A medical consultant, Andrew Warri, has been remanded at the Correctional facility by the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos for allegedly defrauding Guaranty Trust Bank Plc branch in the state of N125 million through his companies.
Warri, who was arraigned before Justice Sherifah Solebo on a seven-count charge bordering on stealing, obtaining by false pretence and issuance of dud cheques, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following the suspect’s denial of the crime, Justice Solebo ordered that the defendant be kept in prison pending his release on bail and adjourned the case till July 1, 2021, for trial.
During the court proceedings yesterday, Warri was arraigned before the court alongside two companies: A.M. Projects Consultancy Limited and Ranez Medical Consultancy Limited, for scamming the commercial institution.
One of the counts reads: “Andrew Warri, A.M. Projects Consultancy Limited, sometime in May 2012 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, fraudulently obtained the sum of N125,000,000 from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc under the guise that the proceeds of the Rural Health Care and Referral contract with Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) will be domiciled in your account with Guaranty Trust Bank, the said pretence you knew, or ought to have known is false.”
Another count reads: “Andrew Warri, Ranez Medical Consultancy Limited, on or about 28th October 2018 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, issued a Zenith Bank cheque for the sum of N10,000,000 payable to A.M. Projects Consultancy Limited, in favour of Guaranty Trust Bank, which upon presentation for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to your credit.”
Following the suspect’s denial, the prosecuting counsel, Franklin Ofoma, prayed that the Court fix a date for commencement of trial, as the prosecution was ready to prove its case against the defendants.
The counsel for defendant, Nelson Imoh, informed the Court that the bail application for his client, Warri, was before the Court, appeal that Ofoma vehemently opposed considering the antecedent of the suspect, saying the application for bail in his oral argument.
Imoh argued that the defendant was a flight risk, as he had resisted when operatives of the EFCC went to his office to effect his arrest over allegations raised against him by the banks.
“His arrest was aborted and the EFCC had to watch list the defendant with the Directorate of State Security (DSS), Nigerian Immigration Service , Customs and other local and international law enforcement agencies, just to ensure his attendance,” he added.
According to Ofoma, the defendant was about to take off to the United States, but in the process, he was informed that he could not travel as he was on a watch list.