were specifically arraigned on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on three counts bordering on theft, breach of trust and fraudulent misappropriation of shares at height of N1.5 billion.
According to the EFCC, the duo stole and fraudulently converted for personal use the sum of 1.4 billion naira from account number 45927884/C695275KL, being the property of a certain Kalu Uke Kalu and thus committed an offense contrary to Section 342 353(h)(i)(ii)(iii) and (i) of the Revised Penal Code (CAP.30) of Enugu State Nigeria, 2004.
The anti-money laundering agency informed the court that the alleged offense was committed between December 4, 2005 and March 14, 2016.
Trouble started for the Enugu-based stockbroker when Mr Kalu, former chairman of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, petitioned the EFCC in 2017 that the suspect failed to hand over dividends from his 46 139,663 units of its GTCO (formerly GTBank) shares from 2005. to 2016.
It was claimed that more than 46 million units of shares in the bank owned by the banker were missing, causing him to lose around 1.5 billion naira and Mr Ijiomah could not explain what happened. had really passed.
This prompted the EFCC to spring into action and on Tuesday, after concluding its investigation, brought the suspect to justice.
“That you, Chiedu Ijiomah and Adonai Stockbrokers Limited between 4th December 2005 and 14th March 2016 in Enugu within the jurisdiction of this court have committed a crime namely: stealing by fraudulently converting to your personal use the total number of N1,408,369,859.00 of account number 45927884/C695275KL, being the property of a certain Kalu Uke Kalu and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 342 353 (h)(i)(ii)(iii) and (i) of the Revised Penal Code (CAP.30) of Enugu State in Nigeria, 2004,” reads one of the charges.
But the charges were read to the accused, he pleaded not guilty and the prosecutor’s lawyer, Mr Michael Ani, consequently asked the court for a date to start the trial, although the defense lawyer had asked for a deposit for his client.
This bail application was granted by Judge Ani for the sum of 20 million naira with two sureties of a similar sum, one of whom must be a civil servant of level 16 or above, while the other guarantor must be a businessman with real estate in Enugu.
The judge also ruled that the defendant should deposit his international passport with the court, while the case was adjourned to March 22, 23 and 24, 2022.