Alleged €29m fraud: Court admits evidence against Jean Codo, company

Alleged €29m fraud: Court admits evidence against Jean Codo, company

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 7:50 am

EFCC operatives

Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court, sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Monday, January 13, 2019, admitted in evidence a document tendered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against a suspected fraudster, Jean Codo and his company, Transport and Port Management System Limited, TPML.

Codo and his company, TPMS, are standing trial on a seven-count charge bordering on stealing to the tune of €29,000,000.00 (Twenty-Nine Million Euro), property of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Jean Codo and TPMS Transport and Port Management Systems Limited, sometime in 2010 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired to commit felony, to wit: stealing of about €29,000,000.00 (Twenty-Nine Million Euros), property of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

At the resumed hearing today, the second prosecution witness, PW2, Stefan Somogyi, an accountant with Antasa International Group , showed the court documents containing the general account and invoices of a Belgium-based company, ATPMS, its profit and loss records as well as the income it generated between 2010 and 2011.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, Somogyi said ATPMS generated a sum of €29million ( Twenty-nine Million Euros) as the total income and turnover.

Somogyi also told the court that the only income generated was the invoices the defendant sent to them.

When the prosecution sought to tender the document, Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, counsel to the first defendant, Codo, objected to its admissibility.

Ayorinde argued that the document was not relevant to the case and that the details of the computer used to produce the document were not stated in the document.

The court , however, admitted the document in evidence.

During cross-examination by Ayorinde, the witness told the court that he didn’t service TPMS, but ATPMS.

The witness also said he never worked for Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA or the Federal Government.

He, however, confirmed that he knew the defendant had a contract with the NPA.

Counsel to the first defendant, Ayorinde, informed the court of a bail application for his client, and also asked for a short date for hearing of the application.

Justice Dada adjourned the matter until January 20, 2020 for hearing of the application.

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