BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI
A Magistrate’s Court sitting in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi State has ordered the remand of the chief priest of the dreaded Okija Shrine located in Okija, a town in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, Mmaduabuchukwu Muoghalu Obi in the Nigeria Correctional Centre Abakaliki for alleged advance fee fraud.
Obi, aged 45, was accused of defrauding a man identified as Jeffrey Okoro-Eze of the sum of N5 million.
Okoro-Eze, according to the Ebonyi Police Command, had visited Obi’s shrine in March 2023 and complained to him that he was owed the sum of N5 million by one Eninnaya Nweze and that the debtor had refused to repay the money.
The victim had reportedly asked Obi to assist him in retrieving the money from his debtor.
However, the accused spiritualist was said to have assured his client that he would make Nweze pay back the debt.
The police informed the court that after the chief priest recovered the N5 million from Nweze, the money that was paid into his Access Bank account number 1691300822; he allegedly absconded with the fund.
Eventually, Obi was arrested and dragged before Magistrate Ojemba Isuoko on two count-charge bothering on fraud.
The defendant had no legal representation.
Owing to the severe nature of the charge and the fact that the court lacks competent jurisdiction to hear the matter, Magistrate Isuoko ordered that Obi be remanded in Abakaliki prison custody.
The matter was adjourned till July 28 for report of compliance.
The charge read, “That you Mmaduabuchukwu Muoghalu Obi, aged 45 years, and others now at large, sometimes in the month of March 2023 at Access Bank Abakaliki in Abakaliki Magisterial District did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: Advance Fee Fraud and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act Cap A6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2006.
“That you Mmaduabuchukwu Muoghalu Obi and others now at large on the same date, place and in the aforementioned Magisterial District did by false pretenses and with intent to defraud, obtain the sum of Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00) through account number 1691300822 Access Bank Plc under the guise of recovering debt for one Jeffery Okoro-Eze and Enyinnaya Nweze and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1)(a) and punishable under section 1(3) and section 11 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act cap A6,laws of the federation of Nigeria 2006.”