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

They face charges of criminal conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretenses, and retention of proceeds from unlawful activities, totaling N6 million.

The charges detail that between November 15, 2022, and March 21, 2023, Nchelem, Jack, and an accomplice, Chimenem Peter Webilor (currently at large), allegedly defrauded Senibo Richmond Opusunju by falsely claiming to sell three plots of land in Rumuapu, Rukpokwo Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.

They obtained N6 million from Opusunju under these false pretenses, violating Section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act.

Both defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. The prosecution counsel, E. K. Esien-Otu, requested a trial date and the defendants’ remand to the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS).

The defense counsel, S. O. Aburu, applied orally for bail to allow the defendants to prepare for their trial. However, Justice Ajoku declined the oral bail application, instructing the defense to submit a formal bail application and ordered the defendants to be remanded in EFCC custody.

The case arose after a petitioner alleged that in October 2022, his son introduced him to Peter Webilor, who claimed to be a property agent with two plots of land for sale in Rumuapu and Rukpokwu, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State. The petitioner paid N6 million into Deborah Jack’s bank account.

However, after payment, the petitioner discovered that the properties were already owned by someone else, who asserted genuine ownership. Despite numerous efforts, the petitioner has been unable to recover his money.



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