The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on March 19, 2015 arraigned Mohammed Ogbobio before Justice I. E Ekwo of the Federal High Court Yenagoa, Bayalsa State on a 5- count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of Fifteen Million Four Hundred and Ninety Five Thousand Naira (N15, 495,000.00).
He pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.
Ogbobio allegedly posed as a member of the Bayelsa State Muslim Pilgrim Welfare Board and deceived Maigoro Safyanu and Ibrahim Abdullahi, from whom he collected the money in question, under the pretence that it would be paid for the 2012 Hajj exercise. The trip, however, never materialized.
One of the charges read: "That you Mohammed Halim Ogbobio on or about the 11th day of September, 2014 at Yenagoa within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of Three Million Three Hundred and Sixty Five Thousand Naira (N3,365,000.00) only from one Maigoro Safyanu Yusuf, which was paid to into your Skye Bank Plc account no 1010839279 under the pretence that you are a member of Bayelsa State Muslim Pilgrim Welfare Board, which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advanced Free Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act."
In view of his plea, the counsel to the EFCC, Shehu Usman, prayed the court for a date to present his witnesses for commencement of trial.
The case has been adjourned to May 11 and 12, 2015 for trial.