LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned one Usman Abubakar alongside his NGO, Young Alhaji Foundation, before a Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, over alleged N950m fraud.
Abubakar was brought before Justice Mojisola Dada, and is being prosecuted on five counts of conspiracy, theft, theft attempt, and obtaining money or property under false pretense.
According to the EFCC’s prosecuting attorney, Bilikisu Buhari, the defendant and one Dr. Abu Fawzi, who is still at large, planned to commit the alleged fraud.
Buhari said the incident reportedly took place between 19 and 20 September 2022.
The defendant, according to the prosecutor, reportedly planned to steal N950 million from Ano Farms Limited while pretending to have the identical amount in dollars.
The anti-graft agency also alleged that Abubakar and Young Alhaji Foundation on 20 September, 2022, attempted to dishonestly convert the sum of N180m, property of Ano Farms Limited, to the use of one Abdullahi Mohammed.
According to the prosecutor, the offences committed contravened Section 8(a) 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, 411, 280, 287 (9)(c) 406(2), 280(1)(b) and 287 (9)(c) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
Following the defendant’s plea, the prosecuting counsel, prayed to the court for a trial date to enable the prosecution to call its witnesses and tender relevant documents to prove the case against the defendants.
“We also pray the court to remand the defendant at the Nigerian Correctional Facility pending the trial date,” the prosecutor said.
Counsel for the defendants, Olatubosun Olanipekun, SAN, however, informed the court that the defence “only got to know of the date for arraignment yesterday (Tuesday).”
He, however, pleaded with the court to remand the defendant at the EFCC custody pending the hearing of the defendant’s bail application.
An attempt to make an oral application for bail was dismissed by the court as the trial judge held that, “this court is a court of records.”
The bail application was thereafter served on the prosecution in open court.
As a result, Justice Dada adjourned the case till 1 March, 2023, for a hearing of the bail application and ordered that the defendant be remanded in EFCC custody pending the hearing of his bail application.