John Elias: docked for fraud and dealings on assets already forfeited
A former Commissioner in Adamawa state, John Elias, has been charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission with fraud and illegal deals on properties already forfeited to the Federal Government.
Elias, who was at various times commissioner for finance and commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs was on Thursday arraigned before Justice B.B Aliyu of the Federal High Court in Yola, capital of Adamawa State.
The accused and his three companies -Oil Trust Limited, AL-Akim Investment Nigeria Limited and Da’ama Specialist Hospital- are being prosecuted for conspiracy and unlawful dealing in forfeited property.
The accused person allegedly sold and appropriated some properties, which are under interim forfeiture to the Federal Government.
An evaluation exercise conducted by the EFCC on the forfeited properties revealed that the accused person sold a landed property situated at Galadima Aminu Way, Yola to one Hamid Yusuf for N20,000,000.00( Twenty Million Naira) through his agent, Jibril Mairiga.
He also allegedly gave another property on Atiku Abubakar Way, Yola, Adamawa State,to his brother, Dr. Joel Yohanna, for use as a private hospital.
The former Commissioner was also alleged to have coerced the tenants in another property to be paying their rents to Al-Akim Investment Limited without authorization by the EFCC.
One of the charges reads: “That you, Al-kim Investment Nigeria Limited and John Babani Elias (M), sometimes in February, 2011 at Jimeta-Yola, Adamawa State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court and without due authorization by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission dealt with, having put tenants and collecting rents in and over the property known as four unit houses behind First Bank of Nigeria Plc. Jimeta, Yola and which property is a subject of an interim order of forfeiture issued on the 13th day of December, 2005 by the Federal High Court, Lagos in charge No. FHC/L/CS/1258/2005, contrary to and punishable under section 32(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004”.
The accused person pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him. In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, Al’Qasim Ja’afar, asked the court for a trial date.
Justice Aliyu granted the accused person bail in the sum of N5million with a surety in like sum and fixed December 15, 2015 for trial.