Posted by News Express | 6 November 2019 | 1,408 times
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, presented its first witness (PW1), Naziru Aminu Shehu, in the trial of an alleged serial fraudster, Mohammed Sanni Zubair.
Zubair, who is alleged to be a member of a syndicate that specialises in defrauding unsuspecting members of the public, is standing trial before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on four-count charges that border on fraud to the tune of N180 million.
He was arrested by the Commission following a petition by the children of a retired Major General Geoffrey Obiaje Ejiga.
The petitioners had alleged that the fraud syndicate took advantage of their father’s old age to defraud him of over N180 million. Zubair was arrested by the EFCC in 2016 in connection with the fraud, which he admitted to have committed alongside one Johnson Abiodun, whose real name he later gave as Nuhu Kasim. Upon Kasim’s arrest in Kano, it turned out he had no connection with Zubair in the crime and was only framed up.
Zubair was arraigned by the Commission on four counts that border on attempt to deceive the EFCC by advancing false information, which runs contrary to the “Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004.”
One of the charges reads: “That you, Mohammed Sanni Zubair on or about October 2016, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, did make a statement to Naziru Aminu Shehu, an officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in the course of the exercise of the duties of his office, contained in your written statement dated 28th October, 2016, which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 39 (2) (a) and (b) of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004.”
Zubair pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Led in evidence today by prosecuting counsel I. E Dauda, the witness told the court that during interrogation, the defendant wrote, in his statement, that Mr. Johnson Abiodun is the same person as Nuhu Kasim, and made a promise to make him available to the Commission. According to Shehu when Nuhu was invited by the EFCC, he denied all the allegations raised against him by the defendant.
The witness further stated that after the EFCC released Kasim on bail on November 29, 2016, that the defendant visited the EFCC office and made it clear,in his written statement, that the entire allegation he raised against Kasim were false.
Furthermore, all the money found in Kasim’s account had no link to Zubair.
Justice Ojukwu adjourned the case to January 13 and 14, 2020 for continuation of trial.
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