EFCC Arraigns 2 FIRS Directors, 7 Officers over N4.5billion Fraud Charges

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, arraigned two former directors of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and seven serving officers of the agency on charges of fraud and criminal misappropriation of about N4.6billion.

They were arraigned on 42 counts before Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

The defendants included a former Coordinating Director of FIRS, Peter Hena, and Mohammed Bello Auta, who is a former Director of Finance.

The rest of the defendants, who are still in service of FIRS are, Amina Sidi (Finance and Account department), Umar Aliyu Aduka (Internal Audit), Mbura Mustapha (Deputy Manager), Obi Okeke Malachy (Services Group), Obaje Napoleon Adofu (Head of Budget), Udo-Inyang Effiong Alfred (Officer II) and Benjamin Jiya (Assistant Director).

The EFCC alleged in parts of the charges that the officials, between 2017 and December 2018 in Abuja, conspired to conceal funds said to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

The commission said the some of the offences were contrary to section 18 and punishable under section 15(2) (a) and (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 ( as amended by Act No. 1 of 2021)

EFCC said in a statement by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, that the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecuting counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, subsequently asked the court for a date to commence trial.

However, the defendants through their counsel prayed the court to grant them bail.

The judge granted them bail in the sum of N100m each and sureties in like sum.

The sureties, who must be Nigerians residing in Abuja with landed property within the jurisdiction of the court, are also to provide evidence of tax clearance.

Ms Ojukwu also ordered the defendants to deposit their travelling documents with the court and must obtain the court’s permission before travelling out of the country.

The matter was adjourned till June 14, 15, 23, 24, 28, and 29, of 2021 for the commencement of trial.

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