Justice Sherifah Solebo of a Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Thursday,12th May 2022, adjourned till 5th July 2022 for ruling on the no-case submission filed by Andrew Warri, who is being prosecuted on a seven-count charge bordering on stealing, obtaining by false pretence and issuance of dud cheques by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Warri, who was arraigned alongside two companies, A.M. Projects Consultancy Limited and Ranez Medical Consultancy Limited, on 25th June 2021, is accused of defrauding GTBank of about N125 million.
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.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
The defence counsel, Nelson Imoh, had, in July 2021, moved his bail application, which was opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Franklin Ofoma.
He was, however, granted bail by the court in the sum of N25million, with two sureties in like sum.
Subsequently, the prosecution closed its case after presenting three witnesses and tendering several documentary evidence to prove the case against Warri, who had to be placed on the watch list of the Department of State Services, (DSS) Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) and other local and international law enforcement agencies before his arrest could be secured.
In the course of the trial, the defendant, however, changed his legal team and engaged the services of A.M. Makinde (SAN) who, rather than open his defence, filed a no-case submission.
At Thursday’s proceedings, both parties adopted their written addresses.
While the defence argued that it had no case to answer, the prosecution urged the court to hold that a prima facie case had been made against the defendant and to order him to open his defence.
After listening to both parties, Justice Solebo adjourned till 5th July 2022 for ruling on the no-case submission.