A retired Nigerian Army Major General, Geoffrey Ejiga, has lost over N180 million to a fraud syndicate.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned Mohammed Sanni Zubair, the alleged leader of the syndicate, before Justice Ijeoma L. Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja, on a four-count charge of fraud.
Zubair, who was described as a serial fraudster, when the children of Major General Geoffrey Ejiga (retd.) petitioned EFCC, had been arrested by the operatives of the EFCC in 2016 for a fraud-related offence.
He then confessed to the crime, saying he acted under the instruction of one Johnson Abiodun, whose real name was Nuhu Kasim.
But in the course of investigation, Kasim was arrested in Kano, and it was discovered that the information given by the defendant against him, was completely false.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Mohammed Sanni Zubair on or about October 2016, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, did make a statement to Naziru Aminu Shehu, an officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in the course of the exercise of the duties of his office, contained in your written statement dated 28th October, 2016, which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 39 (2) (a) and (b) of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the counts preferred against him.
In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Fatsuma Mohammed, prayed the court for a trial date to enable the prosecution to prove its case.
But, counsel to the defendant, Joe Agi, SAN, informed the court of the defendant’s application for bail, which he said was filed and served on the prosecution shortly before the court started sitting.
Justice Ojukwu, thereafter, adjourned to October 26, 30 and 31 for hearing on motion for bail and trial. The court also ordered that the defendant should continue with the administrative bail earlier granted him by the Commission.