The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal office, on Monday arraigned Mr. Suani Neewi, Managing Director of Bluekey Technologies Nigeria Limited and Cityclyk Bluekey Payment and his two companies before Justice I. M Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on three- count charges bordering on conspiracy, carrying out banking business without license and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N5,084,491,253.92 (Five Billion, and Eighty Four Million, Four Hundred and Ninety One Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty Three Naira, Ninety Two Kobo) contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
Specifically, Neewi allegedly opened his two companies as a pseudo bank, took deposits from members of the public and promised them 10% returns on their investments every week. The business went awry and the EFCC got wind of it and moved to salvage the situation.
One of the counts read: “That you, Bluekey Technologies Nigeria Limited, Cityclyk Bluekey Payment Solutions and Neewi Suani sometime in 2019, in Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, obtained the Sum of N5,084,491,253.92 (Five Billion, and Eighty Four Million, Four Hundred and Ninety One Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty Three Naira, Ninety Two Kobo) by inducing unsuspecting members of the public to invest with your company BlueKey Technologies Nigeria Limited, Cityclyk Bluekey Payment Solutions, Bluekey Woji Multipurpurpose Cooperative Society, assuring them under a false pretence of making a 10 percent profit on all investments made, a representation you knew to be false, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to them.
In view of their pleas, prosecuting counsel C. Okorie prayed the court to fix a date for commencement of trial.
However, counsel to the defendants, M.O.Salihu informed the court of his application for bail of the defendants.
Justice Sani granted the defendants bail in the sum of N20,000,000.00( Twenty Million Naira only) and two sureties in like sum. The sureties must have landed properties within the jurisdiction of the court and must swear to an affidavit of means. The sureties must present three (3) years tax certificate and two recent passport photographs to be deposited with the court. Also, the sureties’ address should be verified by the Deputy Chief Registrar(DCR) of the court.
The Judge also ordered that the defendants be remanded in a Correctional Centre, pending the perfection of the bail while the matter was adjourned till February 25, 2020 for commencement of trial.