The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on November 19th, arraigned Abdulsalam Saleh Abdulkareem, a governorship candidate of the Green Party of Nigeria, GPN, and Ebere Nzekwe, before Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Kano on a nine-count charge of criminal conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of $1,320,000 (One Million, Three Hundred and Twenty Thousand Dollars) only.
The petitioner alleged that sometime in 2014, the defendants connived to fraudulently obtain the said sum from him in the belief that it would be used for business investment which eventually turned out to be false.
Abdulsalam also allegedly met with his Personal Assistant, one Muhannat in a hotel in Republic of Kuwait for a talk on the said dealings.
The meeting led to his (Abdulsalam’s) invitation to Nigeria via a company, Seit Nigeria Limited. It was during this meeting that the total sum of One Million Five hundred USD (1,500, 000USD) was displayed to him as the sum belonging to the alleged partner in the acclaimed investment.
One of the counts reads: ”That you Abdulkareem Saleh Abdulsalam, Ebere Nzechukwu (aka General Aria), Michael Edosa (at Large), sometime in August 2014, at Kano within the Kano Judicial Division of the High Court, with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain the total sum of one million, three hundred and twenty thousand dollars ($1,320,000.00) from Dr. Jamman Al-Azmi when you represented that you have the capacity to partner with him for joint venture business, which representation you knew to be false, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
Both defendants pleaded “not guilty” when the charges were read to them.
Prosecuting Counsel, Johnson Ojogbane, asked the court for a date for hearing sequel to the plea of the accused persons.
The defence counsel, Dr. K.M. Liman, SAN and Chris Asekome, however, moved their bail and prayed the judge to grant the defendants bail as “they have already been enjoying an administrative bail given by EFCC”.
Ojogbane did not oppose the application for bail but stated that “if his lordship is inclined to grant their bail, he should do so with the knowledge that the first accused person jumped bail and did not show up the last time the matter was fixed which made it to be adjourned for today”.
Justice Allagoa, thereafter, granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N100 million and one surety in like sum; the surety, the judge said must have a landed property in Kano.
The case has been adjourned to January 29 and 30, 2019 for hearing.