Judicial Reports

Ponzi scheme operator who allegedly defrauded 2 Profs, Army Col, others of N1.2bn docked

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Ponzi scheme operator who allegedly defrauded 2 Profs, Army Col, others of N1.2bn docked

A Ponzi scheme operator, Michael Ukiye Diongoli, who allegedly duped a retired Army Colonel, two Professors, MTN Staff Co-operative Society, and some others of the sum of N1,286,580,656 billion, was today arraigned before Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of a Lagos Federal High Court.

The Ponzi Scheme operator, Diongoli, was arraigned by the operatives of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID), Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos, on an eight-count charge of conspiracy, obtained by false pretence, and fraud.

Michael was arraigned on the alleged crimes alongside his two firms, UK-Don Group and UK-Dion Investment Limited.

He was accused of defrauding his victims, under false pretence of multiple Returns On Investment (ROI) within the period of six months to one year.

Some of the alleged fraud victims include: Dr. Basil Onugu, Prof. Oneykachi Green Nwankwo, his wife, Elizabeth U. Onyekachi Green, Nnenna Ikubogh, Securities Ltd, Uchenna Nwankwo, Chinyere Oguejiofor, Sekoni A. Adetokunmo, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Prof. iloeje Casmir, Lilllan Ofondu, Suliaman Mamman, MTN Employer Cooperative, Gabriel Andrew, Obieme Adaku K., Col. Chukwu Terngu (Rtd) and others.

The prosecutor, Mrs. Ezema Susan, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) while arraigning the defendant today, told the court that the defendants allegedly committed the offences within December 2021 and April 2022.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences contravened Sections 8 (a), 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related to Offences Act, 2006 and Punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

The defendant, denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following his not guilty plea, his counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN) who led other lawyers, informed the court that his client’s bail application has been filed and same has been served on the prosecutor.

Responding to the bail appllication, the prosecutor, Mrs. Ezema told the court that although, the defendant’s lawyer has informed her that the bail summons has been served on the Prosecution, but added that she is yet to receive it.

She, therefore, pleaded with the court for short adjournment, so that she can get a copy of the bail summons and see if she will file a counter.

Consequently, Justice Allagoa ordered that the defendant be remanded in the ForceCID’s custody and adjourned the matter till Tuesday, for hearing of the bail appllication.

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