EFCC arraigns fake investigator for attempting to defraud Nassarawa state governor, Tanko Al-Makura’s wife

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, January 25, 2018 arraigned one Muhammed Momoh before Justice U. P. Kekemeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Apo, on one-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining by false presence.

Momoh was arrested on December 22, 2017 by operatives of the EFCC for attempting to defraud the governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura. The suspect, while posing as a “Private investigator from the Villa” approached the wife of the governor, Hajia Mairo Tanko Al-Makura, with a proposition to help stop a purported investigation of two accounts belonging to the governor, by the EFCC. He claimed that he came across information regarding the two accounts that had been under investigation since 2011 and also intercepted mails and gotten wind of investigation report purportedly sent to First Bank by the EFCC.
The suspect requested for N8million, but was offered N6million.

Suspicious about the proposal, the governor’s family contacted the EFCC and were asked to play along with the suspect. The suspect was arrested in a sting operation after he collected marked N2million.

The offence is contrary to Section 1(1)(a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006.

Particulars of the offence read:
“MUHAMMED MOMOH, on or about the 22nd day of December,2017 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N2,000,000 (TWO MILLION NAIRA) from one HAJIA MAIRO TANKO ALMAKURA through IDRIS AHMED ALMAKURA under the pretence that you a private investigator with capacity to help the said HAJIA MAIRO TANKO ALMAKURA resolve her case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which you knew to be false”.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In view of his plea, counsel to the EFCC, Benjamin Manji, asked for a date to commence trial and also prayed the court to remand the defendant in prison pending trial.
Momoh’s counsel, F. U. Okolo, however, urged the court to admit the defendant to bail, relying on Section 35(c) ,36(6) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended and section 156,162 and 167 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

Manji objected to the bail application saying, “the prosecution is scared of the defendants not being available to stand trial as he was given administrative bail by the EFCC since December 22 when he was arrested, but has not yet met the conditions”
He said “the defendant is liable to commit another offence” and urged the court to enforce stringent bail conditions.

Justice Kekemeke admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N5million and two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must have landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.
The matter has been adjourned to March 7, 2018 for hearing.

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