By Richard Thomas, Ibadan
Justice Oladiran Akintola of the Oyo State High Court has, on Thursday, ordered that the duo of Semiu Oluwole Ololade and Adegboyega Adefuye be remanded in Agodi correctional custody till February 4 when the bail applications filed on their behalf in a criminal suit preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibadan zonal office, will be entertained.
The twosome respectively owned Frenage Travel & Tour Limited and Protectime Services Nigeria Limited through which they allegedly defrauded many Nigerians of sums in excess of N15 million.
Following the receipt of over 50 petitions against the accused from victims of their alleged criminal activities, the EFCC, on Thursday, arraigned them on a 53-count criminal charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence. Their respective companies as well Ololade’s Frenage Global Multiservices Limited were joined in the suit.
The petitioners had alleged that Ololade and Adefuye conspired together to come up with a ‘scheme’ in which they claimed to have the wherewithal to help people to secure a travel visa to Dubai and Canada, and also get them work permit on arrival.
The ‘scheme’ which was promoted on the electronic media attracted many Nigerians who were desperate to seek greener pasture abroad. It required each participant to pay N300,000 to partake of the ‘opportunity’.
However, after fulfilling their side of the bargain, the petitioners alleged that they later found out that the accused only used the ‘scheme’ to extort them.
When the charges were read to them in court, the accused pleaded not guilty to all, prompting the prosecution counsel, Babatunde Sonoiki, to pray for an order to remand them in the correctional custody and an adjournment for definite trial.
However, the defendants’ counsel called the attention of the court to the bail applications he had filed on their behalf.
When asked to respond, the EFCC lawyer said he was only served the applications at the court premises same day and needed time to respond.
Justice Akintola has fixed February 4, 2020 for arguments on the bail application. He also gave the order that the accused be remanded in the correctional custody pending that adjourned date.