Nigeria: EFCC Re-Arraigns Three FIRS Directors, Six Other Officers Over N4.5 Billion Fraud

24 June 2021

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned former Coordinating Director of Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS), Mr. Peter Hena and eight other officers of the agency before Justice Toyin Bolaji Adegoke of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The others are Mohammed Bello Auta (Director of Finance), Amina Sidi (Finance and Account Department), Umar Aliyu Aduka (Internal Audit), Mbura Mustapha (Deputy Manager), Obi Okeke Malachy (Services Group), Obaje Napoleon Adofu (Head of Budget), Udo-Inyang Effiong Alfred (Officer II) and Benjamin Jiya (Assistant Director) .

An EFCC statement said their re-arraignment followed the transfer of the former trial judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu.

The defendants were docked on a 42-count charge bordering on corruption, fraud and criminal misappropriation of funds to the tune of N4,558,160,676.9.

Count one of the charge reads, "That you, Peter Hena, Mohammed Bello Auta, Amina Sidi, Umar Aliyu Aduka, Mbura, Mustapha, Obi Okeke Malachy, Obaje Napoleon Adofu, Udo-Inyang Effiong Alfred and Benjamin Jiya while being staff of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) between January, 2017 and December 2018 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired together with the other officials of FIRS to conceal funds which are proceeds of unlawful activities to wit: corruption, fraud and criminal misappropriation of funds and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18 and punishable under section 15(2) (a) and (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 ( as amended by Act No. 1 of 2021)."

The defendants, however, pleaded 'not guilty' to the charges.

Justice Bolaji granted the defendants bail on the terms earlier offered them by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, and fixed September 28, 2021 for commencement of trial.

Justice Ojukwu, had, upon their arraignment on Thursday, March 11, 2021, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N100m each and sureties in like sum.

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