The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) EFCC has arraigned one Usman Abubakar alongside Young Alhaji Foundation before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on a five-count charge involving an alleged N950 million fraud.
The duo were charged on offences bordering on conspiracy to obtain by false pretence contrary to Section 8(a) and 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006; obtaining by false pretence contrary to Section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006; stealing contrary to Section 411, 280 and 287 (9)(c) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011; and attempt to steal contrary to Section 406(2), 280(1)(b) and 287 (9) (c) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
One of the counts reads: “Alhaji Usman Abubakar, Young Alhaji Foundation and Dr. Abu Omer Fawzi (at large) sometime in September 2022 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to obtain the sum of N950,000,000 from Ano Farms Limited under the false pretence that you had the dollar equivalent of the said sum which pretence you knew to be false.”
Another count reads: “Alhaji Usman Abubakar and Young Alhaji Foundation on the 20th of September 2022 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court attempted to dishonestly convert the sum of N180,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Eighty Million Naira) property of Ano Farms Limited to the use of Abdullahi Mohammed.”
The defendant however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
The prosecuting counsel, Bilikisu Buhari, prayed 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”, he 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 pleaded with the court to remand the defendant at the EFCC custody pending the hearing of the defendant’s bail application.
“I humbly apply that the defendant be remanded at the EFCC custody”, he said.
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.
Justice Dada adjourned till March 1, 2023, for the hearing of the bail application and ordered that the defendant be remanded in EFCC custody till the hearing of his bail application.