EFCC Re-arraigns Businessmen For N22.4m Rice Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Kaduna Zonal Office has re-arraigned three businessmen, Baba Alhaji Aliyu, Musa Shuaibu and Abubakar Ismaila on a seven-count amended charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and criminal breach of trust before Justice A.B. Aliyu of the Federal High Court Minna, Niger State.

Aliyu and Shuaibu were first arraigned on November 28, 2019 on nine counts bordering on N22.4million fraud. Ismaila at the time was at large.

Their arrest and prosecution was consequent on a petition by the Managing Director of Tomgray Engineering Services Limited, Thomas Ogwu, who alleged that they deceived him into believing that they work with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development Staff Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited Minna, Niger State and requested for the supply of 1,800 bags of Nigeria Parboil Rice worth N30.6million from his company.

Ogwu further alleged that after supplying the bags of rice he received payment of N8.2million only, leaving a balance of N22.4million, but all efforts to get his balance proved abortive.

At the resumed sitting, on March 9, 2020 prosecuting counsel, Y.J. Matiyak informed the court that the matter was slated for hearing, but prayed the Court to grant him leave to amend the charges.

“The 3rd defendant Abubakar Ismail who has been at large has been arrested on Thursday last week and the name of Joshua Agbaji Unazi and Micheal Godwin Okibe dropped from the earlier charges,” he said.

Count three of the amended charges reads: “That you, Baba A. Aliyu, Musa Shuaibu and Abubakar Ismaila between November and December 2018 in Minna within the Judicial Division of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, obtained 859 (eight thousand and fifty nine) bags of Nigeria Parboil Rice worth N14,600,000 ( Fourteen million, Six Hundred Thousand Naira) only from Tomgray Engineering Services Limited under false pretence of being staff and members of Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development Staff Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited Minna, a pretence you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(b)of the advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and Punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”

They pleaded “not guilty” to the amended charges.

Justice Aliyu, thereafter, fixed March 30, 2020 for hearing of bail application.

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