Mr Emmanuel Auta, the Managing Director, Abegyi Nigeria Limited, told an FCT High Court, Kubwa how Mr Philemon Gora allegedly swindled him of N80 million in Forex trade.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), charged Gora, Managing Director of G Commanding Resources Limited, with 12-counts bordering on obtaining under false pretence.
Auta, made the allegation while being led in evidence by the EFCC prosecution counsel, Samuel Ugwuegbulam.
He said he wrote a petition to the EFCC on the matter, through his lawyer, Ayodeji Ayodele on November 23, 2017.
“Sometime in 2014, I was introduced to the defendant as a forex trader in his office, at Area 8, Abuja.
“The defendant made a presentation to me about forex trading, saying if I could invest in it, he will remit 20 per cent to me monthly.
“After the presentation, we had another meeting in his house and he guaranteed me of the interest rate so I deposited N20 million with him in April, 2014.
“I gave him a letter of authority based on the resolution of my company to transfer funds from my company account with Time Microfinance Bank located in Kafachan, Kaduna state (owned by the defendant) to his company account.
“He transferred N40 million in May 19, 2014, and N20 million on June 3 of the said year, including my initial N20 million, totalling N80 million.
“After all the transfers, I could not get through to him on phone so I went to his house and discovered he had moved out but got a hint that he moved to A.Y.A, Asokoro.
“I confronted him on why I had not gotten any interest as agreed and he apologised and gave me another phone number to reach him which I tried in his presence and it went through.
“So, I left with the assurance that I would get interest on my investment within 30 days,” Auta said.
He said after 60 days he did not hear from the defendant and learnt that he was no longer in the country.
“I got a phone number to reach him abroad and I called but he told me he was on a business trip and would return.
“After that, all efforts to reach the defendant proved abortive until sometime in 2015, I got a hint that he was in the country and was at a meeting in the Ministry of Justice.
“I reported the case to the FCT Police Command and was given two policemen who joined my lawyer and I to the ministry where the defendant was taken to the Area Command, Abuja and he wrote his statement.
“The defendant admitted to the police about our transactions, so they gave us opportunity to dialogue between ourselves and that was the last time I heard from him until I wrote to the EFCC and was invited to write my statement, I discovered he was in their custody,’’ he said.
The prosecution counsel asked the witness what convinced him to believe the defendant was into forex trading.
The witness said the defendant delivered a presentation, showed him a certificate of bank registration he owned and two documents that involved Bureau de change.
The letter of authority to transfer funds issued by the nominal complainant to the defendant, and petition written to the EFCC and documents received from the defendant were tendered as exhibits and admitted.
The defence counsel, Unekwu Enegbani asked for an evidence to show that the witness paid the said sum directly to the defendant.
Enegbani further asked if the witness was aware that the defendant’s bank accounts were frozen.
In response, the witness said he collected a statement of payment showing the transaction flow from Time Microfinance Bank and was not aware the defendant’s account were frozen.
Justice Kezziah Ogbonnaya, however, adjourned the case until October 18 for hearing.