Business

Businessman tells court how employee diverted business from company

By Onyewuchi Ojinnaka

A businessman and Chairman of Eunisell Limited, Mr. Chika Ikenga, at the weekend told a Lagos Federal High Court sitting in Lagos that a former employee of the company, Mr Kenneth Ndubuisi Amadi was paying money into the company’s account but he did not know where the money was coming from.

Mr. Ikenga further told the court that the defendant did not steal the company’s money, however, he was allegedly giving ‘false’ information to his competitors in the industry.

Mr. Ikenga who was being led in evidence by the prosecutor Mrs Aderonke Umana in a charge preferred against the defendant by the Attorney-General of the Federation, stated that he was angry with the defendant because Chevron Oronite appointed him as a distributor while still in the service of Eunisell Ltd, adding that the defendant floated a firm known as IDID Nigeria Limited.

Mr. Ikenga was testifying as prosecution witness (PW1) before Justice Ambrose L. Allagoa, on Friday, in a five count charge bordering on alleged mismanagement of funds filed against Kenneth Amadi, by the Office of Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was re-arraigned before Justice Allagoa sometimes in July.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Friday , Mrs Adorenke who announced appearance for prosecution, told the court that the matter was slated for trial, adding that she was ready with the witness, subject to court’s convenience.

Mr Emeka Etiaba (SAN) announced appearance for the defendant.

When the prosecutor, Mrs. Aderonke Umana, asked the witness how he knew Kenneth Amadi (defendant), he said: “he joined my company as Sales Representative and rose to the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) before he left the company. He was a diligent, dedicated and honest staff.

“After he left the company, we did audit of our accounts and it was revealed that payments that supposed to be coming to our accounts from those that we supplied our products to, were coming from the first and second defendants’ account.

“Our bank also revealed that the second defendant is a company owned by the first defendant.

“We also wrote to the police and Investigation revealed that he was receiving monies from the companies we supplied to and paying to us.

The witness also told the court that when the company started receiving monies without any narration, they wrote the bank to know the sources of the money and it was revealed that the defendant have been receiving the monies from two companies, A-Z Petroleum Limited and Ammasco International Limited which they supplied goods to and paying to us.

When asked if the audit was carried out when the defendant was still a staff, the witness said the defendant has left the company when the audit was done.

According to Chika Ikenga, the defendant used his position, privilege and our company’s information to the benefits of our competitors.

Under cross examination the defence counsel, Emeka Etiaba, asked the witness if he has the report of Investigation by the police, the witness said that he fid not have any report. Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN) tendered the police report exonerating Kenneth Amadi from the allegations. It was admitted by the court as exhibit pending the testimony of the Investigation Police Officer (IPO).

When the witness was asked to comment on his petition to the EFCC against the defendant, which the defendant was cleared. He said: “We reported him to the EFCC in 2017, interestingly, EFCC hasn’t given us any report till today. Our petition to EFCC’s Abuja’s office was a reminder, and I went to Abuja for it”.

Mr Etiaba again tendered the EFCC Lagos and Abuja offices reports which cleared the defendant. The reports were admitted as exhibit

When reminded of a criminal charge against him before a court in Abuja, Ikenga confirmed being charged but said he was never arraigned.

Again Etiaba tendered the criminal charge filed against Chika Ikenga and two others, the judgement delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo compelling the IGP to refile the charge against the witness and two others and the ruling of the court Abuja dismissing the application of the witness to set aside the judgement. They were all admitted as exhibit..

The witness told the court that when the company asked one of its customers, A-Z Petroleum Limited, the petroleum company said it had paid all the money.

The matter continues November 11.

Meanwhile a Federal High Court Abuja has dismissed an application filed by ‘persons affected’ in the judgement delivered on November 16, 2020.

The application was seeking an order of the court to set aside the proceedings and judgement delivered on Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/1580/19 on November 16, 2020, compelling the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and two others to refile the charge against the ‘persons affected’ by the judgement.

Dismissing the application filed by ‘persons affected’ by the judgement delivered on November 16, 2020, Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo held in his ruling that the court is functus officio under the circumstances of the application and therefore can no longer revisit the case. The court further held that the application lacked merit and was accordingly dismissed.

The judge said, ” In my considered view, this court is functus officio under the circumstances and can no longer revisit the case.

” I see that the parties who did not appear at the proceedings leading to the judgement has filed a Notice of Appeal. I think the applicants can join them there as persons interested and not in this court.

“I therefore find no merit in the application, same is accordingly dismissed. This is the ruling of the court”.

Recall that on November 16, 2020, the court delivered a judgement whereby it compelled the Inspector-General of Police; DIG Michael Anthony Ogbizi (FCID) and DCP Augustine Sanomi (CP Legal) to refile the charge and prosecute Chika Ikenga, Suraj Yakubu and Eunisell Chemicals Ltd for the offences of false information, forgery and false impersonation as contained in Charge No CR/361/18 between Inspector-General of Police And Chika Ikenga, Suraj Yakubu and Eunisell Chemicals Ltd which charge was filed on October 5, 2018 and withdrawn on February 26, 2019 for amicable settlement.

In the said judgement, the court ordered the respondents to refile the charge and prosecute the aforementioned persons within 14 days on the receipt of the enrolled order of the court.

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