The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Benin Zonal Office, on Thursday 7, 2019, arraigned Bishop Ginika Obi James, Kingsĺey Ibe Francis, Amaka Janet Okafor, Lokwutor Tina and Praise Ochei, before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court Asaba, Delta State, on a six count charge of obtaining by false pretence.
The defendants were alleged to have fraudulently obtained various sums of money from their victims under the pretence of investing the money in a phony ‘Gideon Foundation Project’.
The defendants were also alleged to have promised to share 40 per cent dividend from the investment with his victims which turned out to be fake. One of the count reads:
“That you Ginika Obi James, Kingsĺey Ibe Francis, Amaka Janet Okafor, Lokwutor Tina and Praise Ochei, sometimes in May,2018, in Agbor within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did with intent to defraud conspired with yourselves to commit an offence to obtain money by false pretences and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section a (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related offences Act and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges when it was read to them. The prosecution counsel, Moses Arumemi, based on the plea entered by the defendants, prayed the court to fix a date for trial and to remand the defendants in prison custody.
However, counsel for defendants, Eli Elugwu, told the court that he has filed an application for bail and prayed the court to grant bail to the defendants, arguing that the offence was bailabĺe one. After listening to the submissions of counsels, Justice Dimgba granted the defendants bail.
The first defendant, Bishop Ginika Obi, was granted bail in the sum of N500, 000 and one surety in like sum and that the surety must be a civil servant of not less than grade level 10.
However, the four other defendants were granted bail in the sum of N200,000 and a surety in like sum.
The surety must be a civil servant of not less than grade level 7. Justice Dimgba adjourned the case to May 7, 2019 for commencement of trial and ordered that the defendants should be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of their bail condition.