The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Kaduna Zonal Office has arraigned a businessman Joseph Adigizi Anthony before Justice Mallong Peter of the Kaduna Federal High Court for a N50 million Bitcoin fraud.
His journey to the dock began when the Kaduna office of the EFCC received a petition alleging that he defrauded members of the public using a business proposal, in which he lured them to invest in Bitcoin through a platform called Bitworld Centre. He promised them good returns on their investment.
A petitioner alleged that she sold her properties and collected loan from a Microfinance Bank to raise N1,739,000, which the defendant directed her to pay into his personal bank accounts. She later discovered that the business was a fraud.
However, efforts to recover her money proved abortive.
Adigizi Anthony was on April 30, 2019 charged with a five-count charge.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Joseph Adigizi Anthony, sometimes in 2018 at Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did with intent to defraud through your personal Guaranty Trust Bank and Access Bank accounts over N50,000,000 (Fifty Million Naira) credit turnover as collective investment deposits from one Salome Ambi Mamman and other members of the public by falsely accepting deposits for an unregister business venture with the Security and Exchange Commission of Nigeria called “BITWORLD” using financial proposal documents serving as a “Trainer Bitclub Advantage” and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offence Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Same Act.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge.
Prosecuting counsel, S.H. Sa’ad urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial while he prayed the defendant be remanded in prison.
“We are ready to commence with the trial, and we have two witnesses already in court,” Sa’ad said.
Defence counsel, Chiedu Gwam, informed the court, that he was not ready for the commencement of trial and pleaded with the court to grant his client bail and his client to be remanded in EFCC custody.
Justice Mallong, however, adjourned to May 13, 2019 for hearing of bail application and commencement of trial, and ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody.