By Bright Nwogu
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has adjourned the trial of one Ibrahim Kuforiji, Mojeed Raheem and Oladepo Habeeb for an alleged N125million fraud till January 27, 2022.
The defendants, who were first arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on February 25, 2020 on a four-count charge bordering on stealing, are alleged to have connived to divert goods worth N125,786,969 belonging to De-Moshadek Nigeria Limited, a major distributor of household goods and groceries.
They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
One of the counts reads: “Ibrahim Kuforiji, Mojeed Raheem and Oladepo Habeeb, sometime in 2019 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; stealing goods worth N85, 503,409 property of De-Moshadek Nigeria Limited.”
The first defendant, Kuforiji, is further accused of pocketing the sum of N15,786,700 he collected from wholesalers for goods belonging to De-Moshadek Nigeria Limited, and also diverting the company’s groceries worth N24,496,860.
On December 3, 2021 the EFCC presented two more witnesses to prove the case against them.
Adubi Ademola, a Sales Manager with Unilever testifying as the fifth prosecution witness, narrated how the company received a complaint from De-Moshadek Nigeria Limited on the alleged diverted goods collected from Unilever.
Led in evidence by prosecuting counsel, S.I. Suleiman, the witness identified the defendants in the dock, noting that Kuforiji acts on behalf of De-Moshadek Nigeria Limited.
He said, “Sometimes in October 2019, the company complained that some of the invoices of goods we sold to them that they didn’t receive them and we have debited them.
“When we checked our records we discovered that they were duly signed and acknowledged.
“We found out that from the signature, it showed that Ibrahim received the goods for the invoices that De-Moshadek was contending that they never received.”
He said that following a formal complaint from the company, Unilever identified the invoices which were being contended and showed them to De-Moshadek Nigeria Limited.
Testifying as the sixth prosecution witness, Kayode Olusesan a Warehouse Supervisor with De-Moshadek Nigeria Limited also narrated how checks of items in the warehouse were depleted without appropriate memos and invoices, with Kuforiji urging him not to escalate the matter to the management of De-Moshadek.
The case has been adjourned till January 27, 2022 for further hearing.