The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has on Friday, March 26, 2021, arraigned Cecilia Osipitan and her Company, PJO Ventures Limited before Justice I.E Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja on a nine count charge bordering on Criminal breach of trust and conversion of funds to the tune of six billion Naira.
The alleged funds were said to be part of the money earmarked for payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
The defendant, allegedly received and converted the funds to personal use, between 2014 and 2016.
One of the charges against the defendants reads: “That you, Cecilia Osipitan being Managing Director of PJO Ventures Limited and PJO Ventures Limited on or about the 18th day of December, 2014, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, took possession of the sum of N6,000,000,000.00 (Six billion Naira) only paid into PJO Ventures Limited’s Skye Bank Account No. 1771645235 from Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited’s Skye Bank Account No. 1771645118, being part of the funds earmarked for payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit Criminal Breach of Trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering(Prohibition (As amended) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”
Upon the “not guilty” plea entered by the defendant, the prosecuting counsel prayed the Court to set fix a date for trial.
However, Justice Ekwo granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N200, 000,000 (Two Hundred Million Naira) with one surety in like sum. The surety must be a responsible citizen and owner of landed property which document shall be deposited with the Registry of the Court, after verification.
The defendant is also to deposit her international passport with the Court Registry and shall not travel out of the country without the approval of the Court.
Thereafter, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter till May 24, 25 and 26, 2021 for trial.