A serial fraudster, Emmanuel Nwude, who was convicted in 2005 for defrauding a Brazilian bank of the sum of $242m, was on Tuesday denied bail by a Special Offences Court in Ikeja.
Nwude was denied bail by Justice Mojisola Dada in a fresh forgery case brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, despite claiming he needed surgery for a prostate related ailment.
Recall that Nwude was arraigned alongside two Senior lawyers -Emmanuel Ilechukwu and Roland Kalu for forging legal documents for a property forfeited to victims of a crime through judgment.
In her ruling denying Nwude bail, Justice Dada said, “though the ailment the defendant is suffering from is a serious one, no material facts have been placed before the court to put weight behind the application.
“It is also worthy of note that from the criminal records of the defendant he is a convict, thereby rendering him a high flight risk. If granted bail he would not stand trial.
“The defendant should, therefore, be remanded in prison custody pending the outcome of the trial,” she ruled.
The EFCC Prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo while responding to Nwude’s bail application, asked the court not to grant bail on the grounds that the defendant poses a huge flight risk.
“The crime in which the defendant was convicted for deeply affected the integrity of Nigeria in the international community. We ask the court to grant an accelerated hearing,” Oyedepo said.
Justice Dada thereafter ordered that Nwude is remanded in prison and adjourned the matter till March 14 for trial to commence.
The trio, had pleaded not guilty, were charged on a 15-count of conspiracy, forgery, making documents without authority, dealing with the forfeited property without authorization and transfer of forfeited property to nominees.
Other offences for which they were charged include: making a false statement to a public officer, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, attempt to pervert the course of justice, fabricating evidence, giving false evidence under oath and giving false information to the EFCC.
According to the EFCC Lawyer, Mr Nnaemeka Omewa, the defendants committed the fraud on a property which had been ordered to be forfeited in a High Court judgment given in 2005 by Justice Joseph Oyewole.
Justice Oyewole had in the judgment ordered that the property is forfeited to victims of a crime perpetrated by Nwude, the first defendant.
Omewa said, “On Jan. 12, 2011, the defendants forged a power of attorney issued in the name of Mankris Ventures Ltd purporting that Mankris Venture is the owner of the property located at Plot Y, Mobolaji Johnson St, Oregun, Alausa, Lagos.
“They did this with the full knowledge that the property was forfeited as restitution to victims of a crime in a judgment given on November 18, 2005, by Justice Joseph Oyewole in Federal Republic of Nigeria Vs Emmanuel Nwude and six others with suit number ID/92c/04.
“The victims had subsequently sold the property to Rossab Industrial Design Ltd and the company had assigned the property to G.C Nweze and Company Ltd.
“The forged power of attorney was issued to Kalu and ownership transferred to him in order to sell and dispose of the property.
“On August 22, 2014, the defendants instigated a team of police officers from PSFU, Force Headquarters, Abuja, to forcefully take over ownership of the property by giving them false information about the true state of affairs of the property.
“On October 15, 2014, the defendants also gave false information about the property to another team of policemen from Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Adeniji Adele, Lagos.
“The policemen from SARS took over and invaded the property because they were made to believe that they were acting on the orders of Mankris Ltd, ” he said.