30 January 2013

Nigeria: EFCC Arraigns Lawmaker for Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Tuesday arraigned before an Abuja High Court, the Chairman, House Committee on Internal Security, Hon. Aliyu Gebi, for issuing dud cheques of about N120.5 million, to his lender.

Gebi was arraigned over a 13-count charge before Justice Abba Bello Muhammad sitting at the Apo Division of the court, Abuja.

EFCC accused him of issuing 13 dud cheques in favour of the complainant, Musty Petroleum Limited, an offence contrary to and punishable under section l(b) (i) of the Dishonoured Cheque (offences) Act, 2004 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

The charges showed that the lawmaker, gave the complainant a posted dated cheques from his United Bank For Africa (UBA) personal account and a company account named Craft Technology Limited with value of dates of 13/01/2012 and 12/01/12 respectively.

The cheques were issued to cover an interest free loan of N125,000,000 repayable within a period of 60 days, which the company borrowed him.

Upon lodging them into UBA account of Musty Petroleum Limited on 1/02/12, the cheques were returned unpaid due to insufficient funds in the drawer's account.

Gebi pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him following which his lawyer, Babatunde Oyefeso, asked the court to grant him bail on self-recognition.

He told the court that the accused had been enjoying the administrative bail granted him by the anti-graft agency.

The prosecution counsel, Mohammed Bello did not oppose the bail application. He confirmed that the accused had deposited his diplomatic passport with the commission, and urged the court to note the gravity of the offence by imposing condition that would make the accused attend trial.

In his ruling, Justice Muhammad said: "Bail is granted based on previous terms as granted by the commission. He is to deposit his deposit his diplomatic passport with the EFCC".

The matter was adjourned till February 19 for hearing.

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