Police probe E-Money over N1.2bn dispute with Lagos firm

E Money

The Chief Executive Officer, Emy Cargo and Shipping Services Limited, Emeka Okonkwo, aka E-Money is under investigation at the Force Criminal Investigation Department Annex, Alagbon, over alleged N1, 209,200,000 dispute with a vehicle dealing company, Autocorp Limited, in Lagos State.

A police source who is privy to the case but pleaded anonymity told PUNCH Metro that Okonkwo and the aggrieved party had been invited for questioning, adding that another meeting had been scheduled for the case.

In a bid to ascertain the facts behind the over N1.2bn that reportedly caused the dispute between both parties, our correspondent, during a conversation with the sales manager for the vehicle dealing company, Patricia Iduwre, discovered that the company contracted Okonkwo to clear eight vehicles in 2020/2021.

According to Iduwre, the vehicles comprised six TXL Prado and two Lexus jeeps valued at N1, 209,200,000, adding that despite Okonkwo clearing the vehicles, the company had yet to take delivery of them till date.

She said, “When we gave him the vehicles to clear, they were valued at N1.2bn. All along, we thought the vehicles were at his warehouse but recently, he said he had sold the vehicles. He said he sold the vehicles because we owed him, whereas we did not owe him.

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“In this business, it is after an agent supplies that you pay and he has not even supplied any of the vehicles. We involved our lawyer and reported the case to the police and it was during dialogue with him (Okonkwo) that we got to know he had sold the vehicles. When the police intervened, the reason he gave for selling the vehicles was that we owed him.

“He also said our chairman asked him to sell the vehicles but when the police engaged our chairman, he said he never gave him (Okonkwo) such a directive. Our chairman also told the police to tell Okonkwo to provide evidence that he said he should sell it.”

Iduwre, while demanding the vehicles, urged the police to investigate the case.

She added, “The police asked if he (Okonkwo) claimed to have sold the vehicles at the instance of the chairman, did he give us the money? He then said he used the money to offset debts.

“When he was asked which debt, he said my chairman asked him to use the vehicles to borrow money from the bank. But my chairman debunked that claim.

My chairman said he is eligible to borrow money from the bank himself, so why would he ask Okonkwo to borrow money from the bank?  What we want are the vehicles we asked him to clear; we don’t want any money.”

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The lawyer representing the vehicle dealing company, Raymond Olaiya, in a petition to the FCID, described the monetary dispute involving the company and Okonkwo as that of “stealing, fraudulent conversion and criminal sale.”

The petition read in part, “We write on the instruction of our client, Autocorp Limited, to complain of stealing and fraudulent conversion of the company’s imported vehicle numbering eight, which amounted to about N1,209,200,000.

“The vehicles were among several other imported vehicles contracted out to Emy Cargo to be cleared from the Nigerian Ports at Apapa between 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. The eight Four-Wheel Drive jeeps were, till date, never delivered to our company, ever since Emy Cargo cleared them from the Nigerian Ports.

We, therefore, implore you to use your good offices to help track the whereabouts of these vehicles, which were specifically ordered for by our company to be delivered to our clients, and we would appreciate your timely intervention in bringing Emeka Okonkwo, the CEO of Emy Cargo, to justice as a deterrent to others.”

Okonkwo, when contacted, said the allegation was not true but confirmed that a business transaction happened between both parties.

He said, “It is a false allegation; it is not true. There is a resolution and a business transaction between both parties. However, I am not in town. It is not a phone talk. I will be available on Friday; I am giving you an appointment so you can come over to hear my side of the story.”When contacted, the spokesperson for the FCID Annex, Alagbon, Aminat Mayegun, confirmed that Okonkwo had been under investigation.

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She said, “Yes, we are investigating the matter concerning (Okonkwo). The matter is about the conversion and it is being investigated at the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Force.  The case is under investigation; we have extended an invitation to him and he has acknowledged the investigation.

“Based on the petition, he was once invited and he came. And now, we have to call both parties involved for another discussion and a date has been scheduled for it.

Source: PUNCH

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