The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the duo of Musa A. Muhammed, an employee of Kano State Primary Education Board, and Turadu Hamza Ahmed, an employee of Dantata Organisation Limited, before Justice Yusuf Ubale of the Kano State High Court on a six-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of N29 million.
The complainant, Umar Sale, alleged that, he met the first accused person, Muhammed, sometime in August, 2014 when he wanted to purchase a plot of land purportedly owned by Aminu Alhassan Dantata, Chairman, Dantata Organisation Limited, situated at IBB Way, Kano State.
He also alleged that Muhammed later informed him that Dantata, upon much plea, fixed the sum of N20m (Twenty Million Naira) as the selling price for the said plot of land.
According to him, Muhammed allegedly refused to accept the bank draft in the sum of N20million raised in favour of Dantata.
He, however, said that when he requested for the account details of Dantata, Muhammed allegedly forwarded that of one Mannir Bala Sani who claimed to be the Property and Investment Manager to Dantata.
Convinced that he was dealing with a genuine official of Dantata Organisation Limited, Sale paid the sum of N20million to Sani, who later issued him a letter acknowledging receipt of the money.
The complainant further alleged that, he gave Muhammed the sum of N9m (Nine Million Naira) as fee for processing of the land documents at the Ministry of Land, Kano State including his commission.
Sale, however, said that Muhammed became evasive when he requested for the Deed of Assignment and other related documents of the land.
Count one reads: “That you, Musa A. Muhammed and Turadu Hamza Ahmed, sometime in September, 2014, within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice, Kano conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit obtain the sum of N29, 000,000.00 only contrary to Section 8 (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006.’’
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to them.
Prosecution counsels, A. T. Habib and B. M. Buhari urged the court to commence trial immediately, stating that they were ready to present their witnesses.
However, defence counsel, Ibrahim Boyi, pleaded with the court to grant the accused persons bail.
After listening to both counsels, Justice Ubale granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N200, 000.00 with two sureties each in like sum. One of the sureties must be a senior civil servant not below the level of director, while the other must be resident in Kano and have a landed property worth N20 million. The sureties are to deposit the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of the properties as well as their recent passport photographs with the court registrar.
The case was adjourned to April 20, 2016 for trial.