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EFCC Arraigns Woman for Alleged N39.8 Million Fraud in Fidelity Structures

EFCC Arraigns Woman for Alleged N39.8 Million Fraud in Fidelity Structures

 

 

The Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned one Nwodo Martha, a former Principal Manager at Fidelity Structures Limited before Justice H. U. Ezugwu of the Enugu State High Court sitting in Independence Layout, Enugu State.

 

Martha was arraigned on nine-count charges bordering on stealing by fraudulent conversion to the tune of Thirty-nine Million, Eight Hundred and Forty-seven Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira (N39, 847, 800. 00).

 

Count Three reads: “That you Nwodo Martha from February to December 2017, in Nsukka Enugu State of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit a felony to wit: stealing by fraudulently converting to your personal use the aggregate sum of Five Million, Eight Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira (N5, 840, 000. 00) property of Fidelity Structures, the sum being payment for purchase of Brewery products”.

 

Count Seven reads: “That you, Nwodo Martha, from February to December 2021, in Nsukka Enugu State of Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit a felony to wit: stealing by fraudulently converting to your personal use the aggregate sum of Nineteen Million, Five Hundred and Twenty Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (N19, 520, 500. 00) property of Fidelity Structures, the sum being payment for purchase of Brewery products”.

 

The offence is contrary to Section 342 of the Criminal Code Law, Revised Edition, Cap 30, Laws of Enugu State of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under Section 353 (1) of the same Law.

 

The defendant pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to her. In view of her plea, counsel to the EFCC, Ahmad Yusuf Abdullahi prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded at Enugu State Correctional facility.

 

However, defence counsel, Chukwuemeka Okpoto Onah informed the court about the pending bail application before it and thereafter moved the said application. He prayed the court to grant bail to his client on liberal terms.

 

Responding, Abdullahi vehemently opposed the said bail application on the ground that “the defendant is not likely to attend her trial my Lord because of the gravity of the alleged offence”.

After listening to both sides, the court granted the defendant bail in the sum of Ten Million Naira (N10, 000, 000. 00) with a surety in like sum who must be a level 13 civil servant and the court registrar should verify the address of the said surety.

 

The court thereafter adjourned the matter to July 24, 2024, for trial while the defendant was remanded at Enugu State Correctional facility pending the perfection of the bail conditions.

 

Martha was arrested based on a petition from Fidelity Structures, one of the major distributors of Nigerian Breweries, alleging that, as one of its Principal Managers, she turned herself into a Sole Administrator, thereby blocking the Directors of the company from having information about the operations of the company as she allegedly released products to faceless sub distributors and fraudulently collected payments made for the products.

The petitioner also alleged that the defendant, who constantly approved for herself, salary advance, sold off two of the company’s delivery vans (Ford and Mercedes 813 truck), which she claimed were missing but was later discovered to have been sold at her behest.

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