Alleged N1.4bn fraud: EFCC re-arraigns NBA president -Nigerian




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Agency Report

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on Friday re-arraigned the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Paul Usoro, in a Federal High Court Lagos, on 10 counts of N1.4 billion fraud.

Mr Usoro was first arranged before Justice Muslim Hassan on December 18, 2018,

So named in the charge is the incumbent governor of Akwa Ibom, Emmanuel UdomWho is described as "currently constitutionally immune from prosecution."

Others are the Akwa Ibm State Commissioner for Finance, Nsikan Nkan; Accountant-General of Akwa Ibom State, Mfon Udomah; Akwa Ibom State Attorney General, Uwemedimo Nwoko and Margaret Ukpe.

The aforementioned defendants are said to be at large.

Mr Usoro has been pleaded guilty to the charges, but the case before Justice Hassan was subsequently transferred to Justice, Chuka Obiozor, following an application by the defense counsel.

On February 14, Mr Obiozor in a ruling recused himself from the case on personal grounds and said that the case file would be returned to another judge.

The case was re-assigned to Rilwan Aikawa, who is the third judge.

On Friday, Rotimi Oyedepo appeared for the EFCC while Ifedayo Adedipe appeared for the defendant.

The 10-count batch was read to Mr Usoro and he pleaded guilty to all counts.

The defense counsel made an application for the defendant to continue with the earlier bail granted by the previous judge.

Hassan, the defense can not, therefore, benefit from the bail granted by the same judge.

He said that even though he was not opposed to bail, the court should grant his own bail as the matter commencing afresh before it.

Mr. Aikawa, Mr. Aikawa, "What does the court say?" What's the point of the trial? terms granted.

Mr Hassan, adopted in the view of the circumstances.

The court admits to the bail in the sum of N250 million with one surety in like sum.

The court thus ordered that the surety must be the owner of landed property within the jurisdiction court or a public servant not under the rank of a Director in the Federal or State civil service.

The court also ordered the surety must deposit titled document with the court's registry and thus deposit his / her international passport with the court's registry.

The court said that "the case is verified by the court's registry."

Hassan, and released Mr. Usoro to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Effiong B. Effiong, pending the perfection of his bail terms.

Meanwhile, Mr Oyedepo then informed the court that he had made an application to make and urged the court to issue a bench warrant for the arrest and production in court.

They include Uwemedimo Nwoko, Margaret Ukpe, Linus Nsikan, and Mfot Udomah.

The court granted this application and ordered it against the named persons.

He adjourned the case until March 18 and 19 for trial.

NAN reports that in the charge marked FHC / 418c / 18, the anti-graft agency alleged that the accused committed the offense on May 14, 2016.

The commission alleged that Usoro, conspired with others, to commit the offense within the jurisdiction of the court.

He was allegedly responsible for converting N1.4 billion, the property of Akwa Ibm State Government, which they reasonably ought to have known as part of the proceeds of unlawful activity.

The prosecution said the unlawful activity includes criminal breach of trust which contravenes the provisions of section 15 (2), 15 (3), and 18 (A) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.


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