The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, May 18, 2023, secured the conviction and sentencing of the trio of Semiu Oladiti, Owolabi Azeez and Nnagbogu Chikelu Nicodemus, who were prosecuted for a N1.5 billion fraud, before Justice O.O. Abike-Fadipe of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.
Nnagbogu was arraigned on an amended one-count bordering on stealing to the tune of N15 million.
However, Azeez and Oladiti were arraigned separately alongside Dauda Adeboyega, Ojo Samson Gbemi, and Zuraai Gold Ventures Limited on an amended 13-count charge bordering on stealing to the tune of N1,598,144,188.36 (One Billion, Five Hundred and Ninety-Eight Million One Hundred and Forty-four Thousand, One Hundred and Eighty-eight Naira Thirty-six Kobo).
The count against Nnagbogu reads: “Nnagbogu Chikelu Nicodemus, between January 2023 and 18th January 2023 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, dishonestly converted to your use the total sum of N15, 000,000.00 property of British Airways.”
He pleaded “guilty” to the charge, following a plea bargain.
One of the counts against the other defendants reads: “Dauda Adeboyega, Ojo Samson Gbemi, Semiu Oladiti, Owolabi Azeez, and Zuraai Gold Ventures Limited, between October 2019 and 31st January 2023 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court ,conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony, to wit: stealing of the total sum of N1,598,144,188.36 property of British Airways.”
While Azeez and Oladiti pleaded “guilty”, following a plea bargain, the other defendants pleaded “not guilty”.
In view of this, the prosecution counsel, A.O. Mohammed, adopted the plea bargain along with the review of the facts.
Consequently, Justice Abike-Fadipe convicted and sentenced Nnagbogu, Azeez and Oladiti to one-year in prison and ordered them to forfeit the sum of N15 million raised by them as restitution to British Airways.