Nigerian businessman faces extradition to USA over fraud related charges

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A 28 year old Nigerian businessman Martins Eze Obina is to be extradited to the United State of America to face fraud related charges.

To this end, a Circuit Court in Accra has remanded him for one week so that he could go through the process of extradition to the US.

According to the Court presided over by Mr Emmanuel Essandoh, the GIS after the one week should update the Court of the extradition processes.

A US District Court has issued an arrest warrant for Martins Eze Obina through Ghana’s US Embassy.

This was made known when a Circuit Court presided over by Mr Emmanuel Essandoh had ordered the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to produce the accused in court.

Obina through his lawyers had filed an application for bail after the GIS arrested him for obtaining Ghana’s Residence permit through false declaration.

Chief Superintendent of Immigration (CSI) Adolf Aboagye Asenso, the Prosecutor, informed the Circuit Court that Obina had been put before the Kaneshie District Court for acquiring Ghana’s resident permit through false declaration.

According to CSI Asenso, the District court preserved his plea and he prayed the Court that the accused be remanded for further investigations.

CSI Asenso said accused lawyer, Mr Paul Abarigah was emphatic that the Circuit Court had granted Obina bail hence the District court did not set out any bail condition.

The CSI, who showed the USA District Court arrest warrant, said GIS had also received an FBI alert indicating that the accused is a member of transnational Cyber Syndicate and a hacker.

He said Obina had been indicted in the USA in the year 2021, adding the GIS would refer Obina to International Police (INTERPOL).

According to him, the accused resided in a rented apartment at Teshie and therefore he could abscond.

Additionally, the CSI said Obina told investigators that he was a shareholder in a company in Ghana but checks at the Registrar General’s Department indicated that the company was a sole proprietor firm and as such Obina could not be a shareholder in sole proprietorship.

On the Circuit Court bail, Prosecutor said the GIS was served with Court order to produce the accused in court but the GIS had already put him before a District court

The CSI however opposed the bail application because of the existence of an arrest warrant received from the US Embassy in Ghana.

He then showed a copy of the arrest warrant to the Circuit Court Judge.

CSI Asenso said the accused was a flight risk and if granted bail he would abscond.

Prosecution therefore prayed the Court to remand the accused into police custody pending the processing of extradition to the USA.

Ms Sarah Kusi, who represented Obina, argued that her client’s passport was with GIS and he has sureties when admitted to bail.

Ms Kusi said Obina had no intentions of fleeing Ghana as his passport is still with GIS.

On December 27, this year Obina was arrested by officials of the GIS at the Kotoka International Airport when he showed up to go through departure formalities to Lagos.

The GIS personnel nabbed Obina after the Service had received an FBI alert that the accused was set to travel.

Information received by the GIS indicated that the accused was a member of a Transnational Cyber Crime syndicate and a hacker.

Obina has been indicted in the USA in the year 2021 on the charges of conspiracy and other fraud related offenses.

Accused informed the GIS officials that he was a shareholder of a company in Ghana.

However, checks at the Registrar General’s Department showed that the said company that Obina claimed to be a shareholder is a sole proprietor firm and he cannot be a shareholder in sole proprietorship.

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