BY OKONKWO EZE
ONITSHA—The Federal High Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State, has adjourned further hearing on an eight-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining N1,371,500 by false pretences against the Vice Chancellor of the Anambra State University, Uli, Prof. Fidelis Uzochukwu Okafor till November 19, this year.
The court presided over by Justice M.L. Abubakar was informed that Okafor allegeedly committed the said offence when he was the Provost of Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe, NOCEN.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had charged the incumbent Bursar of NOCEN, Mr. Michael Ekwunife, along with Okafor for allegedly committing the offence.
Justice Abubakar, however, granted the accused persons bail on self recognition before adjourning the matter.
Abubakar adjourned the matter after the charges were read by Counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Jonson Ojogbane, following a preliminary objection raised by the defence counsel Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN.
The EFCC had alleged that Okafor and Ekwunife conspired among themselves to obtain the money from the college, between November, 2007 and 2011, contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, pointing out that the offences are punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
According to the EFCC, the accused persons had also, on or about January 22, 2008 at NOCEN, falsely obtained another N201,500 from the college ostensibly to settle some phoney hotel bills of the first accused, (Okafor) who was the then Interim Provost of the College.
The commission also told the court that the accused persons had on or about March 10, 2008 at the same place and jurisdiction, with intent to defraud, obtained N188,500 from NOCEN for the same false reasons of using the money to settle hotel bills, adding that they equally obtained N195,000 on or about May 14, 2008 for the same purpose.
It further alleged that the accused persons obtained another N201,500 on or about April 9, 2008 as well as N201,500 on or about April 11, 2008; N182,000 on March 28, 2011 and N201,500 on or about February 3, 2011 under the same false pretences, contrary to Section 1 (a) of the same Act.