The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned a businesswoman, Oluremi Phillips, for an alleged N57.6 million fraud before the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja.
The businesswoman, who was re-arraigned before Justice I.O. Ijelu on Monday, May 22, was previously standing trial before Justice S.O. Solebo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, following her arraignment on January 27, 2022.
However, the trial could not be concluded before the retirement of Justice Solebo in November 2022, a development that resulted in the re-assigning of the case file to Justice Ijelu.
Philips was re-arraigned alongside her company, Omritas Energy Limited, on a five-count charge bordering on stealing and issuance of dud cheques to the tune of N57,690,000.
The defendant, again, pleaded “not guilty” to all the counts preferred against her.
Following her plea, the prosecution counsel, T.J. Banjo, asked the court for a trial date and further prayed the judge to order the remand of the defendant, who also represents the second defendant, at a correctional centre, pending the trial date.
The defence counsel, Akin Olatunji, however, told the court that his client was granted bail on March 18, 2022, while standing trial before Justice Solebo.
He said: “We were able, after two months that the defendant was at the correctional centre, to perfect the bail.
“We, therefore, humbly urge your lordship to allow the defendant to continue with the previous bail, as she does not constitute a flight-risk.”
The prosecution counsel, however, raised objections, saying: “Your lordship now sits on the matter. The defendant has not brought any bail application before the court, and the court is a court of records.”
Justice Ijelu, after listening to the arguments of the lawyers, and going through the records of the proceedings of the previous court, including the bail ruling of Justice Solebo, granted the defendant bail.
The judge, therefore, adjourned the matter till June 28 and 29, and July 4, 2023, for trial.