Star Orient ex-MD Dare Osamo arraigned over alleged N1.6bn fraud

Dare Osamo, the former managing director of Star Orient Nigeria Limited, and Bisola Olore, a lawyer, were charged in an Ikeja High Court on Wednesday for suspected N1.6 billion fraud.

They were charged with 11 counts of fraud by the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Osamo and Olore pleaded not guilty to three counts involving conspiracy and obtaining under false pretenses, while Osamo pleaded not guilty to eight counts involving obtaining under false pretenses, theft, and forgeries on his own.

The defendants, according to the lead prosecutor Adetutu Oshinusi, committed the crimes from 2016 to 2019 while serving as officers of the aviation fueling firm, together with others at large.

She alleged that Osamo and Olore signed Star Orient Nig. Ltd board of directors’ resolution dated January 19, 2016, and presented the document to First City Monument Bank as the consensus of the directors of the company for the opening of an account.

“The duo fraudulently secured a debenture in the sum of N300 million and fraudulently authorised borrowing of N100 million by Fund Quest Financial Services Ltd. against the assets of Star Orient Ltd,” she said.

Osamo is alleged to have unlawfully converted the company’s funds amounting to N1.6 billion to his own use.

After hearing submissions from both counsels, Justice Oyindamola Ogala granted Osamo (first defendant) bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum.

The judge granted Olore (second defendant) bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum.

She said the sureties of the defendants must provide evidence of landed property ownership in Lagos as well as evidence of their financial status. Also, the defendants must hand over their passports to the court pending the trial.

The case was adjourned until February 2, 2022 for trial.

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