The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned one Muhammed Momoh before Justice U. P. Kekemeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Apo, on one charge of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretences.
Momoh was arrested on December 22, 2017 by operatives of the EFCC for attempting to defraud the Governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, and his wife, Mairo.
According to the anti-graft agency, the suspect, while posing as a private investigator from the Villa approached the wife of the governor with a proposition to help stop a purported investigation of two accounts belonging to the governor.
The suspect claimed he came across information regarding the two accounts that had been under investigation since 2011 and also intercepted mails and gotten wind of investigation report purportedly sent to First Bank by the EFCC.
The EFCC said the suspect requested for N8m but was offered N6m.
Suspicious about the proposal, the governor’s family contacted the commission and were asked to play along with the suspect. The suspect was arrested in a sting operation after he collected marked N2m.
The offence is contrary to Section 1(1)(a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006.
The charge sheet read in part, “Muhammed Momoh, on or about the 22nd day of December,2017 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N2m from one Hajia Mairo Tanko Al-Makura through Idris Ahmed Al-makura under the pretext that you are a private investigator with capacity to help the said Hajia Mairo Tanko Al-Makura resolve her case with the EFCC which you knew to be false.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In view of his plea, counsel for the EFCC, Benjamin Manji, asked for a date to commence trial and also asked the court to remand the defendant in prison pending trial.
Momoh’s counsel, F. U. Okolo, however, urged the court to admit the defendant to bail, relying on Section 35(c) ,36(6) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended and section 156,162 and 167 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
Justice Kekemeke admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N5m and two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must have property within the jurisdiction of the court.
The matter has been adjourned till March 7, 2018 for hearing.