EFCC docks woman for allegedly operating illegal businesses

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port-Harcourt zonal Office, has arraigned Lechi Comfort Ndukwe for alleged operation of unlicensed businesses.

It was also said that Ndukwe was obtaining money by false pretences contrary to section 58 and punishable under section 59 (6) of the banks and other financial institutions act, cap. B3 LFN, 2004.

EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade in a statement said that Ndukwe’s companies called, Dukwe Inc. Ltd, and Gray and Strong Limited were simultaneously involved in the allegations.

Orilade explained that Ndukwe was arraigned before Justice M. L. Abubakar of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on an eight-count charge bordering on the aforestated allegations.

The anti-graft commission disclosed that Ndukwe ran into trouble when some petitioners alleged that she lured them into investing their money in her companies, which were not registered.

Yet, Ndukwe was said to have advertised products tagged: “Gray and Strong”, ” Women in Oil” and “Smart Pick Investment” to the public.

The petitioners, it was learnt, further alleged that they invested in different schemes floated by the companies, where “investors” were tricked into believing that they were entitled to certain benefits such as medical kits for the elderly and monthly returns on investments.

However, the accused reportedly pleaded not guilty to the charges.

But count one reads: “That you, Lechi Comfort Ndukwe, Dukwe Inc. Ltd, Charles Ndukwe (at large) and Ekweogu Henry Nwawuike (at large) between year 2011 and year 2018 at Port-Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did carry on other financial business without the requisite licence and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 58 and punishable Under Section 59 (6) of the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act, Cap. B3, LFN, 2004.”

Following the plea, prosecuting counsel, N.T. Iko applied for a trial date and prayed the court to remand her in prison.

The plea by Iko, however, was objected by the defence counsel, M.E. Nwosuikwe, who moved a motion for bail.

Still, Iko raised a counter motion, saying the application was served on him late and he needed time to respond to it.

On this premise, Justice Abubakar adjourned the case to March 4, for hearing and remanded the defendant in EFCC custody pending the determination of her bail.

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