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Court frees 2 Chinese nationals accused of N1.8bn fraud

ABUJA

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, discharged and acquitted two Chinese nationals, Hao Aijun and Lui Yangxi, who were accused of using forged documents to illegally re-allot shares of a Nigerian firm, BN Ceramics Nigeria Ltd.

justice

Court

The defendants were in a charge filed by former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, alleged to have illegally diverted over N1.8 billion from the firms account, after they used a bogus document to remove its chairman.

The prosecution told the court that the fraud was perfected with the help of one Obi Anthony Chibuzor.

Chibuzor, who was cited as the 3rd defendant in the matter, was also freed by the court.

Specifically, the IGP had in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/77/2017, told the court that the trio, on May 20, 2015, conspired and forged the company resolution of BN Ceramics Industry Nigeria Ltd, and used same to increase the share capital of the firm from 10,000,000 to 20,000,000, when, in fact, there was no such meeting and resolution.

They were further accused of forging another document in the name of one Zhang Xing, purportedly relinquishing his 3,760,000 units of shares in the firm.

The prosecution maintained that the defendants committed criminal offences that were punishable under sections 468, 473 and 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap C38 LFN, 2004.

Meanwhile, in the judgment that was delivered by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, the court held that the prosecution failed to prove any of the allegations it levelled against the defendants.

The court held that the prosecution was unable to prove that there was an agreement between the defendants to forge the company resolution of BN Ceramics Industry Nigeria Ltd.

“None of the Witnesses called by the Prosecution to wit: PW1, PW2 and PW5 were able to prove that there was a meeting of the mind or common intention to forge the Company’s resolution.

“To this end I hold that the Prosecution has failed to prove the offence of conspiracy against the Defendants by the standard required by law which is beyond reasonable doubt and I hereby discharge and acquit the Defendants on count one.

“I discharge and acquit the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Defendants on counts 2, 3, and 4 because they are not proven by the standard required in law.

“I also hereby discharge and acquit the 3rd Defendant also on count 5 for the same reasons and add that the offence of uttering cannot be sustained when there is no forged document,” Justice Dimgba held.

The court noted that the star witness, PW1, who was the nominal complainant, had in his evidence in chief admitted that was not aware of who forged his signature.

It observed that the lead investigator who testified as the PW-2, disclosed that a forensic examination that was conducted by the police, revealed that the Defendants were not the ones that signed the letter relinquishing the shares of the nominal complainant.

“The DW1 and DW2 testified that a meeting was duly held by the Directors of the company increasing it shares from 10 million share capital to 20 million share capital and same was duly contacted to the company secretary DW3 to effect the changes at the Corporate affairs Commission and all the resolutions arrived at in that meeting was not forged, which the Prosecution did not rebut,” Justice Dimgba added.

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