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Akwa Ibom Ex-Rep Gets N1m Bail

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Akwa Ibom Ex-Rep Gets N1m Bail

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Akwa Ibom State Magistrate Court 10 in Uyo the state capital, presided over by Magistrate I. Idiong, has granted administrative bail to a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Sunday Johnson Udom, 72, detained at Ikot Ekpene custodial centre over an alleged N31 million fraud, after fulfilling his N1 million and other stringent conditions.

According to the particulars of the case in suit number: MU/155C/2023, the accused Sunday Udom, also known as Soni Udom, was arrested by the police for allegedly defrauding one Aniekan Etim, to the tune of N31 million, contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) (c) (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act, 2006.

Applesbite learnt that the defendant, who is also a former chairman of Oruk Anam local government area, had in November, 2021, approached Aniekan Etim on a pretext that he is running a foundation that is partnering with a foreign donor agency in London and Zurich, and that the foundation has a contract with the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Moved by his love for charity, Etim, it was learnt, had consented, oblivious of the fact that he had been defrauded, as the defendant failed to refund the money as promised, even as subsequent investigations revealed he has no visible foundation to his name.

However, in his bid to recover his cash, Etim, had to petition the commissioner of police, and Udom was arrested after severally evading police invitations.

He was subsequently granted an administrative bail by the police but the 72-year-old jumped bail, which led to his rearrest and remand in the prison custody.

Udom, in his statement to the police, admitted running a charity foundation called Soni Udom Foundation, with headquarters at No 7 Umoessien Street, off Obio Imo Street, Uyo, the state capital.

He also admitted knowing and collecting the said N31 million from Aniekan Etim with a promise to refund same. First, N5 million and then N26 million naira at different times.

However, in a lengthy legal battle, the commissioner of police, represented by a legal officer from the Police Legal Department, State Command Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia, noted that “the foundation documents presented by Sunday Udom, to get the money from Aniekan Etim, were fake with the intent to defraud him through deceit and dishonesty.”

Udom, represented by his counsel, Utibe Nwoko, argued that his client, aside being aged 72 years, is diabetic with a partial stroke, thus should be admitted to bail by the court.

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