The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Lagos Zonal Office, has arraigned Austin Mbonu and Nnenna Mbonu, aka Chika Mbonu, alongside their companies- Global Steno Nigeria Ltd and Nestins Global Links Ltd- before Justice O. A. Taiwo of the state High Court, Ikeja.
They were arraigned on a 20-count charge bordering on alleged conspiracy, forgery and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N32,507,628.08
One of the counts reads: “That you, Austin Mbonu, Nnenna Mbonu (aka Chika Mbonu) and Nestins Global Links Ltd, on or about the 30th day of June, 2017 in Lagos within the Lagos Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain the sum of N14, 145,686.95 (Fourteen Million, One Hundred and Forty-five Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty-six Naira, Ninety-five Kobo) from Fidelity Bank PLC as the cost of facilitation of a Local Purchase Order (LPO), contract from Chivita Nigeria Ltd.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution counsel, Nkeruwem Anana, asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendants in prison custody.
But the defence counsel, Peter Ozodiale, moved an application for bail on behalf of his clients.
He said: “My Lord, the defendants have been in EFCC custody for days. The second defendant, Nnenna Mbonu, is a nursing mother; she has a four-month-old baby.”
Justice Taiwo adjourned the case till February 2 for hearing of the bail application and ordered the defendants to be remanded in EFCC custody.
On February 2, they were granted bail after meeting the conditions.
Trial has been fixed for March 19, 20 and 24.