Law and Crime

Alleged N2.7bn Fraud: Lagos’ Couple Trial Commences January 10


Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has fixed January 10, 2024 as commencement of trial of a couple, Oriyomi Idowu and Ruth Idowu, who were arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, November 28, 2023,  on 20-count charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, money laundering, stealing, retention of stolen property, and forgery to the tune of N2,757,188,000.00 (Two Billion, Seven Hundred and Fifty-Seven Million, One Hundred and Eighty-Eight Naira Only).

They were arraigned alongside Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Limited, Samee Idowu Company Limited and Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, which all belong to Ruth Idowu.

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One of the counts reads: “Ruth Sameeha Idowu, aka Loiry Ventures, Oriyomi Kabeer Idowu, aka Yocli Ventures, Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Ltd, Samee Idowu Company Limited, Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, sometime in 2023 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, converted the sum of N10,000,000 to purchase a GLK Benz, purchase sum derived from converting the sum of N500,000,000 belonging to Creditpro Business Support Services with the aim of disguising the illegal origin of the funds.”

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Another count reads: “Ruth Sameeha Idowu, aka Loiry Ventures, Oriyomi Kabeer Idowu, aka Yocli Ventures, Food Commodity Processing Enterprise, Bonway Food Processing Company Ltd., Samee Idowu Company Limited, Farmex Integrated Companies Limited, sometime in 2023 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, dishonestly retained the sum of N936,619,876 (Nine Hundred and Thirty-Six Million,  Six Hundred and Nineteen Thousand,  Eight Hundred and Seventy-Six Naira only) in your UBA bank account, property of Creditpro Business Support services knowing same to be funds fraudulently obtained from Creditpro Business Support Services.”

The defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to them, thereby prompting the court to adjourn till Friday, December 15, 2023, for hearing of their bail applications.


At Friday’s proceedings, James Alara, counsel for Ruth, who is the first defendant, informed the court that he was withdrawing an earlier motion for the bail of his client, and replacing it with a new one “due to the need to include the medical reports on the health status of the first defendant”. Counsel for the EFCC, Bilikisu Buhari, however, responded that the prosecution had earlier replied to the application being withdrawn and that it only received the new application on December 11, 2023. “We responded to the one they are withdrawing. But they brought to us the new one on December 11, 2023. We intend to respond to the first defendant’s new bail application,” she said.

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She explained further that the prosecution needed to authenticate the said medical reports attached to the new bail application. Alara, thereafter, prayed the court for a short adjournment in order for the court to hear the new bail application of his client, “because of the health of the first defendant”.

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On his part, Babatunde Ogala, SAN, counsel for Oriyomi, the second defendant, moved the bail application for his client. “We urge the court to discountenance the counter-affidavit of the prosecution, and grant bail to the defendant on liberal terms, as the defendant has no criminal records and has never been charged before now; he will not interfere with the case,” he said.

He further argued that his client was granted an administrative bail by the EFCC during the course of investigations and “he never jumped bail granted him by the EFCC, and has shown that he is not a flight risk”. Responding, Buhari moved the 15-paragraph counter-affidavit of the prosecution, adding that “bail is at the discretion of the court, and if the court is so inclined, we pray for terms that will ensure appearance in court”.

Ruling on the bail application of the second defendant, Justice Dada granted bail in the sum of N250 million, with two sureties in like sum, who must show means of gainful employment and must agree to have a lien placed on their bank accounts. The defendant was also ordered to deposit his International passport with the Chief Registrar of the court.

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Thereafter, Justice Dada adjourned till December 20, 2023 “for bail hearing of the first defendant”, and further adjourned trial till January 10 and February 2, 2024.

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Joshua Okoria

Joshua Okoria is a Lagos based multi-skilled journalist covering the maritime industry. His ICT and graphic design skills makes him a resourceful person in any modern newsroom. He read mass communication at the Olabisi Onabanjo University and has sharpened his knowledge in media practice from several other short courses. 07030562600, hubitokoria@gmail.com

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