A Nigerian alleged fraudster who is accused of defrauding Southern African Development Community, Botswana Insurance Company and Stanbic bank of thousands of thousands of Pula was this week denied bail.
Gaborone Village Magistrate, Othilia Zwedi, on Wednesday dismissed a bail application by Enunwe Obinna, a Nigerian citizen, saying there is no proof that the suspect, currently in remand, would turn up for trial if granted bail.
Zwedi said that the charges against the accused are very serious and carry a heavy penalty of seven years if convicted and that this, on its own, raised the possibility that the Nigerian would abscond if given bail.
On Obinna’s submission that he would not skip the country if given bail because he has a family which resides with him in Gaborone West, the Magistrate said that the suspect did not say whom he refers to as family, how close he is to that family which would not make him abscond.
Zwedi further said that it was up to the accused to have sufficiently explained to the court the closeness that exists between him and the family.
She said the state, on the other hand, had established a very strong case against the accused. This, she said, was done in the form of cheques drawn in favour of the accused as well as bank statements showing transactions in the accused’s bank.
The magistrate said the accused, who was caught whilst trying to cash a P14, 500 cheque in Francistown, did not have any interests in this country which would make him not to abscond.
Obinna, the state alleges, defrauded the Botswana Insurance Company, the Southern African Development Community and the Stanbic Bank of various amounts using stolen cheques.
The state alleges that the Botswana Insurance Company was defrauded of the following amounts on various dates P65,000, P65,352, P51,920, and P59, 210 while SADC was defrauded of P30, 482 and Stanbic Bank of P31,500.
The state says they have not been able to recover any of the stolen money or goods bought with it. Managers of the concerned companies also told the investigators that the cheques were stolen.