Court remands man for swindling COVID-19 loan applicants of N28.8m

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By Ridwan Adekunle

A Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ court on Wednesday remanded 35-year-old Eugene Izuchukwu for allegedly defrauding COVID-19 loan applicants of N28.8 million in Benue.

The Magistrate, Erdoo Ter, however, did not take the plea of Mr Izuchukwu for want of jurisdiction.

The Magistrate also ordered that he should be remanded in the Federal Maximum Correctional Centre, Makurdi and adjourned the case until January 30 for further mention.

The prosecution counsel, Regina Ishaya, had told the court that the case was received at the office of the AIG Zone 4 Headquarters, Makurdi, on November 10 from one Celine Agu, Pastor Philip Okoliko and 16 others, all of various addresses within Makurdi town.

She said Mr. Izuchukwu, between January and March 2020, persuaded and induced the complainants to register for COVID-19 loans with him, and they all did.

Upon reliance on his presentation, she said the complainants paid various amounts of monies by cash and bank transactions into Access Bank No. 0783785237, UBA No. 2192033439, Zenith Bank No. 2213586359 and Union Bank No. 0151338334, all amounting to N28,857,000.

She said during the police investigation, the suspect was arrested, and he confessed to committing the offence.

Ms Ishaya said the offence section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and section 398 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue 2004.

She said the investigation into the matter was still ongoing.