A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday remanded a suspected Ponzi scheme operator, Osita David Ikpah a.k.a King David, in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCOs) for allegedly defrauding depositors of N571.6 million.
The order was given by Justice Abimbola Awogboro after Ikpah was arraigned by the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) Ikoyi, Lagos, on a 26-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and fraud.
Ikpah’s co-defendant on the charge marked FHC/L/234c/2021 was his firm, KD Likeminds Stakeholders Ltd.
Prosecution counsel, Henry Obiazi, told the court that the defendant, his firm, and his unnamed accomplices, committed the offences between February and March 2021, at 4, Dikem Farm Close, Ishashi Road, Ojo, Lagos.
They were alleged to have between January and June 2021, operated as an unlicensed insurance and stock broking company without a valid Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) license.
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According to the prosecutor, the offences contravened Section 8(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 as well as Section 58 (i) and 59 (6)(b) of the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act, 2004.
Following the defendant’s plea, his counsel, S. C. Ukairo, prayed the court to admit him to bail “in the most liberal terms”, adding that credible sureties were available to stand for the defendant.
However, the prosecution counsel opposed the application, noting that there was a likelihood of Ikpah jumping bail and continuing to defraud “innocent citizens.”
He argued that by refusing the bail application, the court would be doing Ikpah “a great favour because most of the fraud victims are determined to lynch him if they set their eyes on him.”
Upon remanding the defendant, the judge adjourned till October 29 for ruling on the bail application and commencement of trial.
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