The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today arraigned a bishop and a chief at separate trials in Jos, Plateau state and Port Harcourt, Rivers State on various fraud charges.
Bishop Katung Jones, was among the three person docked in Jos, for defrauding depositors in a cooperative society to the tune of N123million.
The others charged with him were Okewole Dayo (alias Okewole David Dayo), and Dadin Kwowa.
They were arraigned before Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court a 24-count charge bordering on conspiracy, money laundering and obtaining by false pretence N123million.
The accused persons allegedly conspired to form a cooperative society, through which they allegedly swindled unsuspecting “cooperators” of millions of naira.
Instead of investing the contributions of members as agreed, the accused persons allegedly deposited members’ monies in a bank, Dadin Kowa Micro Finance Bank and subsequently had all withdrawn using proxies.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.
In view of their plea, counsel to the EFCC, Larry Peters Aso urged the court to remand the accused persons in prison custody pending the commencement of trial.
However, the defence counsel, Charles Obisha, SAN, prayed the court to admit the accused to bail adding that, he had filed and served the prosecution with the bail application.
Responding, Aso told the court that, the bail application was served on him this morning and that he needs time to respond.
Justice Allagoa, adjourned the case to December 9, 2015 for hearing on the bail application and ordered the suspects to be remanded in prison custody.
In Port Harcourt, Chief Jonathan Alatoru is facing trial at Justice U.N Agomoh’s Federal High Court, on an 8-count charge bordering on forgery and obtaining by false pretence the tune of N200m.
Alatoru was alleged to have obtained the money as loan from one of the new generation banks sometime in September, 2012 with forged documents ranging from property valuation report, certificate of occupancy and consent letter to pledge the property used as collateral.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.
Justice Agomoh granted him bail in the sum of N50m and two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be a civil servant not below salary grade level 14 and must deposit his/her employment letter and last letter of promotion with the court.
The other surety must be a blood relation resident within the jurisdiction of the court. He is to swear to affidavit of means, present two passports and fill a bail bond.
The accused must also deposit his international passport and write an undertaken.
Justice Agomoh adjourned to January 21, 2016 for trial and ordered the accused person to be remanded in prison custody until the bail conditions are met.