Couple, firm arraigned for alleged $4.7m theft

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For allegedly stealing $4.7million and converting same to their use, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Vice President of Lionstone Offshore Services Limited, Amaechi Ndili and Njide Chizoba Ndili, with their firm, Lionstone Offshore Services have been arraigned before a Lagos Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja.

They were arraigned before Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe on three counts charge bordering on stealing and conversion of $4.7million to personal use.

The defendants were charged by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) for allegedly dishonestly converting $4,666,234.28 they received from Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Limited on behalf of Hercules Offshore Nigeria Limited

The defendants allegedly obtained the money for the contract that, the duo and their company, Lionstone Offshore Limited, entered into with Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Limited, which was executed by Hercules Offshore Nigeria Ltd, but they failed to deliver the money to Hercules.

The prosecution counsel led by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Simon Lough (SAN), in the charge, alleged that Lionstone Limited was engaged by Hercules as its local partner and to receive payments on its behalf in respect of contracts it executed for Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Limited.

The police alleged that the $4,666,234.28 formed part of the payments the defendants received on behalf of Hercules, but which they failed to remit to Hectares in accordance with their agreement, but instead, allegedly converted the money to their personal use.

Following their plea of not guilty to the three counts charge, the defendants lead counsel, Mr Ebun Shofunde (SAN) prayed the court to grant the defendants bail.

He noted that the first defendant (Amaechi) had earlier been granted bail when he was arraigned before Justice Sherifat Sholebo.

Justice Abike-Fadipe, however, admitted them to bail and allowed the first defendant to continue with the bail granted earlier by the sister court.

The court granted bail to the second defendant in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum and also ordered that one of the sureties must have landed property in Lagos State.

The matter was adjourned to January 30, 2023, for trial and hearing of pending applications.

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