Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Land Racketeer Docked for N25m Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 arraigned one Mohammed Awwal Garba before Justice C. S. Oriji of an FCT High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja on a 2-count charge of fraud to the tune of N25 million.

It is alleged that, Garba, at different times in March 2013, fraudulently obtained the sum of N20million from one Oludayo Olufemi and another N5million from one Tony Obiogbolu as part payment of N100million fee to facilitate allocation of 10 hectares of land at the Karsana District of Abuja to each of them.

The offence contravenes Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.

Particulars of count one read:

“Mohammed Awwal Garba, on or about the 21st March, 2013 in Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal Capital Territory, with intent to defraud did obtain the sum of N20,000,000.00 (Twenty Million Naira ) property of Engr. Oludayo Oluyemi being part payment for the sum of N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira only) representing the total fee which you charged for facilitation for the allocation of 10 hectares of Land in Karsana District, Abuja under the false pretence that you had the capacity to secure the said 10 hectares of land, which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence”.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the counts when they were read to him.

In view of his plea, counsel to EFCC, Aliyu Bokani Usman, asked the court for a date to enable him present his witnesses.

However, Garba’s counsel, A. I. Lemu informed the court that, he had a pending application for the bail of his client pursuant to Section 36(5) of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended, Section 158 and 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA and Section 6(6) of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended.

He urged the court to grant the defendant bail on liberal terms.

Usman, while responding to Lemu’s application stressed the need for the court to enforce terms that will always ensure the presence of the defendant in court.

Justice Oriji granted the defendant bail in the sum of N7million with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be civil servants not below salary grade level 12. The sureties must be resident and have properties in the FCT. The proof of residency and ownership of properties is to be verified by the court.
The case has been adjourned to January 19, 2017 for trial.

Meanwhile, the defendant is to be remanded in Kuje prison pending the perfection of his bail terms.

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