EFCC Arraigns Woman, Daughter-in-law for Alleged N6m Land Fraud in Port Harcourt

The Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned one Blessing Webilor Nchelem and her daughter in-law, Deborah Jack before Justice P. I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, Rivers State for multiple fraud.

They were arraigned on four-count charges, bordering on criminal conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretence and retention of proceeds of unlawful act to the tune of N6 million.

Count two of the charge reads: “That you, Deborah Jack, Blessing Webilor Nchelem, Chimenem Peter Webilor (now at large) between 15th November, 2022 to 21st March, 2023 at Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud did obtain in a single transaction, the sum of Six Million Naira (N6,000,000.00) only from Senibo Richmond Opusunju as consideration for the sale of three plots of land, located at Rumuapu, Rukpokwo Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, a pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act.”

They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to them, following which prosecution counsel E. K. Esien-Otu, prayed the court to fix a date for commencement of trial and for the defendants to be remanded in the custody of Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS), while the defence counsel, S. O. Aburu orally applied to the court to grant the defendants bail to enable them prepare for their trial.

Justice Ajoku who declined the oral bail application, asked the defence counsel to make a formal bail application and ordered the defendants to be remanded in EFCC’s custody.

The defendants were arrested when a petitioner alleged that in October, 2022, he was introduced by his son to one of the defendants Peter Webilor, who claimed to be a property agent and had two plots of land for sale, located at Rumuapu and Rukpokwu, Obi/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State for which he later paid a total sum of N6 million into the bank account of one of the defendants, Deborah Jack.

The petitioner, however, soon found out after payment that he could not take possession of the properties, as a different person materialized and claimed genuine ownership of the properties. Since then, all efforts made by the petitioner to recover his money met a brick wall.

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