By Soni Daniel
Abuja— Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned one Abraham Walson before Justice U. N. Agomoh of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on a nine-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretence and fraud.
Walson’s arrest and prosecution by the EFCC followed a petition by Mr. Fred Atasie, who alleged that the accused was hired as an instructor at a training centre in Port Harcourt in June 2010, for the training of unemployed youths in pipeline fitting and fabrication. He stated that Walson later recruited his own team and began to extort the unemployed youths by demanding huge sums of money from the trainees under the guise that he would facilitate their employment with SAIPEM, an oil servicing company.
In the course of investigation, the accused confessed to collecting huge sums of money from the trainees. According to him, the entire sum that he collected from about 263 youths amounted to over N10, 000,000. From this heist, he purchased a Nissan Almera car with registration number AM 613 BNY.
When the case was called up, Counsel to EFCC, O. B. Akinsola (Mrs.) urged the court to strike out the names of the second and third accused persons from the charge as they were unavailable in court.
The Judge granted the application and struck out the names. When the amended charge was read to the accused person, he pleaded not guilty.
The defence counsel, W. O. Irehovbude, immediately tabled an oral application for bail and pleaded with the court to honour same.
The court, however, refused the prayer and adjourned the case.