Govt arraigns Consolidated Discount House workers over alleged N16b fraud

fraudThe Federal Government yesterday arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos nine staff members of the Consolidated Discount House Limited (CDHL) over alleged N16 billion fraud.

The accused persons include, Stephen Akinretoye, Mudashiru Shittu, Larai Claude-Eninn, Hassan Gbenga, Ajibola Jolaosho, Omisore Olawale, Omisope Johnson, Onimole Adebowale and Emmanuel Odedina.

They were charged before Justice Ibrahim Idris with a 24-count charge bordering on fraud, money laundering and failure to keep wholesome book of account of CDHL.

All the accused pleaded not guilty and the judge adjourned to May 13 for commencement of trial. They were also released to their respective counsels.

In the charge, the prosecution represented by Adedayo Adedeji said the defendants, as employees of Consolidated Discount, committed fraud by converting its N915.7 million.
Shittu (as managing director) and Gbenga (as financial controller), between March 2012 and June 2013, allegedly transferred N1.6 billion from Consolidated Discount’s Union Bank Plc account: 0033295449, to companies belonging to them.

By those actions, the prosecution said the suspects committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended in 2012) and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Other amounts of money allegedly transferred from the CDHL account into various companies belonging to the accused are N1.6billion, N1.082billion, N226million, N260million, N15.5million, N19million, N6.2million, N915million and N5.8billion.

Other figures allegedly converted fraudulently are N4.5billion, N500million and N557million.
The offences were allegedly committed between 2004 and 2013. The accused persons at various times between that period as staffs of the CDHL allegedly diverted various funds belonging to CDHL under different fraudulent guise and schemes.

This is the third charge filed in respect of the alleged fraud in CDHL before the same judge.
Three separates charges were filed against the suspects. Defendants in the first charge are Akinretoye, Mr. Peter Ololo and Falcon Securities Limited.

The second charge has Akinretoye, Shittu, Olawale Omisore, Captain Eddy Ndoms, Aquatic Transport Limited, Cross Oceans Limited and Ehco Ventures Limited as defendants.
Trial in all the three will commence on May 13.

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