By EMEKA OKONKWO
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – AN alleged bogus Economic and Financial Crimes Commission operative who was part of a syndicate that defrauded a man with the false promise of quashing investigations the commission had instituted against him has been arraigned.
Edward Abiodun has appeared before Justice Beatrice Iliya of Gombe State High Court on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy, personation and obtaining money by false pretence.
The accused person and his accomplices, Murtala Bello and Esther Momoh (who are now at large), had allegedly claimed to be staff members of the EFCC, Abuja office, in order to dupe one Umar Bello.
The complainant alleged that Bello had in March phoned him, assuring him that the syndicate could ‘kill’ the purported petition written against him, if he could pay the sum of N10 million.
Consequently, Bello was said to have sent the phone number of Momoh who claimed to be a Principal Detective Superintendent, PDS, with EFCC to the victim for further discussion on how the money could be paid to them.
The complainant also alleged that the suspects offered to collect N300 000 from him when he could not raise the initial N10million.
He further said that one ‘Laolu Adegbite’, who claimed to be the officer handling his purported case, sent an SMS summoning him to appear before the Commission.
Owing to the persistent threat by members of the syndicate, he allegedly paid N50 000 into Abiodun’s account.
Worried by the persistent threat from the syndicate over the balance the victim petitioned the EFCC, whose operatives eventually arrested the accused.
The accused person is pleading not guilty.
Justice Iliya has adjourned the matter to October 26 for hearing of bail application.
– CAJ News