Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
Peter Duru – Makurdi
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on Thursday arraigned Messrs Otene Olafikwu, John Garba Aondohemba, Simon Atsen Gbagir and Mrs Janet Tyondugh on a two-count charge of possessing and altering two counterfeited $50
The suspects were arraigned at a Federal High Court presided over Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon.
The charge read: “That you, Otene Ofilakwu, Janet Tyondugh, Simon Atsen, and John Garba Aondohemba sometime in 2019 in Makurdi, Benue State, within the jurisdiction of this court, did alter two $50 US notes bearing serial No. B121997021C and B121997020C knowing the same to be counterfeit bank currency notes and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 5(1)(a) and punishable under section 5 of the Counterfeit Currency (Special Prohibition) Act CAP. C35 LFN 2004″.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges but the prosecution counsel, Chia Yakua, asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand the accused persons at a Correctional Centre.
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He told the court that the first defendant, Atsen had made an application to the Commission to enter a plea bargain agreement that was still being worked out.
However, his counsel, Imi Mari, made an oral application for his client’s bail on liberal terms.
Also, counsel to 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendant, Emmanuel Laren urged the court to admit the clients to bail pending the final determination of the case.
Justice Olajuwon granted bail to each defendants in the sum of N500,000 with one surety in like sum.
She directed that all the suspects be remanded in EFCC custody pending the perfection of their bail condition, and adjourned hearing till February 11.