Businessman Arraigned For Diverting N1.2bn NEXIM Bank Loan

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned a businessman and his company on a one count charge bordering criminal misappropriation and money laundering.

According to a statement issued Thursday, by the anti-graft Agency’s spokesperson, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, Enonche Ugbabe and his company, Lifeline Engineering Nigeria Limited, was arraigned by the Abuja Zonal Command of the EFCC before Justice Z.B Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Maitama Abuja, on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.

Ugbabe was alleged to have diverted a N1.2billion credit facility obtained from NEXIM Bank, meant for the establishment of a cluster of factories in the Agricultural sector, for personal use. He absconded after securing the facility and was believed to be hibernating in Guinea Bissau, which forced the Commission to secure a warrant for his arrest.

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He was arrested by the International Police Organization, INTERPOL, and extradited to Nigeria in March, 2023.

The charge against the defendant reads, “that you, Enonche Ugbabe and Lifeline Engineering Nigeria Limited between 2013 to 2016 at Abuja within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did directly take control of the sum of N1,254,676,800 (One billion, Two Hundred and Fifty-four Million, Six Hundred and Seventy-six Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira only) via the account of Bon Affaire Industries Limited deposited by Nigerian Export and Import Bank as loan for the establishment of cluster factories which you ought to know that the funds forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: Criminal Misappropriation and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Justice Abubakar granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N100m and two sureties in like sums who are to depose to an affidavit of means and own landed property in Abuja. One of the sureties must be a civil servant of not less than GL16.

Furthermore, the defendant was to deposit his international passport with the Deputy Court Registrar, and was to remain in the custody of the EFCC until the bail terms are fulfilled.

Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned till June 19, 2023 for the commencement of trial.

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