The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Kaduna Zonal Office on January 24, 2019 arraigned three suspected fraudsters and their company before Justice Z.B. Abubakar of the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna on a two-count charge bordering of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of £100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Pounds).
The suspects – Benjamin Soile, Okoro Junior, Abubakar Mustapha and Abueleven Limited, are alleged to have defrauded Sa’adatu Dasuki of the said sum.
They were arrested by operatives of the EFCC, upon receipt of the petition by Dasuki, who alleged that in September 2018, Okoro and Soile, officials of Access Bank Plc, Kwato Road Branch, Ungwan Rimi, Kaduna conspired with Mustapha to defraud her of £100,000.
Mustapha allegedly introduced the bankers to her as bureaux de change operators, and convinced her to transfer the money from her Access Bank account to his own account in the same bank with an understanding that he will credit her account with the naira equivalent.
However, the £100,000 was transferred to a Barclays Bank account of one Celestine Tagbo on the instruction of one Alhassan Habib both resident in London without the knowledge or consent of Dasuki.
Thereafter, sensing that she had been duped demanded for a refund of the money. Okoro then credited her account with the sum of N11, 562,500 on September 12 and 13, 2018 but reversed the said transaction.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Benjamin Olayinka Soile, officer of Access Bank, Okoro Agwu Junior, officer of Access Bank, Abubakar Siddiq Mustapha, ABUELEVEN Ltd a liability company and others at large sometime in September 2018 in Kaduna within the division of the Federal High Court with intent to defraud the sum of £100,000 (One Thousand Pound Sterling) from one Sa’adatu Dasuki under false pretence that you will give her the naira equivalent a pretence you knew is false and thereby committed an offence contrary to 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offence Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Same Act”.
They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Prosecuting counsel, J. Saidi, urged the court to fix a date for commencement of trial.
Counsel to the first defendant, P.I. Kalu, informed the court of his client’s bail application dated January 23, 2018.
In his ruling, Justice Abubakar granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N500, 000 each and two sureties in like sum, who must own a landed property within the jurisdiction of the Court. One of the sureties must be a civil servant not below grade level 9.
The case was thereafter adjourned to February 14, 2019 for hearing, and the defendants ordered to be remanded in prison pending the perfection of the bail conditions.