Court frees couple accused of N33.5m fraud

By Itohan Abara-Laserian

An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Friday discharged and acquitted a couple, Austin and Nnenna Mbonu, charged with N32.5 million fraud.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo gave the judgment on the premise that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendants committed fraud under false pretence.

Taiwo held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and similar bodies should not act as a debt recovery agency.

The judge urged the complainant and all parties involved, ty proceed to a civil court for settlement.

She held that false pretence had not been proven as there was enough evidence that the defendants applied for a loan for their legitimate business.

“There is no evidence of conspiracy that the defendants have admitted that they are owing,” Taiwo said.

The EFCC counsel, Mr Godsent Akhanolu, held brief for Mr Nkeruwem Anana, who had been transferred to another state.

The EFCC had on Jan. 24, 2018, arraigned the couple alongside their companies, Global Steno Nigeria Ltd. and Nestins Global Links Ltd.

They were arraigned on a 20-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N32.5 million in which they pleaded not guilty to. (NAN)