Justice Kudirat Jose of the Lagos High Court, in Ikeja yesterday heard how three officials of Keystone Bank Plc and one other defrauded Sir Daniel Chukwudozie of Dozzy Oil Limited of the sum of N855,000,000.
Testifying as a first prosecution witness in the fraud case, Orji Chukuma, an investigative officer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) told Justice Jose that the anti-graft commission received a petition from Sir Daniel Chukwudozie alleging that the bank officials alongside others defrauded him.
The witness, while being led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) also told the court that officials of the bank, Ananyo Nwosu, Olajide Oshodi, and Sunny Obazee alongside chairman of the electronics company, Nulec Industries Limited, Mr Ashok Isran fraudulently sold the share of a dead company to the businessman. He disclosed that Nulec Limited was a dead company which owed Keystone Bank and several other banks N130 million debt .
The witness further stated that Anayo Nwosu who was the account officer to Chukwudozie approached him and requested that he should invest in Nulec limited with the intention of recovering the debt from the proceeds of shares purchased.
He said, “Nulec was a dead company owing almost every bank in the country but because Nwosu of Keystone Bank knows that Dozzy has money in his account, he packaged a false placement of Nulec shares in order to deceive Chukwudozie and recovered Nulec debt”. The witness disclosed that Nulec Limited was already a dead company as at the time its shares were marketed to Dozzy Oil and Gas limited.
He also said the idea was to use the Dozzy fund meant for purchase of shares to pay the debt of Nulec that was owed to Keystone Bank. The witness further said that investigation revealed that the proceed of this private placement were utilised before the end of the placement.
He revealed that the sum of N557 million was illegally transferred by Keystone bank to Risa Enterprises, a Switzerland company through different commercial banks.
According to him, “The aim of Bank PHB was solely to get back the money owed them by Nulec, their dead client and therefore defrauded innocent Nigerian”. He said Nwosu deliberately approached Dozzy adding that the Keystone officers admitted selling the shares to Chukwudozie and further creating the impression that the shares will be sold at a higher price.
He said Isran, Nulec boss during investigation admitted violating the purpose of the private placing of the alleged N140 million designed to purchase shares. It would be recalled that the defendants were arraigned by EFCC on 12 counts before the court.
The anti-graft commission alleged that the defendants collected the sum of N855,000,000 from Sir Daniel Chukwudozie of Dozzy Oil under the pretence that the said sum represented payment for preference shares of Nulec Industries in an upcoming initial public offer. Justice Jose however adjourned the matter till November 20 for continuation of trial.