The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Port Harcourt’s zonal office on Tuesday, arraigned one Onwuzuruike Ikenna Kingsley (aka Jeff Sikora), a self-styled President/ Chief Executive Officer of United States-based Prime Trust Credit Union Bank before Justice A.T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on an eight count charge bordering on conspiracy, impersonation, forgery, possession of proceeds and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of Eight Million, Five Hundred and Two Thousand Dollars ($8,502,000.00) .
The offence contravenes 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.
One of the counts read, “that you Onwuzuruike Ikenna Kingsley (a.k.a Jeff Sikora) on or about the 28th day of December, 2019, at Umuahia, Abia State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of ($6,500,000.00) six million, five hundred thousand United States Dollars through web transfer from one Mr. Selah Elnagar Ali Ahmed, a citizen of the Arabic Republic of Egypt, with the pretence that he is a beneficiary of inheritance funds in a fixed deposit account of Prime Trust Financial Bank, USA, a pretext you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”
He pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to the defendant.
In view of his plea, prosecution counsel M.T Iko asked the court for a short adjournment.
However, defence counsel, R.E. Wanogho informed the court of a pending application for the bail of the defendant.
Iko, however, opposed the application on the grounds that he was only served the application that same morning and needed time to study and respond to it.
Justice Mohammed adjourned the matter till July 3, 2020 for hearing and ordered that the defendant be remanded in EFCC custody.
Kingsley ran into trouble following actionable intelligence received by the Commission on his alleged fraudulent activities. This led to the arrest of the defendant on January 26, 2020 by operatives of the EFCC at his residence along Uzuakoli Road, Umuahia, Abia State.
Investigations revealed that Kingsley falsely presented himself as one Jeff Sikora, President/CEO of Prime Trust Credit Union Bank based in the United States of America, USA with the intent to defraud his victims.
Using the forged Identity Card of the said Sikora, the defendant allegedly defrauded an Egyptian, the sum of $6,500,000.00 on the pretext that he was a beneficiary of Inheritance Funds in a fixed deposit account of Prime Trust Financial Bank.
The defendant also collected the sum of Two Thousand United States Dollars ($2,000) which was transferred to him by his accomplice, one Obi Taxas (who is now at large) as part of his share of the heist.