The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Monday October 17, 2016, arraigned one Joseph Ovbokhan Odubu and his company, Even Handed Services Limited before Justice P. I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court, sitting in Benin, Edo State on a 3-count charge bordering on forgery, altering and obtaining money by false presence to the tune of Nine Million Three Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira (N9, 360,000.00).
According to a statement by the Head, Media & Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, Joseph, a brother to the deputy governor of Edo State, Pius Odubu, who is also the Managing Director of Even Handed Services Limited, allegedly used forged documents to obtain a loan facility of Nine Million Three hundred and sixty thousand naira (N9,360,000.00) on September 5, 2014 from a Nigerian Bank to facilitate the supply of chairs and desks in Edo State.
One of the count read: “That you Odubu Joseph Ovbokhan and Even Handed Services Limited on or about the 9th day of September, 2014 in Benin within the Jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of (N9,360,000.00) Nine Million Three Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira in credit from First Bank of Nigeria Limited, by deceitfully presenting a letter of domiciliation, which you used as a farce and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable by Section 1(3) of the same law.
Another count read: “That you Odubu Joseph Ovbokhan and Even Handed Services Limited on or about the 12th day of May, 2015 in Benin, with intent to defraud and to facilitate fraud, forged a document captioned ‘Request for confirmation of job completion to our bankers (First Bank, Benin, Mission Road branch’ purporting that the said document was received by Edo State Oil and Gas Producing-Areas Development Commission, with intent that it may be acted upon as genuine, a pretext which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 1(2) of the same Act.”
He pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.
In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, C. A. Okoli asked the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial and that the accused be remanded in prison custody.
However, counsel to the defendant, Osama Idehen made an oral application for bail, which was refused by the court as she was asked to file a formal application.
Justice Ajoku adjourned the case to November 22, 2016 for trial and ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody.