The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, February 29, 2016 arraigned the trio of Adamu Mohammed, Marafa Mahmood and Alhaji Saidu Mohammed before Justice Aliyu Mayaki of the High Court of Niger State sitting in Minna, on an eight-count charge bordering on forgery and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N42.8million (forty two million, eight hundred thousand naira).
The suspects were arrested following a petition by Access Bank Plc to investigate some activities in the account of the Niger State Board of Internal Revenue. Investigations revealed that the account was fraudulently opened by the accused persons into which they allegedly diverted cheques belonging to the State Board of Internal Revenue.
Mohammed, being the Branch Manager of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Lapai Branch, Niger State (now Access Bank Plc) was alleged to have opened the account with forged documents and conspired with Mahmood and the third accused (Saidu Mohammed) as signatories to defraud the Board.
One of the counts reads: That you, Adamu Mohammed while being the branch manager, Lapai Branch, Niger State (now Access Bank Plc), Marafa Mahmood, Alhaji Saidu Mohammed and Abdulmalik Hassan (at large) sometime between September 2011 and March 2012 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, agreed amongst yourselves to do an illegal act to wit: criminal misappropriation and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 97(1) of the Penal Code Law CAP 89 Laws of Northern Nigeria, 1963.
"The defendants pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them. In view of their plea, counsel to the EFCC, H. M. Mohammed, urged the court to give a date for the commencement of trial.
However, M. E. Abubakar and Gimbo Mohammed representing the 1st and 2nd accused, through oral application prayed the court to grant the accused persons bail; a prayer which was opposed by the prosecution who wanted the defence to come through formal application.
Justice Mayaki adjourned the matter to April 21 and 22, 2016 for trial, and remanded the defendants in prison custody.
Media & Publicity