The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned Valentine Orji, the Managing Director of Naxpro Energy & Shipping Company Limited before Justice A. A. Onojovwo of the Delta State High Court sitting in Warri, on a six-count charge bordering on issuance of dud cheque to the tune of N60 million.
The petitioner, ARC Marine & Civil Construction Company Limited, alleged that sometime in September 2013 Orji approached her in the company of Mr. Bimbo requesting to buy a vessel, MV DOLA with registration No. IMO H. 6826793. After the negotiation, the parties agreed on the sum of N140 million.
The two parties agreed that the vessel would be handed over to Orji’s company after the sum of N80 million is deposited for the vessel and issuance of post-dated cheque covering the balance sum of N60 million.
Upon the payment of the initial amount, the vessel was handed over to his company, and it was agreed if by April 1, 2014 he fails to pay the balance the vessel should be returned.
However, on presentation of Orji’s cheque in a bank, it was dishonoured on the grounds of insufficient funds.
Efforts made to recover the vessel or money proved abortive.
One of the counts reads:
“That you, Valentine Orji being the Managing Director of NAXPRO ENERGY AND SHIPPING COMPANY LTD on or about the 1st day of December, 2013 at Warri, within the Judicial Division of this Court did obtain credit for yourself by issuing a First Bank of Nigeria Plc Cheque No: 06833503 in the sum of N10,000,000 belonging to NAXPRO ENERGY AND SHIPPING COMPANY LTD in favour of Arc Marine and Civil Contractors Ltd which cheque when presented for payment within three months of issuance, was dishonoured on the grounds of insufficient funds standing to your credit and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (b) of the Dishonoured Cheque (Offences) Act, CAP. D11 VOL5 LAWS of the Federation of Nigeria Revised Edition 2007.”
He pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was arraigned.
In view of his plea, prosecuting counsel, M. T. Iko, urged the court to fix a date to commence trial.
However, the defence counsel, Erikefe prayed the court to grant the accused person bail.
Justice Onojovwo, granted the accused person bail in the sum of N5 million, and two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be resident within Warri or Effurun jurisdiction with a landed property to be verified by the bailiff of the court.
The judge ordered the accused person to be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of his bail.
The matter was adjourned till 22 March, 2016 for trial to commence.