The Lagos zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has secured the conviction of Joseph Adele, Richie Ojeba and John Ogo for a fraud of N65m from the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja and presided over by Justice Mojisola Dada.
A statement by the Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said the convicts began their journey to prison after they connived to defraud the Managing Director of Wealth Builders Technical Services, Dr Joseph Mekiliuwa, through a phantom contract they claimed that Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited was offering for the installation of solar panels in the Egi community, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The statement read in part, “They were first arraigned in September 2020 on 15 counts bordering on conspiracy, stealing and obtaining by false pretences, to which they pleaded not guilty.
“However, on June 17, 2021, they changed their plea to guilty, when they were re-arraigned before the trial judge on amended three counts.”
One of the counts read, “That you, Joseph Worhabiko Adele (aka Joseph Azunda), Richie Edward Ojeba, John Ovie Ogo, Beauty Wugate Adele (still at large) and Hajia Jemila Yunusa (still at large), sometime in March 2019 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired to steal the sum of N65,070,000, property of Dr Joseph Mekiliuwa, Managing Director, Wealth Builders Technical Services.”
The statement further said Ojeba was also accused of possessing fraudulent documents used to perpetrate the fraud.
In reviewing the facts against the convicts, the prosecuting counsel, S. O. Daji, told the court that the EFCC received a petition from the complainant in January 2020 accusing the defendants and others of defrauding him.
“Investigation was subsequently carried out and it was discovered that the complainant was defrauded of N65,070,000, with the three defendants being beneficiaries of the fraud,” he said.