The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday arraigned one Suzan Vega Ochuko before Justice P.I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court sitting in Benin, Edo State, on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence.

The defendant and one Tony Uyimwen aka Alex Ethan (now at large) allegedly operating with a pseudo name, Alex Ethan, contacted one Mrs. Beatrice AUF DER MAUR from St. Gallen, Switzerland via Facebook and defrauded her of 132,000 Euros.

Mrs Auf Der Maur was allegedly hoodwinked into a love relationship with the defendant, who subsequently defrauded her of the said amount under the pretence of executing a non existing contract.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.

One of the Counts reads: “That you Suzan Vega Ochuko ‘F’ and Tony Uyimwen ‘M’ a.k.a Alex Ethan (now at large) on or about the 11th of March, 2016 at Benin, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud when you made a false representation that you are Alex Ethan to one Mrs. Beatrice AUF DER MAUR and obtained the sum of 65,000.00 (Euro), account number: 2024290579 of one Collins Peter which pretext you knew was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) of the said Act.”

Another count reads: “That you Suzan Vega Ochuko ‘F’ and Tony Uyimwen ‘M’ (a.k.a) Alex Ethan (now at large) on or about the 18th of March, 2016 at Benin, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did obtain the sum of 67, 000.00 (Euro) under false pretence from one Mrs. Beatrice AUF DER MAUR account number: 2022547286 which pretext you knew was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) of the said Act.”

In view of her plea, the prosecution counsel M.T. Iko asked the court to fix a date for commencement of trial. The defence counsel, Ekhator Ogiegbaen told the court that he had filed a bail application for his client. He pleaded with the court to grant his client bail as she will not jump bail and that the defendant was a nursing mother.

Though the prosecution counsel opposed the bail, Justice Ajoku granted the defendant bail in the sum of one million naira with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be civil servants not below grade level 12 or with landed property within the jurisdiction of the court. The sureties must deposit original titles of their documents with the court while the civil servants must produce official letters from their superiors in office. The documents are to be verified by the prosecution.

The matter was adjourned to June 14, 2017 for trial while the defendant is to be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of her bail.

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