The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on December 5, 2018 arraigned Ferdinand Ugwunwani and John Ugwu before Justice A.M. Liman of the Federal High Court, Enugu on a three–count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining the sum of N1,780,000 (One Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira) only. The offence is contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
According to investigation carried out by the Commission, it was found out that they falsely represented themselves as owners and custodians of some non-existing plots of land at Umunwene, Iji Nike, Enugu State. They obtained the said sums in two tranches of N1, 180,000 and N600, 000 as payment for two plots of lands and harmonization fees respectively.
It was further discovered that apart from the fact that they knew the original plots were part of a damaged portion of the layout, they went ahead to sell the said plots to the complainant and made him pay the money in one of the suspect’s personal account rather than that of the community.
When the charges were read to them, they pleaded “not guilty” which prompted the defence counsel, P.O. Nwanjoku, to move a joint motion for their bail which was quickly countered by the prosecution counsel, F.A. Shehu, who argued that Ugwu had severally refused to honour invitations from the EFCC.
The trial judge, noted that having come from his house to the court, the defendant had shown willingness to attend to his trial, and thereafter granted them bail in the sum of N1million with one surety each.
“Any of the sureties must either own a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court or be a civil servant not less than level 14 in the local, state or federal civil service,” the judge added.
The case has been adjourned to February 20, 2018 for trial.