May 23, 2024

EFCC arraigns businessman for diversion of N1.2bn NEXIM Bank loan

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EFCC arraigns businessman for diversion of N1.2bn NEXIM Bank loan

Glory Ebomah

The Abuja Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, arraigned one Enonche Ugbabe and his company, Lifeline Engineering Nigeria Limited, before Justice Z.B Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Maitama Abuja on a one count charge bordering criminal misappropriation and money laundering.

The defendant is alleged to have diverted N1.2 billion credit facility obtained from NEXIM Bank, meant for the establishment of a cluster of factories in the Agricultural sector, for personal use. He absconded after securing the facility and was believed to be hibernating in Guinea Bissau, which forced the Commission to secure a warrant for his arrest. He was arrested by the International Police Organization, INTERPOL, and extradited to Nigeria in March 2023.

The charge against the defendant reads, “that you, Enonche Ugbabe and Lifeline Engineering Nigeria Limited between 2013 to 2016 at Abuja within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did directly take control of the sum of N1,254,676,800 (One billion, Two Hundred and Fifty-four Million, Six Hundred and Seventy-six Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira only) via the account of Bon Affaire Industries Limited deposited by Nigerian Export and Import Bank as loan for the establishment of cluster factories which you ought to know that the funds form part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: Criminal Misappropriation and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Justice Abubakar granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N 100 million and two sureties in like sums who are to depose to an affidavit of means and own landed property in Abuja. One of the sureties must be a civil servant of not less than GL16.

The defendant is to deposit his international passport with the Deputy Court Registrar. He is to remain in the custody of the EFCC until the bail terms are fulfilled.

The case was adjourned till June 19, 2023, for the commencement of trial.

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