The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, on Wednesday, arraigned the duo of Austin Mbonu and Nnenna Mbonu, a.k.a. Chika Mbonu, alongside their companies, Global Steno Nigeria Limited and Nestins Global Links Limited, before Justice O. A. Taiwo of the State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.
They were arraigned on a 20-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N32,507,628.08 (Thirty-Two Million, Five Hundred and Seven Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty-Eight Naira, Eight Kobo).
One of the counts reads:
“That you, Austin Mbonu, Nnenna Mbonu (a.k.a. Chika Mbonu) and Nestins Global Links Limited, on or about the 30th day of June, 2017 at Lagos within the Lagos Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain the sum of N14, 145,686.95 (Fourteen Million, One Hundred and Forty-five Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty-Six Naira, Ninety-Five Kobo) from Fidelity Bank Plc as the cost of facilitation of a Local Purchase Order, LPO, Contract from Chivita Nigeria Limited.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.
In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, Nkeruwem Anana, asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendants in prison custody.
But, the defence counsel, Peter Ozodiale, moved an application for bail on behalf of his clients.
His words: “My Lord, the defendants have been in the EFCC custody for some days. The second defendant, Nnenna Mbonu, is a nursing mother; she has a four-month-old baby,” he said.
Justice Taiwo adjourned the case to February 2, 2018 for hearing of the bail application and ordered the defendants to be remanded in the EFCC custody.