The Port Harcourt zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 arraigned Michael Uwachukwu (a.k.a Rodrigo), an undergraduate of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, before Justice J . K Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on four -count charges bordering on impersonation and obtaining money by false pretence.
One of the counts read: “That you Uwachukwu Michael (a.k.a Rodrigo) on or about 1 7th November, 2019 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did obtain the sum of Eleven Thousand, Five Hundred Twenty-Two Dollars ($11,522) from Krisha Marie Arsenio an, American Citizen, under the false pretext that you have been evicted by your landlord and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related offences Act”.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to him.
In view of his “not guilty” plea, prosecuting counsel, A. Osu prayed the court for a short adjournment. However, counsel to the defendant, H .O. Amaefule orally prayed the court to grant the defendant bail which was declined.
Justice Omotosho adjourned the matter till January 21, 2021 and ordered that the defendant be remanded in Port Harcourt Correctional Centre pending the determination of his bail application.
Uwachukwu ran into trouble when the EFCC received intelligence on his alleged fraudulent activities, leading to his arrest. Investigation showed that the defendant had been posing as a divorced American, Michael Rodrigo and defrauding his victims.