EFCC Arraigns Banker, Accomplice For N1.6m Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Monday, March 16, 2015 arraigned a banker, Arome Augustine Suleiman and one Etu Yusufu Idoko before Justice Peter Kekemeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Apo, Abuja on a 2-count charge of conspiracy and theft.

Suleiman allegedly engaged in divulging information on the account of customers as well as their mandate details to fraudsters. Specifically, he provided account details of customers to Idoko through which they both conspired to steal money from their account.

One of the counts reads: "That you, Arome Augustine Suleiman and Etu Yusufu Idoko sometime in 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did conspire among yourselves to commit an illegal act to wit: theft of the sum of One Million Six Hundred Thousand Naira (N1,600,000.00), which you fraudulently withdrew from Access bank account, number 0044268055, belonging to Okey Samuel Mgbegbu, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 96 of the Penal Code, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 1990 and punishable under Section 97 of the same Code".

The accused pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them.

In view of their pleas, the prosecuting counsel, Mary Onoja applied for a date to call her witnesses.

Augustine-Arome-Sulaiman-anCounsel representing the first accused, Morris Osakwe, brought an application for bail pursuant to section 341(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, informing the court that the accused had been on administrative bail and had not breached the bail terms granted him by the Commission. He urged the court to grant the accused bail assuring that, he would always make himself available for trial.

Counsel to the second accused, Friday O. Abu aligned with the submission of the counsel to the first accused in praying the court to consider his client for bail.

In opposition to the bail applications of the accused, counsel to EFCC, Onoja stated that, "bail is not granted as a matter of right but exercised at the discretion of the court and judiciously too". She further argued that, "factors need to be considered such as the evidence before the court, nature of the offence, availability of the accused to stand trial and if the offence is a bailable one".

Justice Kekemeke however granted bail to the accused in the sum of N2m (Two Million Naira) and one surety each in like sum. The surety must be a land owner within jurisdiction of the court with certificate of occupancy and must be civil servants not below Grade Level 10.

The case has been adjourned to May 11, 2015 for trial to commence.

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