Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja has remanded one Alhaji Usman Abubakar, alias Young Alhaji, in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly stealing N950 million
The EFCC had arraigned the defendant, Young Alhaji Foundation and Dr. Abu Omer Fawzi (still at large) before the court on a five-count charge of conspiracy, stealing and attempt to steal.
The anti-graft agency claimed that the defendants conspired among themselves sometime September 19 and 20, 2022, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N950 million from Ano Farms Limited under the false pretence that he had the dollar equivalent of the said sum for exchange, a representation which he knew to be incorrect.
The commission maintained that the offences contravened sections 411, 280 and 287(9) (c) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
When the charges were read to the defendants, they pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Based on their plea, the EFCC counsel, Bilkisu Buhari urged the judge to fix a trial date and also remand the defendants in a correctional centre.
However, the defence counsel, Olatunbosun Olanipekun (SAN) informed the court that the prison facilities were congested and that the EFCC had dragged his client to the Federal High Court for a civil case.
He further informed the court that the commission only rushed to prosecute his client before the state high court for a criminal suit when a production warrant for his release was being sought at the FHC.
He told the court that his client has been languishing in the Commission’s custody for some time.
The defence lawyer, however, asked the court to allow the defendant to remain in EFCC custody; in contrast, the prosecution requested the court to grant a short date to respond to the bail application filed by the defence.