The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday May 16, 2013 arraigned the Director of Echo Petroleum and Chemical Marketing Nigeria Limited, Ahmed Echoda before Justice Ugochukwu Ogakwu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Jabi, Abuja on 2-count charge of issuance of dud cheques to the tune of Four million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N4.5 million).
The accused person was alleged to have issued the cheques as part payment for 73,000 liters of kerosene supplied to him by the complainant, Ibrahim A. Lawani but were dishonored because of insufficient funds in his account. The offence is contrary to section 1(1) (b) of the Dishonored Cheques Act Cap D11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The accused pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him after which counsel to EFCC, R. A Liman asked the court to fix a date for hearing.
However, counsel to the accused, Oba Ochoja prayed the court to grant the accused bail on the grounds that the offence is a bailable and that he has been on EFCC administrative bail.
Justice Ogakwu granted bail to the accused person in the sum of N4 million and two sureties in like sum, who must be level 14 officers in the public service. The sureties must be resident in Abuja and should depose to an affidavit of means. The addresses of the sureties are to be verified by the court registrar.
One of the charges read: "that you, Alhaji Ahmed Echoda being the chairman of Echoda Petroleum and Chemical Marketing Limited sometimes in July, 2011 in Abuja within the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did issue a First Bank Plc cheque No.88260291, dated 26th August, 2011, in the sum of Three Million Naira (N3, 000,000.) to Ibrahim Lawani, to obtain credit which when presented within three months was dishonored on the ground of insufficient funds standing to your credit and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1) (b) of the Dishonored Cheques (offences) Act Cap D11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under section 1(1) (b) (1) of the same Act".
The case has been adjourned to June 18, 2013 for trial.
Media & Publicity Unit
16th May, 2013