By Adebola Owolola
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Kaduna Zonal Office on July 30, 2019 arraigned Magaji Mijinyawa and Shehu Mahamoud before Justice Darius Khobo of the State High Court sitting in Kaduna on a four-count charge bordering on fraud and obtaining money by false pretence.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Magaji Mijinyawa and Shehu Mahmoud sometime in June 2017 in Kaduna within the judicial division of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of N6,227,000 (Six Million Two Hundred and Twenty-seven Thousand Naira) only from Aliyu Mohammed Gusau under false pretence that you have three plots of land for sale situated at Rigachikun, Kaduna, a claim you knew to be false, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Fraud Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
The petitioner further alleged that after the commencement of construction work on the said land, it was discovered that it belonged to the state government, and had been set aside for the construction of a primary school.
They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Based on their plea, counsel for the EFCC, P.C.Onyeneho, urged the court to fix a date for commencement of trial, and to remand the defendants in prison.
Defence counsel, M.I. Ashir, however, prayed the court to grant his clients bail.
Justice Khobo in his ruling granted them bail in the sum of N2million naira and one surety each, who must have a landed property with Certificate of Occupancy, which must be verified by the Court and the EFCC.
The case has been adjourned to October 22, 2019 for trial.
In a related development, the EFCC on July 30, 2019 presented two witnesses against one Abayomi Oke who is being prosecuted on a one-count charge bordering on issuance of dud cheque before Justice Khobo of the Kaduna State High Court.
The first prosecution witness, Ishaq Danjuma, an operative with the EFCC, while being led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, M. Lawal stated that: “I know the defendant in a case I personally investigated through a petition received by the Kaduna zonal office of the EFCC written by one Abdullahi Zubairu on the 8th of January, 2017 on issuance of dud cheque valued at N7.2million.”
He also told the court that about N2million was recovered from the defendant and released to the complainant, noting that it was part of the money ought to have been covered by the cheque.
Testifying as the second prosecution witness, Ruth Ayuba, a relationship manager with UBA, Ahmadu Bello Way branch, Kaduna told the court that the EFCC wrote to the bank requesting to know why a cheque issued by the defendant was dishonored upon presentation.
“The bank dishonored the cheque, because the account was dormant and had insufficient funds at the time of presentation,” Ayuba said.
She further stated that the cheque was a third party one and needed to be cleared.
“The clearing centre returned the cheque saying the account was dormant,” she added.
Justice Khobo, thereafter, adjourned the case to October 22, 2019 for continuation of trial.