The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned a businessman, Tasiu Abubakar, before Justice Mohammed Tukur of the Kaduna State High Court on three counts bordering on criminal breach of trust to the tune of N4.6m.
One Abdulrazak Yusuf had petitioned the EFCC alleging that the defendant told him that he had an allocation from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Kaduna Depot, to supply bitumen.
Abubakar allegedly asked the complainant to pay for the allocation, promising that the product would be delivered in a week.
The complainant was said to have deposited N4,645,500 into Abubakar’s bank account for the purpose of lifting the said product at the NNPC depot in Kaduna.
He further alleged that the suspect subsequently gave him a bank teller and payment receipt as evidence of the payment, “but on reaching the NNPC account office at the Kaduna depot, it was discovered that there was no such payment in their system.”
The charges read in part, “That you, Tasiu Abubakar, sometime in April 2018 in Kaduna, within the judicial division of the High Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N4,645,500 from Yusuf Abdulrazak under the false pretext that you had allocation for bitumen from the NNPC’s Kaduna depot, a pretext you knew to be false, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
A statement on Thursday by the acting EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, said the prosecuting counsel, Onyeka Ekweozor, urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial.
He also requested the court to remand the defendant in prison custody, but the defence counsel, A. H. Maigauta, applied for his client’s bail.
Justice Tukur, in his ruling, ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison pending the perfection of his bail application and fixed June 26, 2019, for trial.