A Cameroonian businesswoman, Mary Senge, has been arraigned before Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Jabi, Abuja, for visa fraud.
Senge was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on four counts bordering on forgery and obtaining money by false pretences.
The charges read in part, That you, Mary Senge, on or about the 27th day of July, 2018, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of N2,765,751 from one John Abila when you falsely represented yourself as able to procure a Canadian visa for his brother, Lekeaka Gilbert, a pretence you knew to be false, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) a of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following her plea, the prosecution counsel, Best Ojukwu, prayed the court for a trial date, arguing that the defendant should be remanded in prison custody.
But the defence counsel, Evi Ofou, made an oral bail application for Senge, explaining that he did not have sufficient time to file a bail application as a result of the fact that the Federal High Court, Maitama, was not open as well as the fact that he got the charge sheet on Tuesday, while the following day was a public holiday.
He promised that his client would always be available in court for the trial.
The defence counsel, however, opposed the bail application, stating that the defendant is a Cameroonian citizen and will likely jump bail and return to her country.
The judge admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N5m with two sureties in like sum, adding that the sureties must live within the jurisdiction of the court and must be senior civil servants, who own landed properties and have three years evidence of tax payment certified by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
Source (Punch, Friday, June 14th, 2019.)