EFCC Arraigns Clerics, Couples Over Fraud
The Economic and financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arraigned three clerics before Justice M. S. Shuaibu of the Federal High Court sitting in Yola, Adamawa State on a six count charges bordering on money laundering and obtaining N10million by false pretences.
Alhaji Inuwa Usman and Alhaji Chindo M.D. Bose, both leaders of the Taraba State chapter of the Muslim Council allegedly conspired with Reverend John Simon Jatutu, who was the Special Adviser to the State Government on Religious Matters to divert part of the funds approved to the council by the state government towards the celebration of the country’s Golden Jubilee.
The Taraba State government had in September 2010 approved N42million for the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Muslim Council for purposes of the 50th Independence celebration. Both Faiths shared the money equally with each getting N21million but the three accused persons cornered N10m from the Muslim Council share of the grant and declared only N11million to the council.
However, members of the council later get wind of the actual amount approved for them, which prompted a petition to the EFCC.
When the charges were read to the accused persons, they pleaded not guilty to all charges, prompting the prosecution counsel, Al Qasim Jaafar to request the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial. He opposed the bail application by defence counsel, Ukaegbu Onyi, on the grounds that the accused had jumped administrative bail granted them by the Commission.
However ruling on the bail application, Justice Shuaibu took cognizance of the forthcoming judicial recess and granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N1.5 million each and a surety in like sum.
In a related development, a couple, Dan Fulani and his wife, Gambo Tanimu a.k.a. Happiness were arraigned before Justice Musa Sale Shuaibu of the Federal High Court, Yola, Adamawa State on a six count charge of Conspiracy, Money Laundering and Obtaining by False Pretences.
The couple who are chairman and Treasurer respectively of a Cooperative Society in Jalingo, Taraba State allegedly defrauded one Aihaji Idris Tukur, a businessman, of N11.3million under the guise of selling imported rice to him.
When the charge was read to the accused persons, they pleaded not guilty. Their counsel, P.S. Agabus, immediately urged the court to admit his clients to bail. He told the court that the accused persons are well known in the community and would not jump bail.
They were granted bail in the sum of N1million each and a surety in like sum and the matter adjourned to October 24, 2012 for commencement of trial.