The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Enugu Command, has arraigned one Pastor Kelechi Vitalis Anozie, who is on the United States of America Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Wanted List, before Justice I.M Buba of the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu on a seven-count charge bordering on money laundering.
EFCC Head, Media and Publicty, Wilson Uwujaren, in a press statement, Monday in Abuja, said the cleric was arraigned alongside three others: Mr. Azubuike Ifeanyi Bright; Mrs. Amarachi Blessing Iro; and Mr. Kelechi Patrick Iro; who were at large.
The Spokesperson said Anozie was arrested by the Enugu Command of the EFCC at Owerri Imo state, on March 10, 2022, following actionable intelligence received by the Commission.
“The defendant is alleged to have defrauded one F.F who lives in Illinois the sum of $135,800, and $47,000 from another American based in North Carolina,” the statement disclosed.
According to Uwujaren, “One of the counts reads: That you PASTOR KELECHI VITALIS ANOZIE,MR AZUBUIKE IFEANYI BRIGHT( NOW AT LARGE), MRS AMARACHI BLESSING IRI (NOW AT LARGE) AND MR KELECHI PATRICK IRO (NOW AT LARGE) sometime between 2017 and 2019, at Owerri within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria conspired among yourselves to commit a felony to wit: use and taking possession of fund that forms part of proceeds of an unlawful act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 21 (a) of the Money Laundering,(Prohibition) Act,2022 and Punishable under section 18(3) of the same Act.”
He said Anozie pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him, prompting the Prosecution Counsel, Michael Ani, to ask the Court for a date for the commencement of trial.
The Spokesperson said the Defendance Counsel, E. Adams, however, prayed the court to grant his client bail; and he was granted bail in the sum of N10 million and one surety in like sum.
He said the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction and own a property and must also swear to an affidavit of means; just as the defendant was to deposit his international passport and passport photographs with the court.
“The case was adjourned till Friday June 10, 2022, for trial,” Uwijaren added.