Four sales representatives with Global Healthcare Limited have been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly defrauding their employment to the tune of N92m.
The accused – Badmus Oladimeji, Austin Odokara, Gbenga Babatunde and Ademola Olanisha – were arraigned by the police Special Fraud Unit before Justice Abdulaziz Anka on charges bordering on conspiracy and fraud.
In the charge presented before the court by its prosecutor, Effiong Asuquo, the police accused Oladimeji, Odokara, Babatunde and Ademola of conniving with the then National Sales Manager of Global Healthcare Limited, Olufemi Olaniyan, to convert N92, 391, 350. 25, belonging to the company, to their personal own.
The police claimed that the accused committed the offence between October 2014 and February 2015.
The SFU further alleged that Babatunde collaborated with Olaniyan, who is said to be at large, to convert N2.6m belonging to his employer to his own between June 2015 and July 2016.
The prosecution also accused Oladimeji of conniving with Olaniyan to forge or falsify a Local Purchase Order, used in obtaining pharmaceutical products from the company.
The prosecutor, Asuquo, told the court that the accused violated Section 15(1)(a)(ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as well as Section 1(2)(C) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
But upon reading the charges to them, the four accused pleaded not guilty.
Asuquo urged the court to order that they should be remanded in the prison custody and also asked for an adjourned date for commencement of trial.
Counsel for the first accused, Chima Adiele, however, pleaded with the court to allow his client, Oladimeji, to be remanded in the SFU custody rather than prison on the grounds that Oladimeji was being treated for a gunshot injury which he sustained in 2012.
The lawyer told the judge that his client was attacked and shot by robbers in 2012 while moving with the pharmaceutical products he was accused of stealing, adding that the accused still had a ‘stubborn’ bullet lodged in his body.
But the prosecutor urged the court to refuse Adiele’s prayer, saying the SFU had no facility to keep the accused.
In a short ruling, Justice Anka ordered the remand of the four accused in the prison custody and adjourned till October 26, 2016 for trial.