Two Starcomms Officials Arraigned By Efcc At The Ibadan High Court, Oyo State For Fraud Related Offences. Left, Joshua OgunlowoThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, August 23, 2012 arraigned two staff of Starcomms Plc before a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State over recharge card scam to the tune of Twenty Eight Million Naira (N28, 000,000.00). Joshua Ogunlowo Olugbenga and Akinleye Adeyemo, Starcomms' Head of Administration and Accountant respectively, were arraigned before Justice O.A Boade on a five count charge bordering on intent to defraud and conspiracy to obtain Starcomms products by false pretence.

The accused persons allegedly conspired to collect recharge cards worth Twenty Eight Million Naira only( N28,000,000.00) from Starcomms Plc for James Telecoms Nigeria Limited ( now at large) by falsely representing to Starcomms Plc that there was sufficient funds in the company's Fidelity Bank account.

The two suspects pleaded not guilty to four of the five count charge when they were read to them. The fifth count, which affects four other suspects still at large, was not read. The suspects are James Telecoms Nigeria Limited, James Olaniyi, Akinrotimi Orobola and one Miss Bola.

Prosecution counsel, Kayode Oni urged the court not to admit the two accused persons to bail given the grievous nature of the alleged crime and the positions held by them in Starcomms.
Counsel to the first accused, Kazeem A. Lawal prayed the court to admit his client to bail on liberal terms. Peter Ubani, counsel to the second accused person, aligned his position with the submissions of the counsel to the first accused persons but urged the court to remand his client in EFCC custody should it defers ruling on the bail application. Justice Boade, after listening to all the submissions, adjourned the case to September 13th, 2012, for ruling on the bail application and ordered that the accused persons be remanded in Agodi prison, Ibadan.

Wilson Uwujaren
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
24th August, 2012