EFCC re-arraigns lovers over alleged N17.5m charcoal fraud

The Ibadan zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on Wednesday, re-arraigned one Alice Peace John, alongside her boyfriend, Fadi Alloush, before Justice Bayo Taiwo of the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan for fraud in the sale of charcoal.

The duo were dragged to the court on three-count charges of conspiracy, stealing and obtaining the sum of N17,500,000 under false pretence.

The case dates back to January 2019, when the victim, Houssam Nasreddine transferred a total sum of N17,500,000 to the bank account of the first defendant, John, for the purchase of charcoal from Iwere lle, Oyo State for export.

After buying and loading the goods in containers at the Hapag LLOYD Shipping Company, Apapa, Lagos for export, the defendant rather than sell the goods in the name of the rightful owner, allegedly connived with her boyfriend, Alloush, transferred the ownership of the goods and sold them off.

The petitioner added that all efforts he made to retrieve either the charcoal or his money were frustrated by the defendants, the statement by Head, Media & Publicity, Dele Oyewale read.

One of the charges read, “That you Fadi Alloush and Alice Peace John between October 18, 2019, and December 23, 2019, at Ibadan, within Ibadan Judicial Division of this honourable court, did commit an illegal act to wit: stealing of the sum of N17,500,000 (Seventeen Million and Five Hundred Thousand Naira only), the property of Coco-Dor Nigeria Limited and Houssam Nasreddine.”

The offence is contrary to Section 390 of the Criminal Code Laws, Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges, following which prosecution counsel, Dr Ben Ubi, applied for a trial date, while defence counsel, Olukunle Kamisi prayed the court to allow the bail earlier granted the defendants subsist.
Justice Taiwo granted the defendants’ prayer that the bail should subsist.

According to the judge, “The bail shall subsist and that in the event where there is a delay on the defendants’ part, their bail will be revoked.”

He adjourned the matter till October 8, 2020, for trial.

It could be recalled that the defendants were initially arraigned before Justice Iyabo Yerima of the Oyo State High Court on March 17, 2020, but had to be re-arraigned on Wednesday following the reassignment of the case to Justice Taiwo.


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