By Tayo Joseph Lagos, Nigeria
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, arraigned one Eucharia Ekezie before Justice Olasumbo Olajumoke Goodluck of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, on a ten-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence.
Ekezie, in connivance with one Hamid Bakoji (now at large), allegedly defrauded over seventy job applicants to the tune of N3.920million under the pretext that the money would be used to facilitate employments for them in various federal government establishments including Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Communication Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service and National Assembly.
The offence contravenes Section 8 (a) and 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006.
One of the counts reads:
“That you, Mrs. Eucharia Ekezie and Hamid Bakoji (now at large), sometime between 15 October, 2012 and 6 December, 2012 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, with the intent to defraud, did obtain an aggregate sum of N1, 120, 000.00 (One Million, One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira) via your Skye Bank account No. 1018539796 from one Eze Gereldine Uzoamaka under the false pretence that the said sum will be used to secure employment for some job applicants in Federal Government establishments, which you knew was false and thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty the charge.
In view of her plea, counsel to EFCC, Chris Omisaga urged the court to fix a date for trial .
However, Ekezie’s counsel, C. S. Nwaogu told the court that he had a pending application for bail of his client and prayed the court to admit the defendant to bail.
Justice Goodluck granted the accused bail in the sum of N2million with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be civil servants not below Grade Level 14. The defendant must also submit her international passport to the court registrar.
The Judge, thereafter, adjourned to June 13-14, 2017 for hearing.