Alleged N1. 767 bn Fraud: Afromedia’s GMD Suspected of Food Poisoning

A prosecutor with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. A.B.C. Ozioko, today, informed an Igbosere High Court of Lagos State, that the Commission’s principal witness, Akinlola Olapade, in N1. 767 billion fraud charge filed against a former non-executive director of outdoor advertising firm, Afromedia Plc, Mallam Mohammed Gobir, is suffering from suspected food poisoning.

Olapade was due for cross examination today, after testified before the court yesterday, on alleged fraud was perpetrated by the company’s former Non-executive member.

At the resumed proceedings of the case today, the prosecutor while seeking an for adjournment due to Olapade’s ill-health, told the court that the witness called him yesterday morning and explained that he was gravely ill.

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The prosecutor, while informing tje court of Olapade’s ill-health said: “he said he suddenly took ill and wasn’t able to sleep throughout the night till daybreak. He suspects food poisoning. He had been taken to hospital.”

He therefore urged the court for an adjournment, which the court presided over by Justice Raliat Adebiyi obliged.

The matter has been adjourned till June 16.

After the case have been adjourned, lawyer to the accused person, Mr. Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), applied to court that his client, Gobir, be allowed the use of his international passport.

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“The defendant is hampered in his movement, he’s a businessman and his business is suffering. I apply that he be allowed to make use of his passport,” Ayorinde said.

But the court reject the application on the ground there was no former application to such request before the court.

Gobir, 55, is accused of fraudulently obtaining $3,500,000 (N696,675,000); N514,457,151.87; $2,102,740 (N418,171,903.80); N123 million and £51,000 (N14,667,898.25) totalling N1.767b from Afromedia.

He is facing a 17-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, stealing, fraud, use of forged documents, and possession of forged documents preferred against him by the Commission.

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Olopade, Afromedia’s Group Managing Director (GMD), while testifying before the court yesterday, alleged that Gobir obtained the money from the firm in various currencies by false pretence.

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