The Chief Executive Officer of Lionstone Offshore Services Ltd., Amaechi Ndili, and his wife, Njide, were on Wednesday arraigned in Lagos for alleged $4.7 million fraud.
The couple appeared before an Ikeja Special Offences Court on a three-count amended charge.
The couple is standing trial alongside Lionstone Offshore Services on charges of conspiracy, stealing and illegal conversion of money for personal use.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them by the Federal Government.
According to prosecution counsel, ACP Simon Lough, the defendants dishonestly converted $4.7 million they received from Addax Petroleum Development Nig. Ltd. on behalf of Hercules Offshore Nig. Ltd.
Lough alleged that the defendants obtained the sum for a contract that Lionstone Offshore Services entered into with Addax Petroleum Development Nig. Ltd., which was executed by Hercules Offshore Nig. Ltd..
The prosecution counsel submitted that the defendants failed to remit the money to Hercules.
“Lionstone Ltd. was engaged by Hercules as its local partner and it received payments on its behalf in respect of contract it executed for Addax Petroleum Development Nig. Ltd.
“The $4.7 million formed part of the payments the defendants received on behalf of Hercules but they failed to remit to Hercules in accordance with their agreement,” the prosecution counsel said.
Following their not guilty pleas, defence lead counsel, Mr Ebun Shofunde (SAN), prayed the court to grant them bail.
Shofunde informed the court that the first defendant (Amaechi) had been granted bail when he was arraigned before Justice Sherifat Sholebo.
Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe admitted the second defendant to bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum.
The judge allowed the first defendant to continue with the bail earlier granted him.
Abike-Fadipe said that the sureties must have evidence of tax payment.
She also directed that one of the sureties must have a landed property in Lagos State.
The judge held that the court would remand the second defendant in a correctional facility if she would not meet the bail conditions within 14 days.
The alleged offences contravene Sections 516 and 387 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Nigeria, 2004.
The judge adjourned the case until Jan. 30, 2023 for commencement of trial.