By Ikechukwu Nnochiri – Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, arraigned the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Staff with Disabilities’ Cooperative Society, Alhaji Iliasu Abdulrauf, before an Abuja High Court sitting at Apo over his alleged complicity in N1.126billion fraud.
Abdulrauf, who was docked before trial Justice Sylvanus Oriji, pleaded not guilty to six-count charge the anti-graft agency preferred against him.
Count one of the charges against him read: “That you Alhaji Iliasu Abdulrauf being the Chairman Federal Civil Service Staff with the Disabilities Cooperative Society, sometimes between November 2017 to February 2018, in Abuja within the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, with intent to defraud, obtained the gross sum of N508, 528,000 (Five Hundred and Eight Million, Five Hundred and Twenty-eight Thousand Naira) only, from the managing Director, Wanori Investment and Properties Ltd; under the false pretence of awarding contracts to establish a Rehabilitation Centre for Persons With Disabilities, that the said MD of Wanori Investment and Properties Ltd; was deceived to pay for corporate social responsibility and insurance bond to enable his company access mobilisation for the contract.
“These representations you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
Though the prosecution counsel, Mr Steve Oduase urged the court to remand the Defendant in a Correctional Center pending his trial, Justice Oriji, however, admitted him to bail to the tune of N20million.
The court ordered the Defendant to produce two sureties, stressing that one of them must be resident in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Justice Oriji held that residential addresses of both sureties must be verified by both the Court’s Registrar and the prosecution counsel.
Moreso, the court barred the defendant from travelling out of the country without permission.
It held that in the event that the Defendant was unable to fulfil the bail conditions, he should be remanded in EFCC custody.
The case was subsequently adjourned till December 15 and January 25, 2021, for trial.