The Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday arraigned a businessman, Paschal Okirika, before Justice Anthony Olotu Akpovi of the Delta State High Court sitting in Warri.
Okirika was arraigned on a two-count charge of issuance of dud cheque.
The charge against the defendant read: “That you Pashcal Okirika on about 30th of October, 2017 being the managing director of Okipas Limited, in Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, induced First Bank Plc to offer to you a credit facility of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira) to dredge and stockpile 30,000 cubic meter of sharp sand to be supplied to Setraco Nigeria Limited for 90 days, by issuing a Diamond Bank Plc cheque No. 0062144789, in the sum of N3,000,000.00 (Three Million Naira) drawn on account 0062144798 with account name Okipas Limited, domiciled in Diamond Bank Plc in favour of CAM Recovery Account of First Bank Plc as part payment, which cheque when presented for payment was dishonoured on the ground that no sufficient funds was standing to your credit and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) and b of the Dishonoured Cheques (Offences)Act and punishable under section 1(1) (b) of the same Act.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him.
In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Onyeka Ekweozor, prayed the court to fix a date for trial and remand the defendant at the Correctional Centre. However, counsel to the defendant, P. K. Ederi, pleaded with the court to grant his client bail, saying the offence was bailabĺe.
Justice Akpovi granted the defendant bail in the sum of N1 million with one surety in like sum. The surety must swear to an affidavit of means and should reside within the jurisdiction of the court.
The case was adjourned till October 4 and 5, 2021, for trial