The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday December 3, 2012, arraigned Simeon Emeka Madukaife and Rita Omokhaya before Justice S. A. Aliyu of the Federal High Court Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on a 32-count charge for defrauding the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital the sum of N47, 352,254.35 (Forty-Seven Million Three Hundred and Fifty Two Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Four Naira Thirty- Five Kobo).
One of the charge reads: “That you Simeon Emeka Madukaife “M” while being the Project Accountant, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital Drug Revolving Fund on or about 11th November 2009, at Port Harcourt, within the Jurisdiction of this Honorable court did with intent to defraud, obtain the sum of N4,710,500.00(Four Million Seven Hundred and Ten Thousand Five Hundred Naira) from the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital Drug Revolving Fund through its account with Sterling Bank Plc UPTH branch, under false pretence by including the name of SINMTEX INTERNATI0NAL NIGERIA, a business concern promoted by you in the payment schedule of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital Drug Revolving Fund you forwarded to Sterling Bank Plc that the said SINMTEX INTERNATIONAL NIGERIA supplied drugs to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and Punishable Under section 1(3) of the same Act”.
The two accused persons pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
Prosecution counsel A.I. Arogha thereafter prayed the court for a short date for the commencement of trial. But counsel to Madukaife, the first accused person, C.I. Enweluzo urged the court to grant bail to the accused as the offence for which he is charged is bailable. Counsel to Omokhaya, the second accused person, F.I. David, also aligned with Enweluzo’s position.
Justice Aliyu while adjourning the matter to January 11, 2013, for ruling on the bail application, ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody.