The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned a 72-year old suspect, Abdullahi Mohammed alias Dan Hadeja, before Justice Abubakar Tijani of the Federal High Court II, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on a one-count charge of obtaining the sum of N1, 155, 000 under false pretence. He reportedly claimed that he was a registered distributor of Indomie noodles.
A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said the trial of the suspect will begin on November 19, 2012.
The statement said: “The one count charge reads: That you Abdullahi Mohammed alias Dan Hadeja sometimes in May, 2012, at Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N1,155,000 (one million one hundred and fifty five thousand naira) from one Ahmed Sani under the false pretence that you are an agent and registered distributor of Indomie dust from Dufil Prima Company makers of Indomie Noodles located at Choba, Port Harcourt and was going to get wheat offal, waste product from the company for him which you know is false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1)(a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act”.
“When the charge was read to the accused person through an interpreter, Mr. Sani A. Umar, he pleaded not guilty. Defence Counsel, A. M. Akin then pleaded with the court to grant the accused person bail, as his alleged offence was a bail able one.
“The prosecuting Counsel, Abbiyesuku Endeba did not oppose the bail application.
“Justice Tijani granted the accused person bail in the sum of N1million with one surety in like sum.
“The surety who must be within the jurisdiction of the court must have landed property which must be verified by Court Registrar. The surety must also swear an affidavit of means and be willing to forfeit the N1m in the event that the accused person jumps bail.
“The court adjourned the case to November 19, 2012, for trial.”
In another statement, the EFCC has blamed corruption for the decay of infrastructure in the country.
The Head of Public Enlightenment Unit of the Commission, Mrs. Rose Ekawu, made this submission while declaring open a one -day sensitization programme on the ills of corruption for officers of the Federal Fire Service in Abuja.
She said infrastructural facilities have collapsed because those charged with their maintenance failed in their duties.
Ekawu, who described the sensitisation programme as part of the Commission’s mandate under the EFCC Establishment Act 2004 ,explained that enlightening Nigerians on the consequences of economic crimes and corruption will go a long way in curbing the menace.
She said: “Everybody wants a decent society. It is obvious that nobody wants a society where there is no rule of law, where professional ethics are only academic subjects learned and forgotten in school.
“Considering the country’s enormous natural resources endowments, poverty ought to have no place in Nigeria .
“Unfortunately, economic mismanagement, corruption and lack of accountability and transparency have been the bane of poor economic performance and rising poverty.
“It is the light of this that we at the EFCC welcome genuine efforts at enlightening the sector that is crucial to our development”
She therefore enjoined officers of the Service to join hands with the anti-graft agency in the fight against corruption and economic crimes.
David Nkpe and Chinwe Ndubeze, who represented the Commission’s Directors of Operations and Legal respectively, observed that corruption is the reason for lack of sustainable development in post- colonial Nigeria .
In his opening remark, the Controller General of the Nigeria Fire Service, Engr. Olusegun James Okebiorun commended the EFCC for the sensitization programme and assured that the service will partner with the EFCC in the difficult task of fighting corruption and economic crimes.
“There is no doubt that corruption is the major problem of the country. If there is no concerted effort at ridding the country of the menace, there will surely be no positive development”, he said.